0719 PV Deborah Paul .jpeg

Since I’ve never, ever kept a New Year’s resolution, I decided to ask some of my best friends and family to make a few for me.

The idea was conceived with a two-tiered introspection process. The first tier would give me an idea of what my buds think I should do to improve myself to become a better person in 2019.

Hopefully, their contributions would come with a gentle cattle prod to help steer me away from little irritations or slights I might have caused them in the past, due in part, to an eccentric personality and childlike view of life in general.

With the second tier, I really would like to improve myself. I figure only a really secure person could ask this of others, so I wasn’t too worried what the comebacks would be, although one really, really good friend said she didn’t feel comfortable about the endeavor—probably because of the reasons mentioned above.

I started with my best friend and husband who was quick to lend an opinion.

“Sign up to go to a chef’s cooking school,” he said sweetly, without missing a beat. “You just have three or four specialties, so maybe it’s time to expand your horizons.” He could hardly keep from sneaking a sideways glance at me when he told me in his most sincere, “I really-want-to-help-voice.”

My sister, who is severely deaf told me to calm down and talk slower for 2019. To use an archaic term, my sister Kathy is a total innocent. She is incapable of saying a malicious word to anyone, so I took the resolution in the spirit she gave it to me.

“If things don’t go the way you want them to go right away, you get very nervous,” she said matter-of-factly. “Just calm down, stop and relax. Little by little you’ll feel better and get used to talking slower.”

Yep. She’s right, she’s right. I tend to talk faster than I think, which is poor ethos at any level. And most who have lived with a deaf person know their voices usually sound frustrated at best when they are trying to be heard or understood at a higher octave, so I do thank my sister for her penetrating resolution for the New Year.

One of my best friends was quick with a number of resolutions for me.

Pam adamantly thinks I should resolve to not go gray. I should depart the country for the holidays, always wear lipstick when I leave the house and the best one—buy a gun and learn how to use it.

All those are easy for her to say. She’s been a natural blonde her whole life and will comfortably segue into a beautiful shade of platinum some day. She hasn’t cooked a holiday meal in more than 25 years and owns about 100 lipsticks that she needs to use up.

And how astute she is. I already know what kind of gun I want.

One of my Mah Jongg partners Diane, noting her own need to grow closer to God, suggested I join a women’s Bible study the next year.

It’s not that she thinks I’m at the door of perdition, it’s just that the intellectual and spiritual exchange of a women’s bible study has made an impact on her own full and busy life.

She loved sharing the concept with me. Note: I’ve been a part of various Bible studies off and on for years, but as a work in progress, Diane’s resolution and reminder for me was well appreciated.

My dear artistic, and big-hearted friend Marilyn said “You’re perfect. Clone yourself.”

Well, now. I er ...

She added, “We’re all created with our own quirks and foibles for a reason. It’s what makes life such an adventure. Separate the chafe from the grain, and keep what is dear to us. Like our friends, for being who they are.”

Karen my beautiful, witty Mah Jongg buddy—a strict, no-nonsense game player—told me to be resolute in “not doggie whining" every time someone makes a better play than me in 2019. I’ve taken to whimpering like a Chihuahua when someone steals a Joker away from me. I guess it’s not that funny after the millionth time.

My girlfriend Safy blurted out the best resolution I should probably make.

“Try to be more mysterious," she said, perhaps referring to my inability to hide even the smallest emotion.

OK, I’ll try everybody, but it ain’t going to be easy.

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