Writers’ Page – April 2024

New Year’s Resolutions

Michelle McComber

It’s gotten so that my New Year’s resolution was not to make any New Year’s resolutions. Does anyone ever keep them longer than six hours? Then I feel guilty for at least a month for not being able to commit to something for even a day.

You can almost categorize resolutions by age: In my 20s I vowed to lose 10 kilos. In my 30s I vowed to save money. In my 40s I vowed not to yell at my children. In my 50s I vowed to drink less and/or smoke less. In my 60s I vowed to spend more time talking to my wife.

Now all I want is to be left alone with my brandy, without any feelings of guilt for what I did or did not promise to do.

I’m not saying that a little self-introspection is bad. One year I had reams of paper to help me with an hourly approach for a self-help system that was going to make me a better man. I had exercise time, I had breakfast time, I had off-minutes in my day filled with meditation to help me ease the stress of daily life. I had spent a lot of time thinking about it, but within a week I was back to my old routines and facing my wife’s smirk as I stomped the “new me” into the garbage can.

“What’s wrong with the old me?” I muttered under my breath. And there we have it: What is wrong with the old things?

True, the only constant in life is change itself, but I want to make a case for the traditions I have developed in my life. I love the quiet beginning of the day, when only I’m awake and downstairs and maybe the sun hasn’t even come up. Then someone else will get up and the TV inevitably gets turned on.

I love being able to look things up as soon as I think of them on my smartphone. Years ago, I would have to wait to go to the library to check the encyclopedias.

I love that everyone makes an effort towards inclusion these days. People trying to make communities that are multicultural means that we are accepted for who we are, not some two-dimensional symbol of what we were supposed to be. Being a WASP (White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant) in my youth didn’t stop the bullies from taking my lunch money.

And it is true that I don’t really understand the music trends these days, but my parents didn’t understand my music tastes or my fashion sense, either. I think that is a healthy sign that younger people want to be independent and make their own world, even their own mistakes.

So, I think the point is just to be a better person than you were last year, and leave the world a better place than you found it.

When I Tell You

Lani Matsui

It’s telling you how eternally grateful I am that you’re sharing your life with me, because perhaps it’s knowing that long before this world was, we promised we’d meet here. It’s telling you how much I enjoy our adventures exploring and learning as well as those times we sit side by side in quiet. It’s telling you how safe I feel sharing with you my joyful times as well as those times my heart is breaking. It’s telling you that I trust completely that you will always be honest with me when I ask a question of you.

It’s telling you how much I appreciate your humor and how you make me laugh. It’s telling you how I love your amazingly sensitive and thoughtful ways.

It’s telling you how my soul sees the light in yours, and of how I feel we’re two imperfect beings trying to be perfect. It’s telling you how much I miss you when we’re apart.