Time Flies …

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. ~ Groucho Marx

We started working as gate guards Top Secret Agents 2 years and 5 days ago. Wow!

Time flies… sometimes. The thing about being a TSA is that time carries no inherent sense of proportion. Time flies, time drags, time stands still.

I almost never know what day of the week it is, sometimes I don’t remember what month it is and the year is mostly entirely irrelevant (apart from log sheets) which I’ll have to remember to change to 2013 today.

Today is the one day of the year, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, that nearly half of all Americans, will make resolutions. Not too many will keep them, only about 8%. But today, and for about a week, a lot of folks will feel overwhelmingly optimistic! 😀

 _______________________________________________
Statistic Verification
Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology
Published: 12.13.2012
Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012
1
Lose Weight
2
Getting Organized
3
Spend Less, Save More
4
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5
Staying Fit and Healthy
6
Learn Something Exciting
7
Quit Smoking
8
Help Others in Their Dreams
9
Fall in Love
10
Spend More Time with Family
News Years Resolution Statistics Data
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions 17%
Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Percent who have infrequent success 49%
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions) Data
Self Improvement or education related resolutions 47%
Weight related resolutions 38%
Money related resolutions 34%
Relationship related resolutions 31%
Age Success Rates Data
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year 39%
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year 14%
Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%

_____________________________________________________

Funny conclusion in the center of the study: People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions. OK…

That seems a lot like saying people who set goals are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t set any. Goals and resolutions aren’t exactly the same, though. Goals are mundane. Goals lack that sparkly magical thinking of a Special Resolution Holiday. Dave Barry shares some insights on NYR’s.

No, seriously, you need to make some New Year’s resolutions so that you can become a better you — a more-attractive you, an organized you, a you that is … well, less like you.

At this point, you are saying: “Dave, I would love nothing better than to be less like myself, but every year I make the same New Year’s resolution, which is that I will lose weight, and currently my thighs are the diameter of the trans-Alaska pipeline.”

Don’t feel bad! Many people have trouble sticking to their resolutions, and there is a simple scientific explanation for this. In 1987, a team of psychologists conducted a study in which they monitored the New Year’s resolutions of 275 people. After one week, the psychologists found that 92 percent of the people were keeping their resolutions; after two weeks, we have no idea what happened, because the psychologists had quit monitoring. They’d lost their motivation.

I have some goals. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. This is probably just as well since the study says that the number of people over the age of 50 who are successful in maintaining their resolve tops out at 14%.

I don’t know if that’s because we’re more realistic or more forgetful? But that’s not why I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t make NYR’s because of my propensity to procrastinate.

What if I waited until January 1st to set about meeting new goals and then procrastinated? I’d have to wait  a whole year until it was time to resolve again. Instead, I try to set small goals, daily resolutions. Things like:

Today I’m going to…

  • be a little kinder
  • be more generous in my thoughts toward those with whom I disagree
  • learn something odd (makes conversations more interesting) 😀
  • read/watch things that makes me look at different perspectives
  • laugh out loud
  • smile at everyone – even cranky people – especially cranky people
  • beat Henry in Cribbage (well, maybe not this year – he’s very good)

I like small resolutions – little things, doable things. It works for me and when I follow through, time flies! And as Kemit says:

Time’s fun when you’re having flies. ~ Kermit the Frog

The Four Seasons (Minus Three)

I have an affection for those transitional seasons, the way they take the edge off the intense cold of winter, or heat of summer. ~Whitney Otto

Seasons… I’ve been thinking about seasons because I keep forgetting which one I’m in. I miss having real seasons. Back in the Midwest I knew what month it was because I could see and smell and touch Spring (lilacs and crocus) and Summer (fireflies and freeze tag) and Fall (bonfires and a potpourri of colors) and Winter (snowflakes and hot chocolate).

As a TSA in southern TX, I only know what month it is by seeing which holiday cards Hallmark is selling or what gaudy items Walmart has on the end racks or from the ads on TV. However, since I record more than I watch, I’ve learned not to rely too heavily on the TV. Last night I saw an ad encouraging me to take advantage of Back to School sales.

I don’t seem to be alone in this state of un-seasonal confusion. A few days ago, when it was 85 degrees, someone wrote 7/7/12 on the TS log and from then on – for hours – everyone else did the same. It was August for most of a day that first week in December on paper and on the thermometer.

But tonight is something special. We’re having a brief bit of cool weather. Tonight, and for the next 2 nights, the prediction is for temps to be right at freezing (which isn’t freezing as in terribly cold – just freezing as in 32 degrees Fahrenheit).

Some folks here love it. Some, not so much. Some, especially those who have never been north of Dallas, (no kidding – never, ever) started wearing stocking caps and coats when it got down in the 50’s at night. I couldn’t even get my kids to wear coats to school in the middle of the real winter in Iowa and people here are wearing Down Jackets when it dips below 60!

It’s 31 wonderful degrees right now. Some nights, after hours of looking longingly at the fake fireplace, I turn it on just for ambiance. But tonight, Henry VIII and I are enjoying the real heat from the real blower above the very fake logs!

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year. ~ Texas

This is really a quote by Edna St. Vincent Millay but she could be speaking as Texas where it is perpetually summer. My heart longs for the full four seasons … fleetingly.

Mostly I just miss Spring and Fall which only last about 3 weeks each, but they’re such glorious weeks! And at Christmas time, I miss snow – just for a few days.

If you love Winter (the real Winter), or if you miss snow just a little, or if you’re happy to say you don’t have to shovel rain (or caliche), or just because it’s great music, I hope you enjoy this is a new video by The Piano Guys (ironically featuring just the cello guy). May this be your perfect snow fix – no shoveling required!

Halloween’s Unintentional Ghouls

There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch. ~Robert Brault

This is my second Halloween as a TSA deep in the heart of an unnamed location. Later on today we’ll be passing out candy to the boys, who don’t wear costumes, and we’ll bake some colorful cupcakes.

Last year, we were in the midst of a drought down here in the south and there wasn’t a pumpkin to be found! This year, while not plentiful, a few popped up at the grocery store and Walmart.

For some reason, I like to carve pumpkins. I don’t know why since I have no artistic ability and I insist on drawing my own faces, even though they aren’t cool and artsie like most of the stenciled pumpkins nowadays.

SAH has no interest in this activity but she puts up with me, just like my love for coloring eggs at Easter. She was very kind about procuring my pumpkins and even had the stock boy dig through dozens to find two that still had stems.

I thought about a week ahead seemed like good timing for pumpkin carving.

I was wrong. For starters, when I cut them open they were empty – really. Just a few seeds and strings. I don’t now if they have a different strain of pumpkins here in the Big state or if these two were just malnourished. It did make the scooping out go a lot faster, though.

They look pretty regular for the first few nights.

Then, they began to simply fall in on themselves.

I think they’re only a day or two away from squishy.

They’ve gone from grinning to ghoulish – not by design. Just by inertia. Today’s pumpkins will be tomorrow cattle fodder.

May Jack-o-lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the future’s veil and show
What fate now holds for you.
~Author Unknown

Maybe not so much with these fellows…