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It's time to make those New Year's 'revolutions'

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"What's your column about this week?" Jake asked me as we drove to "Sherlock Holmes" Sunday.

"New Year's resolutions!" I responded excitedly, happy to have an actual answer to give instead of my usual noncommittal shrug/groan combo.

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There was a short pause in conversation.

"New Year's resolutions," Jake began slowly, "or New Year's...revolutions?" he finished, sparking a thought.

When you think about it, the point of making (with the intention of keeping) a resolution is to set yourself on a life-changing course of action, to move in a different direction, to change things up from how they've been. According to Webster, a revolution is a fitting term for alteration to the everyday: "a complete or radical change of any kind."

When thinking about revolutionary events -- like mailing the Declaration of Independence across the pond to the old king Georgie, Beatle mania or the creation of Cinderella toasters that imprint glass slippers on your toast and play waltzes when it's reached a lovely shade of golden brown -- what comes to mind is drastic modification of the way things were.

This, coincidentally, is precisely what making resolutions is about.

And so, thanks to my failure to enunciate and Jake's inability to distinguish consonants, my 2010 to-do list has become a blueprint for revolutionizing the next 365 days of my life.

Revolution the First: Journey through "101 Ways to Cook Ramen." I won't consider myself a true college student until I've experienced ramen noodles in their every format. Life-changing? I think so.

Revolution the Second: Read more, beginning with the books I currently have on loan from friends. Reading is undoubtedly radical (check out some of the titles that have caused controversy on the banned books list throughout the years), and it has the power to dramatically impact lives. Remember "Matilda?"

Revolution the Third: Go on a road trip with the girls, like we've been theorizing about since the first of us got driver's licenses. I'm thinking a casino/water park combo is in order, since it allows us to flash over-18 ID cards, and then splash around in a pool like the bunch of immature kids we -- ahem -- used to be. Our ability to swap roles at the touch of a button -- or the roll of a pair of dice -- is no less than revolutionary.

Revolution the Fourth: Attend as many of Little Brother Montana's cross-country skiing and track meets as possible. What can I say? The kid needs an exuberantly athletic role model to look up -- er, actually, maybe he just needs to know that I'd gladly sit attentively through an athletic event for him, my favorite sibling. (Even though he's taller than me and answers all my questions with "I dunno" or "Nothing.")

Revolution the Fifth: Become a pie connoisseur. Although, I must admit, my expertise is already frighteningly impressive, I feel there's room for improvement. If I were to traverse the pie-eating capitals of the world, honing my skill and neutralizing the calories by digging out my Pilates mat, I think that my entire existence might take a turn toward radical improvement.

Revolution the Sixth: Learn how to ask directions to the U.S. Embassy in seven different languages. It's practical, and has the potential to be indelibly important if I'm suddenly sprung into an international high-speed chase while being pursued by axe murderers, serial killers and jewel thieves plucked from the bowels of the global population. Better safe than sorry.

This year, things are going to be different. I'm going to take my resolute revolutions seriously, remodel my life and dump tea in the harbor of anybody who gets in my way. After all, as the Beatles knew, "we all wanna change the world," and, as Gandhi told us, that change needs to start within each of us.

Revolution the Seventh: Take an actual philosophy course so future columns aren't dependent on song lyrics and Googled quotations.

Thressa Johnson graduated from Detroit Lakes High School and attends Concordia College in Moorhead.

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