Keep Calm and Try Again

09 Jan

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   Something called a Polar Vortex slammed into my region (actually all over the country except for Hawaii) the last couple of days, and it took a bite-sized stability chunk out of my New Year’s resolutions which had only been up and running for two days.  I’m freezing, and no matter how many hot beverages I consume, I cannot stay warm—therefore, I am cranky and consuming carbs (to get warm) by the bucket load just to be able to think and function.  *My 2014 New Year’s Resolutions are:  Be Happy and Eat Less Carbs (notice I didn’t say the “D” word; I’m trying a more subtle approach—maybe my body won’t notice it is being tricked this year).

Cold Front Bill Schorr Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission:  Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons

As I was bitching and complaining to myself about my already failed 2014 resolutions, my husband (WW) came into the kitchen and announced he had just heard on the radio that most people fail their New Year’s resolutions within 48 hours of making them because their resolutions are usually too expansive and complex.

ME:      How can wanting to be happy and eating less carbs be too expansive?

WW:     Because all it took was a slight change in your environment and back into the cheese puffs you fell.

ME:      Don’t forget the mulled wine . . . But if one doesn’t make expansive goals, how will anyone’s dreams come true?  Last year I made a resolution to write and publish my book Monsters’ Throwdown, and I accomplished it.

Polar Vortex Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Used by permission:  Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

WW:     Actually, you made a goal to write your first book three years ago and just finished it last year.  Anyway, I didn’t hear the entire program, but I assume it would help to make two kinds of resolutions:  one simple and one complex, like your beloved carbohydrates.  I talked to our grandson today and even as a five-year-old he has two New Year’s resolutions:  His Simple Resolution—to get more play dates with anybody in kindergarten from here to California; his Complex Resolution—permanently and consistently “get over” on his mother whom he deems to be his arch nemesis.

ME:        I heard he’d managed to accomplish his simple New Year’s resolution and had set up at least one play date by stopping a total stranger-mommy and her son on the way home from school.   Without consulting his mother, he accosted the stranger-mommy and said:  “You need to give my mommy your cell phone number so I can have a play date with your kid.” The woman was so flabbergasted that she immediately turned over her phone number to him.  Now that is determination!  Did you ask our grandson how his complex resolution was holding up?

WW:     I tried, but he can’t come to the phone right now because he’s been grounded by his mother.  Apparently, she told him that he couldn’t take his chipmunk dolls (Alvin and Theodore) to school, but he decided that now was the time to turn into Baby Stewie from Family Guy and run inroads against his nemesis, The Mommy.  So he stuffed Theodore down the right sleeve of his coat and purposely left one of Theodore’s arms sticking out, while snugly hiding Alvin in the right sleeve—completely out-of-sight.  (Simon had been discarded at the last minute—there are only so many places a five-year-old body can hide smuggled goods.)

ME:        Oh yeah, his mommy told me about this.  Little Dude sauntered to the front door—replete with backpack—on his way to the bus stop, when his mother noticed a Chipmunk hand peeking out of his coat sleeve as if it were waving at her.  When she demanded that Little Dude cough up Theodore, our grandson dutifully protested (screams, flailing of arms, and gnashing of teeth) about the toy being taken away but finally acquiesced to proceeding without the contraband, knowing that Alvin was well hidden in his other sleeve.  Then, just when our grandson thought he’d gotten away with it, he heard his nemesis scream:  “LITTLE DUDE—WHAT DO YOU HAVE HIDDEN IN YOUR OTHER SLEEVE?  TURN IT OVER BUSTER!”

WW:     Did our daughter tell you what his punishment was for the attempted ruse?

ME:        Yep, loss of a play date.  I’m afraid it is back to square one for our pint-sized smuggler.

New Year's Resolution Dolls

WW:     This proves the point of the radio show:  stick to small goals and stack them up, and if you slip up (or get caught), it won’t be such a hard thing to pick yourself up and start again.  Want to lose weight?  Go for 10 pounds at a time, rather than 50.  Pound by pound, the overall goal will be achieved.  Want to win friends and influence enemies by showing off more cool stuff at the kindergarten show-and-tell?  Try schmoozing your nemesis with a subtler strategy so that she’ll let down her guard—perhaps by eating some dreaded vegetables every once in a while to make her think she’s really in control.  Ideas like that.

ME:        Okay, Mister Confucius, since you’re so smart, what are your simple and complex New Year’s resolutions?

WW:     My Complex New Year’s Resolution is to cruise to Hawaii before the end of the year.  My Simple Resolution is to save money by using smaller sections of paper towels, using less hot water, turning off lights when they are not needed, and turning down the heat to conserve energy.  I’m starting a “Hawaii or Bust” fund with my savings.

ME:        Do you plan on taking me with you to Hawaii?  Because I just used two rolls of paper towels on the hot chocolate I spilled all over the floor in my attempts to warm my innards; I turned the furnace up to 80 two days ago to thwart the Polar Vortex freezing my ass off; while you were away on business, I turned on all the lights to ward off the Boogey Man and kept them on 24/7, and I’m about to jump into a hot shower and stay there until Jesus comes back because I’m just that frozen!

Frozen John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

Used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia, Daily Tribune, Missouri

I am discovering that much as we Americans would love to have a perfectly shaped comet ride of our spiritual, emotional, and physical growth in life, that journey is more like an erratic dance:  two steps forward, one step back; repeat; stop; and start again.  We owe it to ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world to want to “do better.”  The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to implement admirable goals.  The point is not to give up at the first Polar Vortex slam and try, try, try again!

*My “Real” New Year’s Resolution for 2014: Simple New Year’s Resolution—to treat others the way I want to be treated; Complex New Year’s Resolution—to be the change I want to see in the world!


“Another fresh new year is here . . .

Another year to live!

To banish worry, doubt, and fear,

To love and laugh and give!

― William Arthur Ward

 “’That which does not kill me makes me stronger’ is not a law of the universe. What it can be, if we so choose, is a resolution.”—Julian Baggini

“New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.”—James Agate

“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”—Benjamin Franklin

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”― Edith Lovejoy Pierce



Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


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15 responses to “Keep Calm and Try Again

  1. imagesbytdashfield

    January 9, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Happy New Year and tell WW that Hawaii if on my list as well…cruise to it? I don’t think so. Get to it? Oh yeah! The Vortex made me crabby as heck and into hot toddies. Just for medicinal reasons 😉

  2. Elyse

    January 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Glad I didn’t make any resolutions. Because now I want some cheez puffs.

    • etomczyk

      January 15, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Elyse. Those cheese balls are addictive. Just polished off a giant tub of them from BJ’s. Sigh!

      • Elyse

        January 16, 2014 at 9:04 am

        I can’t even buy them. There is only one way to resist some things. Sigh.

  3. Let's CUT the Crap!

    January 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    You are hilarious, Lady. I like your style.
    I didn’t make any resolutions. It’s murder to be disappointed already the second day of a New Year. 🙂

    • etomczyk

      January 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Tess. Thanks so much for your gracious compliment. I try not to make resolutions but I can’t help myself–I’m extremely goal oriented. Sigh.

      • Let's CUT the Crap!

        January 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        I am a list QUEEN but without resolutions. 😀

  4. Lindy Lee

    January 9, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Oh well, resolutions are bound to be broken. We are human. Monsters Throwdown has got me spellbound, my darling ET. You’re good, really, really good. Life experience has made a fine comedienne out of you, taking that pain & making laughter out of it…

    • etomczyk

      January 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks Lindy. So glad you’re enjoying my book. Please tell your friends and family about it. And if so inclined, please leave a review on Amazon. Cheers!

  5. becomingcliche

    January 9, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Oh, my word. Squish and your grandson are in cahoots! He requested vegetables with his lunch a couple of days ago. I knew I smelled a rat!

    Okay, Chrome hasn’t behaved in days. This may post three times because it keeps eating it. I’m changing my browser to Firefox. I apologize and beg you to remove any duplicates!

    • etomczyk

      January 15, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      BC: Does Squish hate veggies too? I am stunned by the visceral hatred of veggies by my grandson. The creativity he uses to avoid any contact with a veggie is awe-inspiring. I am stunned. Do you think Little Dude and Squish are in cahoots? 🙂

  6. Mal

    January 12, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Haha, good one, Eleanor! Happy 2014…stay blessed and keep those posts rolling…just love your rib-tickling blog! Hugs xx

    • etomczyk

      January 15, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Mal. Good to hear from you. Hope your holidays were truly blessed. Thanks so much for your support. All the best.

  7. talesfromthemotherland

    January 15, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Happy New Year Eleanor, and may your resolutions be painless… I don’t make them; don’t believe in them… until this year. 😉

    • etomczyk

      January 15, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Dawn. Hope your resolutions come true.


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