Come along on the ride, or join the movement with us*
*The Menke family is embarking on their 2nd annual New Year’s resolution lead fearlessly by the mother ship.
(I can’t say they are any happier about this resolution than they were about the last.)
See, I am a woman of the obtainable resolution. I am serious about resolutions. I don’t necessarily make one every year, but if I do make one, I aim to I keep it. For that reason, I never make a resolution about weight or working out. It’s such a cliché, it’s hard, and as soon as I go on record with anything diet or excersice related I begin to obsess. We can’t have that. But the bottom line is, it is really, really hard — though probably not any harder than the year I made a resolution to improve my posture….
That was a bad resolution.
I did work on my posture and I continue to work on my posture. And I will always and forever be working on my horrible posture. Bad resolution.
I always ask my family what their resolution is going to be. And every year it’s the same thing. They don’t have one. They don’t want one. They like their life the way it is. They see no point to self improvement.
So I make suggestions. Why don’t you try to __(fill in the blank)_.
Still no takers. (And I come up with some pretty good ones.)
So I make stronger suggestions mixed with threats and guilt, as only I can do. (I was going to say “as only a mother can do,” but I actually feel that I possess a special gift for this negotiation technique.)
Anyway, last year I had a brilliant idea. Instead of making my own resolution, I would make a family resolution. I would decide something that I wanted to achieve and then call it a family resolution and drag them all down the rabbit hole with me.
In order to make my plan work, I would need to choose the resolution wisely. It would need to be something that — if resisted — I could twist into something truly ugly. And so it was:
The Spontaneous Dinner Prayer vs The Rote Dinner Prayer
You see, we defected from the local Catholic church a few years ago and began attending an Evangelical Free Church. Marvelous, marvelous place. Truly. However, with all of us Catholics and our rote prayer upbringing, we were serious fish out of water when it came to what I call the “spontaneous prayer.”
I like to think I’m a brave person and not easily embarrassed. But ask me to pray in front of someone or lead a prayer? I can’t think of anything worse. I’m not kidding.
Plus, our dinner meal always started off with the most pathetic attempt at prayer. Everyone mumbling “Bless us the Lord and these Thy gifts…” as fast as possible. I was quite certain that the kids didn’t even really know what they were saying.
I tried to slow things down. Emphasize words. But I was just that person not keeping pace with the rest.
The Spontaneous Prayer resolution would be multi-layered:
- It would force my family to join in the fun by making a resolution that I could enforce
- It would improve the dinner prayer by making everyone think about what they wanted to say
- It would improve our standing in the eyes of God (*hopefully)
- It would let me practice my insane fear of praying in front of people on my family with the idea that it would get easier when I needed to do it in front of others (*it did not)
- It would increase my diabolical control over my family
All things considered, Family Resolution 2009 was a smashing success. There is no reason to believe 2010 won’t bring the same success.
I came up with Meatless Mondays after reading and listening to several sources talk about the complexities of calculating our “carbon footprint” and why eating local isn’t the end-all solution.
We do fairly well on the whole localvore thing, so I was dismayed to learn (or be brainwashed into believing, as some would say) that US meat production is ridiculously bad for the earth. However, let me be clear on one thing: We Love Meat.
I do fantasize the notion of going vegetarian, but like making a resolution about exercising, I am a realist. And here’s one fact that can not be denied: there is no vegetarian dish that can’t be made 100% better with the addition of crumbled bacon. Period. How can I walk away from crumbled bacon for the rest of my life? And don’t get me started on vegan and the loss of blue cheese…
Vegetarianism is simply not an option for me at this point in my life. However — and this is for you GARY FRANCIONE WHOEVER YOU ARE — if our family eats meatless even one day a week it will make a bigger difference than if we drove a hybrid car instead of our gas-guzzling SUV’s. Isn’t that better than nothing?
So all you vegans and vegetarians, please don’t turn your noses up. You could even encourage meat lovers like me to take baby steps in a noble new direction. Or you could simply worship and admire me. That would be even better.
Tomorrow: Our first Meatless Monday Meal: Disaster. What was I even thinking when I pureed year old carrots from the freezer?