Tag Archives: resolutions

planes, trains, automobiles. . . but no ponies!

on my birthday, i received from my son joseph (facebook friend 61) a somewhat mystifying series of packages.   two maps, one of the world and another of the united states.  and a package of pushpins.  the accompanying note made the usual references to candles, wishes, years, many more, etc. and then “you know what to do with this”. . . which i thought i did.  i unrolled both maps, took out the datebooks from 2011 and from this year.

before i made the new year’s resolution to meet all my facebook friends and connect/reconnect in person, i was riddled with anxiety about leaving my house or leaving the little village of winnetka.  i still am. i have used cars, trains, planes, buses to see my friends–but never a pony.  maybe i need a pink one!

my first trips were within illinois or to neighboring states of indiana, michigan, wisconsin, iowa and missouri. i had eight friends in kearney, missouri. still do! each trip i tried to be efficient–sort of like going to the dry cleaner on the way to the grocery store and stopping at the gas station on the way back.

sometimes people who are solitary, shy, housebound for whatever reason can use facebook and other social networking sites to keep in touch with their friends and family.  in my case, i used facebook as a substitute for being with my friends and family.

on thursday, october 13, 2011 i flew from chicago to anchorage and drove southwest to the tip of the kenai peninsula to meet facebook friend 233 christy russ. we drank elderberry wine and ate fish that came from the harbor. the next morning caught a flight from anchorage to kotzebue and beyond to meet facebook friend 234 ian coglan in nome. i was amazed at how many bars and tanning salons that town has. by eight a.m. sunday morning i was back in chicago.  it’s hard to remember that this state is four times as big as texas!

i finished with the pushpins and asked joseph what he meant.  he said “you need to write a book about this and you need to do it now.”  i said yes, i will.  i’d like to.  he said, “no, mom, i am serious. you need to get started.”  i said yes, i will.  he said, “i mean it, stop traveling for a bit and write this.”  i said i’m worried about whether i can find a publisher.  he said “you need to just stop thinking and worrying and just do it.”  i asked where did you learn to nag like this?  and he said “from you, of course.”

the best way to make a resolution to do something is to tell your friends and family and ask them to make you accountable.  whether it’s losing weight, stopping the love affair with the nicotine sticks or the bottle, or meeting every facebook friend.  so i am asking you–will you help make me accountable?

if you’re shaking with fear, i am too!

so last year right around this time i couldn’t leave the house.  i was scared.  i had scared myself witless by making a new years eve resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends.

it would take a lot to get me to leave the house. you might have a phobia that everyone knows about or that you keep to yourself. it might sound silly to others or to yourself but it's real. okay, except maybe freddy krueger in my house isn't. . .


so i hope you have made a resolution.  something about yourself that you want to change.  something that defeats you, makes you feel like you’re not as good as others, that paralyzes you.  i want you to figure out a specific goal that will show you once and for all that you are strong.  make it a very specific goal and write it down.  and then go tell every one of your friends. . . some of them will laugh, some of them will shrug their shoulders like it’s no big deal.

but some of your friends already know what this means to you.  and they are the ones who will tell you that you CAN!  


i want to know your resolution.  you can email me, you can comment, you can friend me on facebook and tell me about it.  but i want to know what it is.  and if it’s that you want to leave your house, i want you to tell me too!

one of my new facebook friends messaged me that his sister is getting married in march.  he’s housebound and most of his family assumes he won’t be able to go to the wedding.  much less dance at the wedding.  which is something he’d really like to do.  i hope he emails me today to tell me that he has visualized himself having fun at the reception, or that he’s visited the website of the church so that he’s familiar with the layout, or even that he called his sister and asked her to show him some of her wedding preparations.  just one thing.  tomorrow is soon enough for step two.

i spent the first week of january last year unsure of what to do to reach my goal.  to visit a friend in the philippines?  to see someone in nome, alaska?  to travel to new york city?  325 friends, all in one year?  time for the blindfold.

pick one small thing you can do today and write down immediately what you did.  and tell me about it.  

the first day i started working on my resolution, i visited one friend.  my younger son eastman.  we went out onto the front porch and smoked cigarettes.  i know, not a very good thing for a mom to do but i really felt that i was getting one step closer.  just 324 more friends, i thought.

if i had thought too much about how many countries i would visit and how many times i would shut the door on my house and leave i couldn't have done it.


so pick the first step for today.  one tiny tiny thing that gets you an inch closer to your goal. 

my goal this year is to take what i learned about last year and make this YOUR year.  to write and share about my experiences.  to give back what my friends gave me in 2011, namely their support and their time and their energy.

so tell me about your goal, tell me about what you did today.

someone else’s new years resolution

it is very easy to let email, facebook, linkedin, skype, myspace, and twitter do the friendship work for you.  you exchange news, seek advice, share gossip.  and then when you make plans to get together, you wonder “when was the last time. . . ?”  and it’s been five years.  this is friendship pattern is especially true for people in theater.  they can have really intense relationships while they’re working on a show and then things continue computerliciously until the next show. 

stephanie hurovitz, f2fb friend #163, is a professional stage manager.  she was the manager for eastman’s last play, oh, just about five years ago.  when i asked her what she was passionate about, what she’d like to share with me, i never expected this.  it’s her secret superpower and one day the world will be threatened by a meteor (or aliens or maniacal psychopaths or the collapse of the imf) and only stephanie can save us. . . .

stephanie was excited about my new years resolution but she confessed to a resolution that she had recently abandoned:  to have thirty one dates before her thirty first birthday which is in february.  she’s so busy juggling work commitments that seemed difficult.  i understand why she gave up on it.  but she had already gone on sixteen dates and it’s only just now reaching the halfway point on the year. 

what if she readjusted the resolution so that she had to finish it by new years?  that’s just fifteen dates!

by the way, i turned out to be sooooooooo great at tap.  in face, i tap dance so fast you can’t even see my feet move!

the instructor, debra giunta of designdance, said i should consider the possibility of further lessons because tap dance is the easier for an old person to pick up as opposed to, say, ballet.  as i leafed through a catalogue for wheelchairs and walkers, i watched debra and stephanie work through some steps.

for my new years resolution, i am astonished by the faith and encouragement i’ve been receiving, as well as “chaperone” and logistics help.  i really appreciate everybody who opens up their homes, their tap dance lessons, their lives to me.  so i want to do everything to help stephanie with her resolution.  if you have anybody who would be a good candidate for mr. 16, mr. 17, mr. 18, etc., email their stats to me! 

i’m off to see the first ex-wife of my first and only ex-husband.  there’s a story about how grace, not facebook, brought us together!