On New Year’s Day, the inquisitive one sat down with a brand new pad of paper and brand new pen, both received as gifts the previous month.
The inquisitive one thought very seriously for a few minutes, biting softly on a thumb. Then suddenly, the inquisitive one removed the thumb from the mouth, picked up the pen, and wrote a string of words on the pad, reciting them aloud while writing:
“This year, I resolve to GROW more VEGETABLES, RUN more MILES, READ more BOOKS, and COOK more HEALTHY MEALS than I EVER have in ANY YEAR before!”
The inquisitive one underlined the key words several times and then drew little illustrations of veggies, running shoes, books, and cooking utensils all around the sentence on the pad. Happily, the inquisitive one tore the top sheet off the pad and taped it to the fridge.
But a week or so later—alas!—things were not going well as regards the resolution. You see, the inquisitive one had had some pretty impressive years in the past, in the realms of vegetable growing, mile running, book reading, and healthy meal cooking. This year so far, the inquisitive one had been sadly neglecting those activities, in favor of relative entertaining, light bulb replacing, nose blowing, highway driving, obscure fact Googling, schmancy gala attending, and frantic HVAC guy calling.
To make up for lost time, the inquisitive one tossed some dry beans, frozen kale, and stock in a crock pot, drove to the gym, got on a treadmill, and attempted to run while alternating between reading a novel and browsing a seed catalogue.
By the end of that day, the inquisitive one had decided to grow tomatoes, variety TBD; run half a mile; read half a page; and cooked a healthy meal that tasted like pebbles in a polluted stream.
Angrily, the inquisitive one snatched the resolution off the fridge, crumpled it up, and threw it away. The inquisitive one got out the special pad and pen and wrote a sentence on the topmost sheet, reciting the words while writing:
“This year, I resolve to make NO New Year’s resolution!!”
The inquisitive one, having neglected to draw anything around the sentence, proudly ripped off the sheet and taped it to the fridge.
The next day, however, the revised resolution did not sit well with the inquisitive one. Every time the inquisitive one went to get some string cheese, hummus, broccoli, butter, or whatever, the sentence seemed to stare outwards with menace.
After a couple of days of repeated, unsettling intimations from the fridge door, the inquisitive one tore down the paper, crumpled it up, and threw it away.
Once again, the inquisitive one got out the deliciously beautiful, and amazingly functional, pad and pen. Once again, the inquisitive one chewed softly on a thumb. And once again, suddenly the inquisitive one wrote and recited a sentence:
“This year, I resolve to make a New Year’s resolution.”
The inquisitive one decorated the page with illustrations of flowers, birds, clouds, and special pads and pens; boogie danced on over to the fridge; and taped it up.
The next day, the inquisitive one spent a lot of time working on a project for the boss, shopping for clothes, and talking on the phone.
The day after that, the inquisitive one went on a long run, finished reading the novel, and baked a big batch of granola.
And the day after that, the inquisitive one, with great excitement, decided to plant a variety of sweet pepper that was, according to the seed catalogue, “very productive,” “early maturing,” and “displease resistant.”