Showing posts with label New Year's Resolutions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Year's Resolutions. Show all posts

Saturday, December 26, 2020

My Un-Resolutions

It's that time again.

The holidays are over and now it's time to look toward the New Year, a time when we are prone to make resolutions so we can be better people. I always want to be a better person, but back in 2016, I decided I was no longer going to make any New Year's Resolutions.  I mean, what's the point? If I decided I was going to cut down on my wine drinking, by January 2, I had a glass of wine in my hand.  If I decided I was going to lose weight, by January 2, I was eating a donut followed by some wine.  And if I decided to not spend any more money, by January 15, two boxes from Amazon arrived while I was drinking some wine.

So I decided to make "Un-Resolutions," resolutions about what I was NOT going to do in the New Year (and if you are interested, here is my original post about that from 2016 - "My New Year's Un-Resolutions." )

But now time has passed and much has happened since 2016. 

First of all, was I able to keep my "Un-Resolutions" from 2016?

Sort of.

I didn't gain any more weight.  In fact, I lost weight.  When I get stressed, I stop eating, and moving back to my hometown after 14 years away was stressful, so since making that un-resolution, I actually lost weight.

If you read that original post, on numbers 2,3,4,7 and 8, I confess that I didn't do so well, because the state of the world has deteriorated quite a bit since then, but I have kept my resolutions to NOT stop watching TV (good thing, since the pandemic, what else is there to do?), and I have completely given up on Oprah discovering my blog.

But even though I was not able to keep all of my un-resolutions from 2016, that doesn't mean I'm not going to continue on my "un-resolutions" resolution. It just means more have come to mind, so if you will indulge me, here are some new Un-Resolutions for the coming year.

I will NOT send out Christmas cards anymore.

With everything that has happened, this holiday season doesn't put me in a celebratory mood.  For one thing, not everyone celebrates Christmas and who needs the added stress of sending out Christmas cards before Christmas when there is so much to do and so little to do after Christmas when nothing much happens?  

So if you have been on my Christmas card list and thought I wasn't thinking of you because you didn't receive a Christmas card from me this year, you would be wrong.  I am thinking of you.  I'm just not sending you a card. But if I had sent you a card, this is the one I would have sent you!

I will NOT be a victim of a scam.

For awhile there, I thought I was on the "lonely old lady" list.  

I was getting Facebook friend requests from men in uniform practically every day. I would have been flattered except for the fact that they all had strange names, and when I looked at their FB pages, they had no friends! So I realized they weren't attracted to little old me, more like little old me's money.

But this is a real thing.  Many people of a certain age are targeted, so you know the drill.  Never give out personal information to an email, even if it LOOKs legit. The banks and PayPal are particular targets of these bad guys.  Go to the bank's or credit card's web page or call them.  Likewise, never give out personal info on the phone.  For example, the Social Security office is NOT going to call you.  I mean, c'mon, really?  You actually think a live person from the Social Security Administration is going to pick up the phone and give you a personal call? You can barely reach a live person in that department even if you go to their office!

I will NOT impulse buy. 

After two (or more) glasses of wine, I sometimes get the urge to hop onto Amazon on the computer and buy the latest item showcased on "Shark Tank." 

And then while sipping my glass of wine, I might think of something else I need.

It's just so easy to hit that old "Buy Now" button. Sip.  It makes me feel good that Amazon knows who I am, where I live, my credit card number. It's just all so easy.  Sip.  But, no. No, no, no. Sip. 

When Hubby's snoring keeps me awake, I will NOT give him a big nudge and yell in his face "Stop snoring!"  

Though it is highly efffective, it is not very nice and scares the crap out of Hubby.

I am NOT going to do any more remodeling ever again.  

When we moved to our current home a few years ago, we redid all of the bathrooms, the kitchen, added hardwood and a gas fireplace, and believe it or not, before we moved we had just renovated the kitchen of that other house... and then we TWO kitchen remodels in the space of a year.  

It's nice to have a brand new kitchen or bathroom, but the getting there is soul destroying. So I have instructed my kids to shoot me if I say I want to redo the kitchen or bathroom ever again even though we need new windows, new flooring, it sure would be nice to paint... Stop it, Rosy!  (You can relive my pain here if you want to - "My New Kitchen, or How I Survived a Kitchen Remodel.")

I am NOT going to use cooking as therapy anymore. 

You see, when I am at loose ends, I tend to cook. 

Like really cook...A LOT.  I like to try various recipes, like three or four at a time.  You see, for me, it's not so much about eating the food, it's more about making the food and tasting the food, so then when I am done, there is a lot of food that somebody has to eat.  My cooking forays are usually following by Hubby shouting, "Who's going to eat all of this food?"  Oops.

I am NOT going to stop exercising, even though my gym closed and I am tired of going for walks.

In the meantime, I have taken up YouTube exercise videos for old folks, some of which are a major hoot, especially the ones on yoga.  However, I can't believe how difficult really easy yoga is. I can't even keep up with 80-year-old Betty who is trying to teach me from the living room in her trailer.  And no, I refuse to do chair yoga. How can you do yoga in a chair?  And anyway, that's for really old, creaky people, but geez.  I can barely get down on the floor anymore without feeling like a beached whale. And getting back up?  Forget it.  But I will carry on as long as I can.

I will NOT watch "The Bachelor" when the new season starts in January.

I have never missed a "Bachelor" or "Bachelorette" in all the years it has aired on television, even though as time went by I felt like I needed to take a shower after watching. I know.  How could someone as erudite as myself watch such a show? Well, um, I am one of those people who has a sort of perverted loyalty to things.  Even though I don't really want to watch, I feel since I had started and already given this show so many years of my life, I needed to continue or somehow I would miss something or even feel guilty for giving up on it.  I know, it's a strange obsession that explains why I still watch "The Challenge" on MTV and "Sister Wives!" 

"The Challenge" is a reality show starring ex-reality stars, most of whom were on "Real World (another obsession, but in my defense one of the original of all reality shows)" and some other MTV shows and was meant to give out-of-work MTV reality kids something to do. The contestants go through a series of physical challenges to win money.  Funny thing is, though, this show has been going on for so long that some of those "kids" are no longer kids. In fact, they are probably grandparents by now.  As for "Sister Wives," I can't explain that one.  

But anyway, I know I need to break this addiction to certain reality shows, starting with "The Bachelor," but then, just when I am going to take it out of my taping queue, I think, okay, I would miss the really crazy girl that is always a part of the show every season and the host saying "This will be the most dramatic Bachelor ever" and then I think, okay, I will just watch the first episode...

I am NOT going to yell at Hubby for playing his harmonica when I am trying to watch "The Bachelor..."

... er, I mean, when I am trying to watch my usual very intellectual and serious  television fare, like PBS or the news or "60 Minutes."  Hubby is a really talented musician and plays the harmonica well, but we live in a small home, and I just don't like the sound of a harmonica that much and have been known to yell "Knock it off!" I will NOT do that anymore. But I think I come by that naturally, as they say.  My Dad was a musician and played the trumpet and my mother made him practice down in the basement.  At least, I don't do that.  Wait, we don't have a basement!

I am NOT going to get on a plane for awhile, though, I also do NOT plan on giving up on travel.

I have a Swedish cousin whom I love, and who, when our son did his foreign exchange in Sweden, looked after him.  She and her husband, Lars, meet up with us every time we go to Europe, so I don't want to think I will never do that again.

(Dublin 2017)

I have documented my many European trips on this blog, everything from Sweden to England to Ireland to Italy, Venice, Prague, Reykjavic, and more.  It's my jam, so give me that damn vaccine and I'm on a plane outta here!

I will NOT get the virus.

Even though I am bored stiff, I am staying home more and, when I do go out, I stay away from people and with all of the new viruses to worry about I might wear a mask even though it messes up my hair, gives me acne and makes me look stupid. But I am doing my part to not get the virus and to make sure others don't get it either.

2022 update:  I did get it!

I have also decided that I will NOT be held hostage by other people's agendas.  

All of this staying at home has given me plenty of time to reflect, on life, on my mortality, on relationships and how I am spending my time. 

I was taught that you are supposed to sacrifice for your loved ones, family and friends, that it's important to sometimes do things you don't really want to do, because you are doing them to make others happy. That's what family and friends should do. I still believe in that, but now that I have been face to face with the grim reality of my own mortality, and add to that the fact that I am old and have less time on this earth anyway, I will be less inclined and patient when led astray on someone else's journey. Among loved ones and true friends, there should be no jealousy or competitiveness. We should respect each other enough to be on time, to honor our commitments and to not bail on each other, to listen to them, to not be self-serving and thoughtless. Oh, and don't get me started on mansplaining and pompous asses. 

Even in the best of times, life is short, and the pandemic has shown us not only that life is short, but that anything can happen at any time.  Sadly, it has also exposed our true colors and many of our fellow humans have not stepped up to the plate to care for others.  I'm too old to put up with much these days, and especially after everything we have been through in the last few years, I want to spend what time I have left caring for others and with those who show they care.

Anyway, finally, I am NOT going to remember the last few years fondly, but I DO look forward to the New Year.  

Nothing like a global pandemic has ever happened in my lifetime, and I've been around for awhile, and I think we have all come out of it forever changed.  What I am hopeful about, though, is that we have come out of it changed for the better with more positive behavior - that we will be grateful to be alive and, because of that, we will have developed compassion for our fellow humans who have also been through this and that we will subsequently have a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. May we all NOT be self-serving and thoughtless.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thanks for reading!

See you again soon!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or wherever, or email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at 

And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

My Mother's Diary (and a Meaningful New Year's Resolution for You to Consider)

When my sister and I were clearing out my mother's house after her death in 1999 at the age of 91, I came across my mother's diary and brought it back home with me, and though I dabbled in reading it back then, it's only been lately that I decided to actually read it all.

Mark Twain said:

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

When we are young, we don't seem to give much thought to what is going on with our parents, who they are or whether or not they are happy.  We tend to take them for granted. Perhaps that is why we end up knowing so little about our parents. 

I actually don't think I gave my mother any credit for "learning" anything until I was in my 50's.  Oh, yes, I tried to talk to her from time to time and find out how she felt about things, but we were not only from very different generations but we were on a different wave length.

You see my mother was born in 1908 and she was 40 when I was born.  That puts me at 21 in 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War and the sexual, social and political revolution that was taking place around the world.  My mother had absolutely no idea what was going on with me and pretty much wanted me to stay her sweet little 1950's goody-two-shoes.  That wasn't going to happen.

But it wasn't all my fault.  I remember when I was in middle school, sitting on the edge of my parents' bed with my Dad and asking him why I didn't know him as well as my best friend.  Even then I was trying to make a connection between him as a Dad and him as a person. He said something about parents not wanting to worry their children, which looking back now, was an interesting comment.

I read something recently that said our children will never love us as much as we love them, and now that I have had children of my own, I understand that, and it actually gives me some strange comfort.  It's like it's not ME my children have rejected by not hanging on my every word or asking me if I am happy or not; it's the nature of things. Children just don't wonder if their parents are happy.  They are too busy wondering when they are going to be happy.  When we're young we take our parents for granted and don't really give them much thought unless they are getting in our way.  I literally know nothing about what really made my mother tick other than what she didn't like about ME.

Now as I near 70 I would give anything to have her here to ask her questions about her life and marriage.

But I have her diary.

The diary documents my mother's life from 1930 through 1933, age 22 to 25, which was also the time that my mother and dad were "courting (they married when they both were 26).

My mother's entries in her diary consist of mostly pretty mundane stuff.  Each entry was only a few lines per day, but I was able to glean some things I didn't know:

  • When I was growing up, my Dad was a musician and played trumpet in various bands right up until he died.  But I didn't realize how much he did that as a young man.  My mother is always mentioning in her diary that my Dad, Frederic, was playing this evening or that evening but it added up to quite a few evenings per week.  And he was also in college during that time.

  • My mother also talks about her friend, Rosella.  She is the person I am named after, and I didn't know anything about her because by the time I came along, she had moved away. Likewise, it was fun reading about my mother's other friends whom I only knew as old ladies.  I thought it was wonderful that my mother still had all of those friends all of her life.

  • I didn't realize how close my mother was to her own mother.  My mother's mother died when I was around five, so I don't remember her very well, but my mother talks lovingly of her in her diary.  I knew that her mother had gone back to Sweden to visit her family but had not realized it was for three months.  My mother writes in her diary, "Mother has been gone for a week and it seems like a year."  I think that was partly because my mother's older sister was married and no longer lived at home but her five brothers did, so looking after her Dad and her brothers probably fell to her.  I found it interesting that my mother had told me about an unsettling incident that had happened to her during that time her mother was away but no mention of it in her diary.

  • Reading my mother's diary, I was happy to see that my Dad was just as thoughtful a boyfriend as he was a Dad.  He was always writing her letters and giving her gifts and she called him "My darling" and "My Sweetheart" throughout the diary. That made me happy and sad at the same time.  It made me happy because they clearly loved each other when they were courting, but sad because it was clear to me growing up, that by the time I came along, my Mother and Dad were not that happy together.  Though their marriage lasted until my Dad's death - almost 60 years - something had gone wrong somewhere but I never found out what it was.

  • My Mother's diary had all kinds of little keepsakes in it and clippings from the newspaper: announcements about programs at the YWCA or the Women's Club that she was a part of but also pictures of things she liked and things she wanted to remember such as cards and notes.

  • Ironically, though reading someone's diary should be like reading their thoughts, just as she was in life, my mother's diary didn't reveal very much about her inner thoughts.  Her diary is mostly a few lines each day about what she did - she came home and took a nap, her friend came for dinner and she would describe what they ate, she went to a concert, she received a letter from my Dad-to-be or she didn't.  Nothing very revealing and very little about what she actually felt about her life.

And that is not surprising since my mother was never one to talk about her feelings and she didn't deem it an appropriate topic of conversation either.  I remember as a teenager saying to her, "Mom, I am feeling depressed," and her response was "What do you have to be depressed about!"  It wasn't a question.  It was a statement.  She probably added "Count your blessings," and that was the end of that conversation.  Isn't it funny and ironic that I was a teenager who actually wanted to talk to her mother, but, also ironically, unlike most mothers of teenaged girls who wanted their daughters to share with them, I had a mother who didn't want me to.  So that was that.

She was also very practical.  When I was having problems in my marriage, I remember calling my mother and saying, "Mom, he has been cheating on me and is in love with someone else," and she replied, "Well, you can't fight that."  And she was right.  I couldn't.  So that was that.

So my mother's diary very much reflects her reluctance to share feelings and her practicality.  Except for mentioning the occasional spat with her husband-to-be, my Dad, my mother's diary reveals little of her thoughts, no soul-searching, no sad stories, no doubts about herself, so if I was expecting revelations about her life, they are not there.

But I am comforted by the details of her life as a young woman, a young twenty-something who would one day marry her sweetheart, my Dad, and give birth to me. I enjoyed reading about her daily life: she was an active young woman who was the secretary to the president of the local bank; she read books and went to concerts and plays; she was active at the YWCA, and at her church and belonged to a young women's business club; loved her mother and her family and she was always on the go.  She didn't appear to have a bad word to say about anyone. In fact, she spoke lovingly of her nieces (her older sister had already married and had children) and friends. She would mention my Dad's parents or her brothers and sisters but never revealed how she felt about any of them which is odd, because later in life, she had plenty to say!  But in her twenties, she seemed happy and hopeful, with her whole life ahead of her.

I am glad I have my mother's diary and can spend some time with her as the young woman she was.  I just wish I had spent more time with her older self, when she was still alive, so that I could have found out more about her.  I wish I had let her little criticisms of me go over my head and not cloud our relationship.  I let those criticisms bother me and because I was busy living my life far away and raising my own children, I didn't make the effort to visit her much or talk with her on the phone more than once a week. 

But I loved my mother and I know she loved me.  When I finally did get a divorce and asked her to come and help me, at 74, she dropped everything and traveled by herself to California from Michigan to help me with my two-year-old son and to help me get back on my feet, and it was comforting to know she was always there for me - and she was.

Now that I have grown children too, and am in a position similar to my mother's, I have time to reflect and feel regret that I never had talks with her about her true feelings (though I can remember trying upon occasion), what drove her to do some of the things she did, how she felt about her 50+ year marriage at the end and if she had any regrets in life.  Though I am glad to have her diary and glad that she did share some important things with me over the years, I still have so many questions.  I wish my mother was still here to answer them.

But now it's too late.

Since my parents are both dead, it's too late for me to ask them questions that I have, but it's not too late for those of you whose parents are still alive.  I urge you to try to find out about them.  I'm not talking about their accomplishments or the family tree, I am talking about finding out why they raised you the way they did, why they married who they married, how they feel about getting old, what they have learned about life, what they regret.  All of those things that make them who they are.  You will learn about them but it also might shed some light on who you are too.

So here's an idea for a meaningful New Year's Resolution.

Make a resolution that in the coming year you will have some meaningful conversations with each of your parents to find out about who they really are and how they feel about their lives.

It's too late for me but it might not be too late for you.

Don't wait.  Do it now. 

Do it before all you have left is a diary.

Thanks for reading!

See you Friday 


"The Best and the Worst Movies of 2017:
Rosy the Reviewer's Top 10" 

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My New Year's UN - Resolutions

[I wrote this a couple of years ago on the eve of the New Year and, with a little updating, I think it bears repeating - Happy New Year, everyone!]

I think there was only one year that I didn't resolve to lose weight and that was the year I lost 50 pounds.  But I started in October, so that doesn't count.  That was almost eight years ago, and let's just say, I haven't gained it all back, but I've gained back enough to make me want to diet all of the time.

But no!

I am not going to set this trap for myself again.  When I lost that weight, I started in October, for god's sake, so obviously resolving to make huge changes in your life starting January 1st is a bargain with the devil.

I have done it every year, made New Year's Resolutions and set myself up to fail - lose weight, exercise every day, watch less TV and be nicer to Hubby only to find myself on January 2, lying on the bed all day watching TV and ordering Hubby to bring me a root beer float!

So this year, I am going to decide what I am NOT going to do in the New Year.

Welcome to my New Year's UN-Resolutions!


1. I am NOT going to gain any more weight.

I am thinking using reverse psychology might work, but whether I lose weight or not, I am not going to gain any more and I am not going to stress about it.  It's not like I am trolling for men (well, not lately anyway), and Hubby doesn't seem to mind a little extra something. 

I have tried every diet under the sun and almost all of them require that you give up a major food group.  Do I really want to live the rest of my life never having Thai food again or eating a piece of bread?  I think not. I know that moderation is the key and that's what I will shoot for, not just with food but with my life in general. 

What this is going to do is make we appreciate what I already have.  I already have a body that seems to be working, has gotten me this far and allows me to still carry on a bit of style, so I am going to be happy with that and give it some respect. 

If, during the course of the year, some of that fat falls off, all the better, but in the meantime, I am going to remind myself of Catherine Deneuve's famous delicate words: "After 40 a woman has to choose between her face or her ass."  Since I don't want to be an ass, I choose my face.

2. I am NOT going to add any more bad habits to my life.

That's the best I can do. 

I like to drink wine, I like to stay up late, I like to sleep late, I like to eat sweets, I like to watch too much TV, I like gossip magazines and I like French fries.  Those are all things that many would consider bad habits.  But since I don't think people really can change that much, the best I can do is not add anything new from the bad habit category into my life and try to add some good ones as they come along. 

3. I am NOT going to be an enabler for Tarquin, my wine-guzzling poodle, any longer.

Little Tarquin and I like to watch "The View" together. 

I like to also have a drink (now don't go there. I know "The View" is on in the morning but, people, remember I have TIVO.  I can watch programs anytime so I am talking about during the cocktail hour or after).  Tarquin likes to curl up on my lap whilst I watch and that gives me great comfort. Unfortunately, Tarquin also likes to lick the wine off of my lips, and he makes me give him a slug or two.  I really try not to.  But he forces me.  He nudges my glass and keeps nudging it until I relent.  I guess he likes full participation.

  I know, I know it's wrong because invariably he either passes out

or gets mean and starts a fight with one of the other dogs over a chewed up toy. 

There's nothing worse than a toy poodle with a chip on his shoulder.  I will have to try to find a way to sneak off with my glass of wine so he doesn't know I am watching "The View."  But I will miss him.


4. I am NOT going to buy any clothes that I do not try on.

I like to shop for clothes.  I like to buy clothes.  I have three closets full and I am unapologetic.  However, what I DON'T like to do is try them on. 

I do mall walks for exercise sometimes, but I am also keeping my eye on items I like and when they go on sale, I swoop.  So I like to swoop, but I don't like to have to go in the dressing room, take off my clothes and shoes, try the thing on and then get dressed again.  However, swooping and buying doesn't work that well.  When I get it home and finally do try the thing on, somehow it doesn't look as good on me as I imagined (I think I am always imagining my 35 year old self), so in those closets reside some clothes with store tags still on them, because I either was too lazy to take the items back or have some idea that some day they will fit me.  I know, famous last words.  Those items will probably have cobwebs on them by the time they ever fit me again.

Note: This Un-Resolution was Hubby's favorite, because he thinks this means I will stop buying clothes online.  Uh-uh.  Nope.  What he doesn't realize is there are clothes out there I have already bought, which means I have tried them on so should I want more of those items, I am not breaking my Un-Resolution. So there.  Sorry, Hubby.

5.  I am NOT going to stop watching TV.

I have decided when someone who looks down on TV and snootily says something like, "I don't watch TV," I am going to reply, "No need to apologize."  I have learned to be unapologetic about this vice.

I have come to realize that TV and I go way back. 

I remember when one of our neighbors got a TV. 

It was 1954.  I was so transfixed I would sneak over to their house and stand on their porch and peer into their window to get a glimpse of "Lassie" or "I Love Lucy."  My grandparents lived a few blocks away and they had a TV before we did.  I remember going over there on a Friday night to watch the Friday Night Fights.  I didn't like that much, but we also went over to watch "The Wizard of Oz" or other special programs. It was a big deal. When we finally got our own TV a year later, we had TV trays and everything. I spent many a night watching television with my Dad. I soon realized my father was an addict. My mother must not have had the gene because she rarely watched. But TV addiction runs in my family.  There is nothing I can do about it.

6.  I am NOT going to keep trying to get Oprah to discover my blog.

I would be happy with 500 page views per day.  I put my blog out on Twitter hoping a Kardashian might see it and retweet it, thus basically turning the whole world onto my blog. I send some to Oprah that I think she would like (she loves libraries and dogs) in hopes that she would share it with her legion of Twitter fans thus making my blog go viral.  But I know that is probably futile.

But you know what?

Regardless of whether or not my blog is discovered by the masses, I enjoy writing it and communicating.  I think communicating is one of my life's purposes, and I plan to communicate the heck out of the New Year whether or not my readership keeps going up!

But it wouldn't hurt if you shared it, though.  Not that I'm hinting or anything.

7. I am NOT going to order Hubby around (he ordered me to put that in).

8.  I am NOT going to bitch about my life, or the state of the world or some of the idiots who inhabit it.

Bitching about one's life only makes you and everyone around you feel worse.  A bit of gratitude makes the world a better place and we all have things to be grateful for, right?

As for the state of the world, if I care that much, I am not going to bitch about it, I am going to do something about it. 

As for the idiots, not my problem.


9. I am NOT going to stress about the fact that I only have eight UN-Resolutions.

I am the sort who likes things to add up to ten.

10. I am NOT going to beat myself up if I can't live up to my UN-Resolutions.

Oh, I guess that makes 10.  Sweet!

So my friends, there you have it. 

A new and UN - stressful way to come into the New Year.

But however you do it, I wish you a wonderful entrance into the New year and may this New Year be your best yet.

And I hope we will meet here regularly on my blog!

Thanks for reading.

See you Friday 
for my review of the movie
"La La Land"

as well as some
movies you might have missed
(and some you will be glad you did),


The Book of the Week
and my progress on
"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project."

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