Janet Sheridan: The best of the year
Once again, as a new year approached, self-proclaimed experts presented their lists of 2018’s best movies, diets, TV shows, books, and brands of bacon. Browsing the internet, I found a list of the year’s best food events that included McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream-flavored beer, and Red Velvet Oreos. Another list recommended 10 cool things to buy online, including used military tanks and false teeth. I assume the false teeth hadn’t been used.
After reading several lists, I decided to create one of my own. I considered listing the 10 safest streets in Craig for winter walking or the 10 best behaviors of my husband, but I couldn’t think of enough items for either. So, I abandoned the 10-best idea and opted for 10 things I will definitely do in the coming year.
1. I will break rules. I’ve been a rule follower since I carried my nap rug into kindergarten and think it’s time to change. Therefore, in 2019, I won’t arrive 15 minutes early for medical appointments, and I’ll unbuckle my seat belt before my plane arrives at its gate. I will also exercise without warming up, loiter where I shouldn’t, and eat raw cookie dough.
2. I will compete in the Alaskan Iditarod dog-sled race. I should have no problem qualifying: I like snowy landscapes, my sister lived in Alaska for 25 years, and I used to have a dog.
3. After I win the lottery, I will fund sidewalks for every street in Craig. At the same time, I’ll establish a trust fund that will pay a generous stipend each winter to homeowners and businesses that keep their sidewalks snow-free all season.
4. I will finish my novel. True, I have to start it first, but I have a plan. I’m going to write about middle-aged but gutsy Ruby Ann, who wears outdated polyester pantsuits and lives alone in the Lazy Daze trailer court in the small town of Bountiful Mountain, which the freeway bypassed and the world forgot. But Ruby has her dreams. And once I manage to think of what those dreams are and detail them, I’m sure Ruby will climb to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List.
5. Ignoring the advice of dieticians, I will eat breakfast when I feel like it. Though it seems shiftless to finish my morning meal at 11, why should I force feed myself when I’m bleary-eyed and uncivil?
6. I’ll win a major prize, preferably a Pulitzer, Nobel, or Oscar. Winning America’s Got Talent might be easier, but I can’t decide whether to tap dance or flawlessly fold a variety of fitted sheets to a recording of myself yodeling “Jingle Bells.”
7. To prove I am still creative and spontaneous, I will alter my daily routine. On even-numbered days, I’ll switch my knitting time with my crossword puzzle time; on odd days, I’ll comb my hair before I brush my teeth. Also, every so often, I’ll take the garbage out myself rather than leaving it in the middle of the floor for Joel to deal with. That should shake things up.
8. I will clean the refrigerator more than once.
9. I’ll realize a lifelong dream by attending a class reunion that isn’t mine. I’ll pick a class at random, show up when it’s well under way, and pretend to be a classmate: greeting everybody like a long-lost friend, asking about their families, wondering why Fred and Gladys didn’t attend, and sharing fictitious, eyebrow-raising memories before quietly slipping away, mission accomplished.
10. I will establish a 2020 Janet B. Sheridan for President Committee. If I promise to end Daylight Saving Time and never tweet, I could win.
Janet Sheridan’s book, “A Seasoned Life Lived in Small Towns,” is available in Craig at Downtown Books and Steamboat Springs at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. She also blogs at auntbeulah.com the first and 15th of every month.
Stories enrich our lives. We tell them, listen to them, read them, repeat them, write them, watch them on TV, enjoy them in theaters. Stories teach us, entertain us, make us laugh, ease our social situations, and cement our friendships.