Of writing, watches and guys named Steve

New Year’s Resolutions for Real People

My "New Year's Resolution" face.
New Year’s Resolution face.

I’ve never been into making New Year’s resolutions. Those things are pretty much doomed by Valentine’s Day, and it’s hard to annually decide on something simultaneously important enough to actually address, but not so much I mind dooming it to the traditional resolution process.

Last New Year’s I made my first resolution of my adult life by committing time to write every day for fun.

Carving out a daily hour or two isn’t easy. Everybody around here revs up early, and in order to have me-time, I have to get up earlier. I’m no more a morning person than I am a resolution person.

That being said, I’m on track to have written nearly every day from January on. Rather than losing steam, I’m more energized than ever. No more dreaming up something good, then forgetting it when it worms its way out of my head before I can pay attention.

I’m going to do the resolution-thing again. I’ll continue to keep things modest, though, in case 2013 was a fluke. I’m not going to jinx something important by pledging to tackle it. Sorry middle-east peace process, climate change, or twerking. You’re off the list.

Last year my resolution was self-improvement based. This year I’m going to focus outward. Here’s what I’ve decided:

I will be prompt. This may seem to be another self-improvement resolution, but it’ll make life a lot better for more than just me. With the kids a little older, able to put on their own coats and wipe their own butts (in theory), it’s doable. I don’t have to dress anyone but myself, put anyone in a car seat, pack a diaper bag, gather spare changes of clothing, snacks or bottles.

My chronic lateness is embarrassing, and actually only rarely the kids’ fault. In fact, they’re more likely to be on time if they’re not waiting on me. The handful of times anybody was tardy for school, it was on me.

It doesn’t help that I stopped wearing a watch some time ago when I read a magazine article that listed wearing a watch as a sign you’re old. Young people don’t need to wear a watch. They carry cell phones (they also shave their bikini area). So…. goodbye watch, (hello razor burn). Youth before promptness (or a full bush), I always say.

I tell myself I’m tardy because I’m using every minute so efficiently I push the promptness envelope in order to get that ever elusive one-more-thing done. What can I tidy up on my way through the room? I’ll let the dog out once more before my appointment. Can I run by the bank on my way to this meeting?

Mostly, though, I’m just kind of lazy. And I don’t wear a watch.

Not Steve
Not Steve

I will call others by name. I have a terrible memory. I can never remember names until long after my cheery “hey there!” when passing someone on the street.

I’m also insecure. What if I have a brain fart and call someone Sam when his name is Seth? Will he hate me forever?

Mike has a group of friends who do “guy stuff” together. Two out of maybe ten of them are bald. One of the bald guys is Steve. I’ve mistakenly called the wrong bald guy Steve more than once. Now they’re all just Steve. Or Richard. Richard with the goatee. They think I’m a dingbat, but I tell myself that it’s in a charming way, so it’s okay.

Calling someone by name conveys that you care enough to remember their actual moniker. I do care. I do. I’m also usually thinking about several things at once, one of which is how in the Hell I’m going to get to where I have to be on time.

I’m working through all of it.

But if I run into you on the street this winter and I call you Steve, and you’re not Steve, take comfort in knowing that Steve is probably the name of the bald guy with whom I’m late to meet.

And lend me your watch.


A vote for this blog is a vote for all guys named Steve. Everywhere.


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