New Year’s Day and the first day of a new decade. The roaring twenties decade. Let’s hope these next ten years are better than the ones a hundred years ago, Sarah thought rolling over in bed. Looking out the window she realized the sun was up. 

Stretching, she smiled to herself. The house was clean, spotlessly clean, and all the snacks and drinks were prepared. Everything was ready for their annual Resolutions Party. Not much to do but gather the paper and pens and wait for their families to arrive. 

Robert rolled over and playfully reached for his wife. “That was a great New Year’s Eve,” he said remembering their long soulful midnight kiss. 

Sarah patted his hand away. “The party, remember today’s party. Resolutions

Party. This will be our tenth year hosting.  Have you made yours yet? “. She asked, looking at him questioningly.”

“Oh, hon, you know I’m not keen on

resolutions. Say, let’s grab the kids and go for a quick run. To clear our heads. Too much champagne last night,” Robert said running his fingers through his short cropped hair.  

“Good idea! That’s a great way to start this new decade. And maybe you’ll clear your head enough to come up with your resolutions. Everyone will be here at noon,” Sarah said pulling on her running shoes. 

Two hours later Robert, Sarah, their two children, Brian and Sally, and their white terrier Scruffy returned home.  

“I’m in the shower first,” Brian said pulling off his jersey. 

“I’m next,” Sally yelled.

Robert and Sarah smiled at each other and raced to the master bathroom.

Grandma and Grandpa arrived first. Next Sarah’s sister Jane, her husband Bob,

and their three kids June, Jake and Nina. 

“Gangs all here.” Robert called passing out sparkling cider and popcorn. 

“Find your seats.” Sarah said as she hit her Tibetan gong. “Find your seats.”

Once everyone was settled and Scruffy found his place on the living room rug Grandma handed out pencils and paper. “Okay, the Meyer family tradition begins. We’ve been doing this for twenty years, ever since the new century began. First, with just granddad, myself, and our daughters. Then, as the families grew Robert and Sarah have been hosting. Thank you dear,” Grandma said smiling at her daughter.

“Okay Gram, you say this every year! We know the drill,” Brian said throwing a ball at his dog.

“Get some snacks if you like,” Sarah said. “Maybe it will help with your thinking. And stop playing with Scruffy, Brian!”

The group quieted and for a few minutes all was silent except for the scratching of pencils. 

Sarah rang her gong again. “Okay, who wants to begin? Should we go oldest to youngest, youngest to oldest or random?”

“Oh Mom, you are always so logical!” Brian, the youngest in the group declared. “I’m going first, but then I’m passing the Resolution Stick to you.”

Smiling Sarah handed him the hand painted, twenty-year-old, Resolution Stick.

“I’ve decided to take better care of Scruffy. I’ll play with him in the yard every day. Rain or shine!” He declared with emphasis. “And,” he added twirling the stick, “I’m taking better care of my turtle Ralph. I’m gonna take him for a walk every day.” Brian smiled and handed the stick to his mom. His family clapped and gave him the thumbs up. 

“Well,” Sarah began, looking directly at her husband, “I’ve decided to spend less time trying to be gorgeous and more time enjoying my husband.” The group hooted as she continued, “I’ve decided to quit jogging everyday and spend a few early mornings with Robert.” The group continued to hoot as Sarah turned a flush of pink, handing the stick to the next waving hand. 

Grandma grabbed it. “Well,” she said, “naturally I’m gonna keep with my diet and yoga program but this year I’m gonna do something new. I’m going to work hard for the environment. I’m going to try and eliminate plastic from our lives.” 

“That’s impossible, Gram! You always buy me Legos for my birthday. They are made of plastic.” Brian cried. His cousin Jake echoed his sentiment.  

“Well”, Sarah’s mother said thoughtfully. “I’ll have to take that into consideration. “But, I’m really going to try to live a plastic free life.”

Grandma handed the Resolution Stick to Grandpa. “Well, mine is easy I’m going to more protests. I did it in the 1960’s to protest the Vietnam War and now I’m gonna go to the streets for our environment. That girl Greta has inspired me. Nonviolent protests.”

“That’s wonderful Dad,” his daughter Jane said. “I’ll join you.” Taking the stick from her dad she added, “I’m also going to go the gym more often, and watch my calorie intake.”

Jane passed the stick to her husband and he looked down at his feet when he quietly said, “I know this is the resolution I do every year but, once again, I’m gonna try and quit smoking.” 

 His wife patted his back. “You’ll succeed I know you will,” she said taking the stick and passing it to her oldest child, June. 

“This is hard for me, Mom. I’m like Dad. I’m just gonna redo my last year’s resolution. I’m gonna try harder in school. It didn’t really work for me last year but I’ll try again.”

Her cousin, Sally, echoed her thoughts. Taking the stick she simply said, “Ditto!”

“Good job, girls,” their grandma said. “I’m proud of you both.”

 Jake, grabbed the stick and bounced off the couch. “Mine always work for me. I’m gonna keep my room clean.” 

“Without Mom’s help you mean,” his other sister, Nina, said. 

Jake kicked her as she grabbed the stick from him. “Well, mine always work for me, too. I’m just gonna be nice to everyone.”

“You, have to define nice,” her dad said. “sometimes you aren’t very nice to your brother. You’ll just put your empty plate on his and walk away from the table without lifting a finger. I don’t call that nice.”

“Yeah, Nina. You’ll purposely get out of chores. You seem to disappear just at the right moment.” Jake added.

Nina began to cry, Scruffy began to bark and Jake jumped up spilling popcorn everywhere. Sarah banged on her Tibetan gong, causing more commotion than less. Granddad silently wondered if their tradition was even worth it.

“Okay, okay,” Sarah said trying to quiet the group. “It’s Robert’s turn then we can stretch our legs and start practicing our resolutions. And,” she added with a smile, “have some of Grandma’s delicious New Year’s cake.”

Her sister groaned. “Well, I just said I’m watching my calories. That cake is so rich. Do I start my resolutions tomorrow?” 

Robert grabbed the stick, stood, and looked at the group. “I’m not making any resolutions this year. I’m not making them because they just don’t work.“ 

Slowly he looked from one family member to the other. “You, Grandma, will stop buying plastic until you buy toys for the kids, or buy more Tupperware. You, Granddad might go to one protest but then you’re golf game will interfere. You, Brian will play with Scruffy until you have a date with your friends. And it’s the same thing for the rest of you. So no. No resolutions for me!”

Sarah began to speak but thought better of it. In reality her husband was right. Resolutions were rough. What made New Year’s Day different from any other day? It was just like anniversaries and special dates on the calendar. Sometimes society put pressure on the masses. Or we put pressure on ourselves. Yep, resolutions were rough but looking down at the piece of paper in her hand she smiled. She’d try.  She’d try to eliminate plastic and play with Brian and his pets. She’d try to encourage everyone.

Ringing her gong, she said, “Let’s eat!”

January 24, 2020 17:45

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