Monday 29 December 2008


Well, it would be wouldn't it? On December 29th, one's thoughts may well turn to resolutions. But I do know I am not the only one to decide that the only reliable resolution is not to make resolutions. However, that, by now, is so unoriginal that I am rising to the challenge and making some that will stand, anyway,a bit of a chance of being kept.

The first and most far-reaching is to kick in to touch the concept of 'for now'. It will do 'for now' I say as I push another jumper in to the drawer without folding it properly and without stacking it, colour-related, on top of its cousins. Throwing things in to the bottom of the wardrobe because you "haven't time" to find another hanger and hang it up and it will do 'for now' is another from-now-on no-no. The fridge is another trap for the procrastinator. A milk bottle is clearly at risk of falling over in the too tight space in the door, but it will do 'for'now'. Of course it won't as you find out when you open the door and it falls in to your arms.
Milk, blood and rice are the very Devil to clean up don't you find?
The other day, I made up my face without much care, thinking, as you have guessed, "that'll do for now" and was invited out to lunch, spontaneously, no time for repairs, by people I would rather have had a proper face on for.

On reflection, many examples do seem to be to do with tidiness and keeping house. I rather like those domestic things and really, truly, definitely I am making a resolution to put things away where they should go and not dump them in a pile, however tidily, just for now. In the melee, fracas, bedlam, whatever word you think would best fit to describe Christmas with many - actually, several - people in a small house, it is certainly a test of one's taste for housework: the' for-now' principal was a very tempting quick-fix. However,as we speak, I can't find anything that I put somewhere "just for now". I have lost two DVDs and a leather notebook embossed with "Profound Thoughts". My hope is that they were muddled up with gifts the visitors took away with them and they will re-surface in due course. Since the visitors do not hail from the UK the things may not re-surface until next Christmas. Oh well, resolution number two, more acceptance, more tolerance.

I think I have spent far too much of the last 75 years trying to put things right, or righter, and/or fretting when I couldn't. That will be the 40year old, who still has that kind of energy and evangelism. I am resolved not to wear myself out trying to replace a broken glass with an identical one. I will tolerate five of one sort and one of another on my table. I am blessed with household help and I have decided to put up with the fact that light bulbs are never dusted or, better still, hoist myself up and dust them myself. What will it matter in the longer scheme of things? The concept of 'Good Enough' is one that I have lived and worked with for what seems like forever, but, suddenly I see that there is a tension between that and the 'for now' syndrome. How can I reconcile giving up 'for now' with 'Good Enough'? I know: 'for now' simply isn't usually good enough. 'For now' is a postponement of best effort; 'good enough' is acceptance of having given ones best effort. Whew: that's a relief .

Last one, anyway for to-day: I am resolved to be more tolerant of other people's life choices. If a dear friend chooses to ally herself to a person some of whose properties I can't, personally appreciate, it is up to me to behave as if I do appreciate them. I do have a much too finely honed insight in to what people are like and what they may prefer not to have me know about them. It is a very uncomfortable trait I'd rather be without. Someone once likened it to being a painter who sees twelve shades of green in a leaf, where I would see only one, but, although it can be maddening for me, I can see twelve 'beneath the surface characterisitics' where I would much rather see only what I was expected to see. That doesn't give me licence to react to the bits under the surface rather than to the public presentation. Ok, OK: I can hear you: I am resolved to improve my manners. That's all that that comes down to. There you are. See you soon.

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