Setting new goals for 2011

By the time you read this the majority of New Year’s resolutions will have been cast aside like old shoes. It takes roughly 21 days to make — or break — a habit.

If you’re not careful you may have already lit up, eaten a second (or fifth) doughnut and expressed enough road rage to render your “be kind” motto useless.

No. I don’t set resolutions. The very word seems harsh. Wrong. Unachievable even. “Resolution” is a government term. “We hereby resolve to balance the budget” and so forth. We know how THOSE usually turn out.

Meaning

A resolution is, at best, an intention. Barely more than a hope, really. Sounds wishy washy if you ask me. I prefer goals. A goal is something concrete. A target. Let’s be honest here. I’m not going to set a lot of lofty plans to better myself. At my age, this is probably as good as I’m going to get. My goals for 2011 are thus: To get and be healthy.

Clearly, “healthy” is a euphemism for “lose weight” but get healthy sounds virtuous. “Lose weight” sounds vain. Being vain I prefer to use the former in hopes of sounding “deep.” In some circles it is considered shallow to admit that your second chin — rather than world peace — has begun to consume your thoughts.

Speaking up

Not that I’m the shy, retiring type. It could even be said that I rarely, if ever, shut up. Speaking is something I already do incessantly. By “speak” I do not mean the kind of idle chatter I inflict on those near and dear and strangers alike.

No, I mean actually make a conscious effort to get up in front of people and say things that sound smart and, with any luck, witty. In the past I have been invited to speak in public. Why I do not know.

There is a widespread belief that if a person is funny on paper then they must be a real stitch in real life. In reality, writing tends to be a solitary, in-your-pajamas kind of endeavor and I fear that the surest way to feel stupid, clunky and dull as dishwater is to have someone say “oh I just know you’re even FUNNIER in real life!”

Sometimes just thinking of the effort required to become presentable enough to appear anywhere near a podium is enough to worry me right out of the thing.

As a result I have always responded to these gracious opportunities by adopting a deer in the headlights gaze and freezing up completely. “Oh no!” I say. “I couldn’t possibly make it on that date. Or any date. Ever.”

No more. Be brave I say! This year I am planning to speak to people, in groups and on purpose and not just if they get stuck in line behind me at the grocery store.

Bats

My main goal for 2011 is to continue to love, laugh, and share. I would also like to have marginally less bats.

I realize you all enjoy reading about bats more than just about anything. Bat columns are among my most heavily cited of my body of work. Still, I would like to put this topic to bed. Presumably OUTSIDE of my house.

This does not mean I ‘ll change my writing style. Oh no. I’ll still be the same scattered writer you’ve come to know or at least tolerate with your morning coffee. Maybe this could be the year I write about how much I MISS the bats?

When dealing with wildlife I think a goal would be to branch out, although I would like the record to reflect that I prefer to avoid vermin, termites, snakes or bees. Why am I never infested with kittens?

My goals for 2011 are all set. Eat less, walk more and speak up. If you see me out and about be sure to shout “get moving!” and follow me to a talk. I’ll be the slightly out of shape woman, talking about bats.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt wishes everyone a blessed 2011. She welcomes comments c/o lifeoutloud@comcast.net; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or www.KymberlyFosterSeabolt.com.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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