I am getting ready for the New Year.

There. All done.

My new year is not anticipated to be much different than my old year. No plans to relocate, switch careers, or start a business venture. I don’t expect to have more children (or fewer), more wives (or fewer), or more teeth (or, God willing, fewer). But craving conformity as I do, I will propose my share of New Year resolutions:

  1. Move beyond the plumbing problems in my house. If I cannot fix them or get them fixed, they will be reclassified as “works as designed.”
  2. Get five-year-old Sam to say, “except” instead of “incept.” I am thinking of something Pavlovian involving cheddar bunny crackers.
  3. Exercise more often than I did this last year. I’m looking for improvement, not perfection. Consider the amount of exercise I did this last year, the bar is pretty low. I should be able to knock this one off easily. In fact, I calculate that if I run five miles every day for the month of January, I will meet or exceed this specification for the year. That will look good on my tombstone on Feb 1: “exceeded expectations.”
  4. Get Rose to separate her underwear from her pants before she tosses them down the laundry chute. Just kidding. It will never happen.
  5. I thought about resolving to stop losing my temper with my children, but one man’s temper is another’s whining hissy fit. However I have unconsciously developed a steely glare and icy tone that I never knew I had inside me and that emerges under duress.  Surprisingly, it puts the fear of God in my children, when all I want is a little undivided attention. I think if I can get someone to capture me doing this on video just one time so I can see it myself, the remorse (or embarrassment) will cure me of the habit.
  6. Write a novel. OK, this is not likely to happen, but I believe that if this was the only resolution I kept this year, I would as happy as if I kept all the others.