While spring-cleaning a few days ago, I came across my old diary that had been with me since January 2004. Curious as to what I had submitted to its pages, I decided to flip through it. I was in for a big shock! I had been using the same diary for the last four years, and had hardly written anything. In fact, last year's entry was only six pages; and in one of those six pages I had specifically mentioned I'd be writing much more the following year. So much for my resolution!
But I refused to let my spirits be dampened. After all I was only a few months late and, like the wise sages say, it's never too late to start. Spring is in the air. I believe I can definitely follow through on my resolution.
I tried to think of new tricks and tactics to remind me to write every day; like keeping my journal in full view -- right on top of my bedside table -- so that, every night before going to bed, I would remember to write in it. That should have worked but for the fact that I found myself conveniently bypassing the journal and reaching towards a more attractive display, The Dowry Bride, instead.
"I'll definitely write after reading a chapter or two," I say to myself in an attempt to appease my guilty conscience. Unfortunately, one chapter follows another and many more until I can no longer keep awake. Before I shut off the lights I promise myself, 'Tomorrow is another day and I shall definitely write.'
Now that was about my writing resolution, but what about the others?
Looking at my record of keeping and sticking to my resolutions, this year I didn't make any. Instead, I tried a watered down approach -- like jotting down a 'to-do' list.' 'To-do' lists can be ticked off slowly at your own pace and need not be as rigid as 'resolutions.' Besides, they don't make you feel as guilty. That's what I thought when I wrote the number one resolution to 'lose weight' followed by (2) diet and (3) exercise.
But my diet or exercise is yet to begin. January was a slow month and February went by too fast. As did March. After the holiday goodies and merry-making, the body will take some time to adjust, don't you think? Maybe investing in an exercise machine would help.
Looking at a five speed high-tech exercise bike sitting in my living room might make me want to use it a little; or maybe enrolling at a fitness club might do the trick, the membership fees should be incentive enough, I hoped.
I had read somewhere that buying beautiful dresses or outfits one or two sizes smaller really motivates one to lose weight. Sadly, the unworn outfits in my closet are testimony enough to how motivated I was!
Maybe diet or exercise isn't my thing. However, eating healthy, portion-controlled meals everyday might be the key.
A visit to the health-food store got me all excited and I came back home with an armload of high-fibre vegetables and almost all variety of greens. Presentation is the key, I thought and so, whatever portion-controlled meal I served, I tried to present it with great flair and an appealing look!
But, instead of being a mouth-watering meal, it turned out be eye-watering (grief!). After combating stern faces and mutinous looks from my husband and children, I gave up; the effort was just not worth it.
Getting rid of clutter is another item that is on my list. The other day, while trying to clean my closet, I realized just how much junk I had accumulated; in a cleaning spree, I took whatever was not appealing and put it away in a garbage bag in an attempt to create some space. My daughter, however, peeked into the bag and took half of the stuff out.
"Mom! You can't throw these away; I love this dress. Oh! Look at that! That's my old sketch book! And tell me you weren't thinking of giving away Mr Snowman?"
So now I have decided to take it easy. Well, let me rephrase that a bit. I won't be taking it so easy that I won't get anything done; it will be more like will-take-my own-time-to-do-it easy. After all it's only April... December is still quite far behind!
Ruby, mother of Sreoshy, 17 and Urvashi, 10, is a homemaker and freelance writer who lives in New Jersey.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh