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Joan Knows: Resolutions – easier said than done

This time of transition from one calendar year to another has a number of challenges.

There’s not so many occasions  to write out the date since computers have absorbed that task. Even so, should you might sometime write a check or personalize a birthday card – it’s good to practice the new digits “14.”

Try thinking “Columbus” for the century with the two starting numbers or “Valentine” for that calendar marker for sweethearts.

Now, as far as resolutions go, it’s probably a good plan to pause and reflect on vows taken last January before investing in fresh promises. Did you really get more exercise? Were you less judgmental? Did the garage get more organized?

The corollary is that once you have done your self-assessment it is applicable to enter this political campaign season with a check on promises made in exchange for your vote. Hmm ... .

There’s probably folks who have been too busy for resolutions or who do not see the need. Here’s our chance to be helpful! See if you agree and/or have some proxy resolutions of your own. Send them along.

To the folks who market their products and services by merchandising the anguish and suffering of real or role playing people, whether it be cancer, varicose veins, back ache, bladder problems or whatever comes next, could you consider resolving to find a more sophisticated and informing mode?

To the folks who deplore cruelty to animals, would you perhaps resolve to show us what you do to help?

Getting our attention is one thing. Resolve to move on to tangible action, OK?

To the folks who behave so recklessly and foolishly after a night on our town, why not resolve to consider that you will soon be a year older – and it is a good time to grow up.

To the off-shore folks who work for the communications industry, try to resolve to toss the scripted litany of how anxious you are to solve the problem, etc. ... and just listen?

To those folks on the ship stranded in the Antarctic ice, why not resolve to try a Carnival cruise the next time?

To those special people who were on the job while we were with our families celebrating the holidays, first responders, caregivers, retail clerks, food servers, snow crews, you have a chance now to resolve to relax and feel appreciated.

To those who market those pharmaceuticals and at the same time reveal a distressing amount of side effects, why not resolve to simplify the process by including the symbolic skull and crossbones and dollar signs to amplify the mixed messages?

 To those students returning to class with new devices plugged into your ears, consider a resolution to unplug, learn as much as you can, and be of service to others?

To the Chicago Bears, North and Southside baseball teams – this IS next year. 

Resolve to make no more promises.  Just do it.

Years ago, my reward for fulfilling a resolution to lose weight was a full length raccoon coat. Social trends and the return of all those pounds led to a state of oblivion for that coat. Many have recently seen Skinny Spouse keeping his bones warm wrapped in the trophy coat. Perhaps it is sour grapes, but someone should tell him that accessorizing raccoon with road kill skunk and coyote is not fashion forward.

 Remember – it is 2014.
• Joan Arteberry is a longtime resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at

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