While I was on vacation, I drove past a milk farm. It was like many milk farms in South Dakota except for one big difference: this milk farm invited paying “guests” to stay at the farm and help with the milking chores. What brilliant soul came up with this ingenious plan!
I was thinking about it today, as I was swabbing away in my spare bedroom downstairs,otherwise known as “Stefanie’s Room.” I have been painting in there for a few days and it’s been quite a lot of work, considering I painted floor, trim and walls. It occured to me that instead of doing that, I should have had a “painting party” where people would pay a cover charge at the door to come in and paint for all the iced tea they could drink. Oh, well, too late now; I’ve finished. If you happen to come and take a look at it, you will be required to say that you like the color, whether you do or not. I’m not going to change it anytime soon!
It may seem a strange way to spend a birthday, painting a bedroom, but I found it very therapeudic. I actually celebrated my birthday with my children last weekend, so getting something constructive done around the house seemed like a good plan. I had a chance to get a chore done that I hadn’t been looking forward to, and I had a chance to do some thinking; make some decisions.
Most people do New Year’s Resolutions. I, prefering to be different, make my resolutions on my birthday. This year, the theme of my resolutions is less and more.
I plan to spend more time enjoying my children and grandchildren and less time trying to figure out how to run their lives. I worry more about what they are doing than I do enjoying the very wonderful qualities they possess and the very wonderful time I get with them. Even as I think about them, I can’t help but smile–how lucky I am to have them!
I plan to be less attached to television and more willing to write. I love writing, but sometimes, television gets in the way. There’s little of worth or value on the major networks. Who wants to watch another situation comedy which is mostly about cutting other people down, or another cursed “reality show,” which is nothing but an insult to my intelligence. In between those are the commercials, first telling me what I can take for my latest ailment (accompanied by a mile-long list of the completely unacceptable side effects) and then telling me who I can sue because, surprise, surprise, some of these medications are worse than the disease they purport to cure!
I end up watching the old reruns, which as enjoyable as they are, I have seen before. Less television and more time writing. I love to write and I’m in the middle of a book about a South Dakota town, while I am busily begging book agents to ignore the fact that they’ve never heard of me and read the book I already have completed. Believe it or not, this is a fun and enjoyable process; I just need to do more of it and be less annoyed by television!
I want to spend less money on material things and more on charity or in other places it might do some good. I cleaned my refrigerator and was appalled by the number of spoiled things I threw out. I need to be as careful as I can not to waste food in a world where so many are starving and try to distribute more to people who need it. What I buy should be immediately useful and there will be less waste. I don’t feel guilty about having enough of the world’s goods to survive, but I do think I have an obligation to help others if I can.
I have all of the usual more exercise and less eating resolutions. The older I get, the more important it seems to preserve my health. However, one thing that would improve my health would be if the amount of propaganda would reduce. I think George Washington was a true prophet because he predicted that the advent of political parties in the government would cause rifts that would harm the nation. If I have to look at one more political piece of rhetoric from Democrats, Republicans or any other party I may spontaneously combust. So this year, I’m making it my goal to be less attentive to those who are telling me what is wrong and who to blame and be more attentive to what can be done to make our nation healthy, solid and forward-moving.
Perhaps it was the smell of the paint, or the day of solitary introspection, but whatever it was, I’m grateful for the conclusions I have made. I had a good day, a happy day and now, I have all my resolutions set and a newly-painted bedroom besides. I can’t do better than that!