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Be it resolved…

I understand Kate’s resistance to New Year resolutions. We start every year on a diet very strict about processed and sugary foods, and somehow by late January I find myself with a Marshmallow Peep in my mouth. I’ve also never been much for “resolutions” that didn’t do much for anyone; nothing is particularly affected if I don’t learn to yodel or forget to teach our cats to swim.

But I have been thinking how I want 2008 to end — for me, but also for this planet — and what my role in that should be, so I do have several resolutions.

Help elect a president who can lead this country. I don’t know how I will do my part here (or even who this candidate will be), but it’s by leaps and bounds my most important goal for 2008. If I don’t do my part here, then nothing else matters.

Create a smaller carbon footprint for myself and for others. After I saw An Inconvenient Truth, I went on a website that assesses carbon footprints, smug that mine would be even smaller than my size-5 feet. I live sensibly, drive an efficient car, and have a short commute (at the time, I commuted to my office on the patio). To my shock, I’m a bit of a pig, and my excess is all due to air travel. I think I can do my best work here by helping ALA become an association that doesn’t require people to fly cross-country to “attend a meeting.”

Keep improving my writing. My friend Marie once commented that writing every day works a special writing muscle. I am now writing several days per week, but I want to pick up the tempo — even if it means writing for fifteen minutes. To that goal I add taking at least one class, attending at least one conference, and focusing on placing four pieces.  I also will continue reading good writing and participating in my beloved workshops, and will teach at least two workshops.

Make people at work smile every day. Whether it’s because I’ve done a good job on a critical task, or because I remembered to thank someone, or simply because I’m being friendly, I want to make at least one person smile every day.

Improve my fitness. By next September I want to be able to run the entire way from my house to Lafayette Street.  I’ll do some of this running during nasty hot humid weather, but that’s life. I’ll run very early or very late if I have to.

Pray a little more. If I can add one more prayer to my life every week, that will be over 50 prayers I’ve added to my life by 2009. Praying has never harmed me, and often it’s helped me — particularly when I am praying for others, which reminds me that every life is important and that we are all in this together.

Happy New Year, one and all!

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