So often, when we make New Year’s resolutions, we concentrate on giving up our vices, but what we REALLY want is to become someone new. In in my case, this would be someone who loses weight effortlessly and has an exquisite complexion, high cheekbones, tiny ears (mine resemble those of Alfred E. Newman of “Mad” magazine) and a thick, abundant head of hair I could flip around. When I lost 100 pounds, over three years of effort, I got a new body, but I have to work constantly in order to keep it and alas, the complexion and hair improvements did not automatically follow.

One thing’s for sure: we can’t change the weather! We spent Christmas in Texas this year, but we went to New York City first, and then on to a wedding in Pittsburgh. I suspected it might be snowy in New York, so I went shopping for winter boots in California before we left (and actually FOUND some!) After I triumphantly brought my boots home, I almost didn’t pack them though, since Whitley looked at the weather report on his computer before we left and said, “Hey it’s 60 degrees there, same weather as we’re having here.” It turns out this was a one-day anomaly. We lived in New York for many years, so we should have KNOWN better!

Like most of us, I worry about my favorite retailers (many of whom are friends) and I wish I could help them by shopping more. But at least I had the boots to purchase. As I window shopped, walking by stores displaying sneakers and sandals, I passed a store with a sign in the window that said, “All Free People on Sale.” I thought, “I’m sure ‘Free People’ is a clothing brand, but that certainly is a strange sign,” then I saw another woman stop and laugh out loud when she saw it.

I went into the local cheese shop and noticed that they were selling chocolate-covered bacon. I said to the proprietor, “These are the two most addictive foods on the planet?why don’t you just sell HEROIN?”

I did pack the boots, as well as gloves and a hat, but I didn’t pack my winter jacket?due to Whitley’s “weather report,” I only took a rain coat. Of course, when we landed in New York, it was both snowing AND sleeting. We rushed over to what had been my favorite department store when we lived there, where I bought a winter coat on sale, a big red scarf and a pink turtle neck sweater, so I was ready for all adventures. When it came time to leave, we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to get out of town, due to the horrible weather, but we successfully made it to Pittsburgh, where the weather was even WORSE.

When we got up the next morning in Pittsburgh, the news that popped up on the radio was about a plane that had just slid off the runway in Denver (causing everyone to have to evacuate down the inflatable slides). We were supposed to leave the following afternoon, but I said to Whitley, “The way this looks, we’re NEVER going to get out of this town if we don’t leave now,” so we “ate” our plane tickets back to Los Angeles and got on an early a.m. flight on a puddle jumper plane, which only cost us $10 since we had coupons from earlier flights. When when we were standing in line for our connection to LAX from our hub in Las Vegas, Whitley got a cell phone call from our original airline saying the flight we were supposed to be on was delayed 2 hours (I suspect it probably didn’t leave at all).

I was glad we’d gone, however, because the look of love and joy on our friend’s face as he escorted his daughter down the aisle was worth any amount of toil and trouble.

When we finally arrived home, we unpacked and staggered over to our favorite restaurant across the street, where we capped off the day by buying our priest a pie. It was only around 4 p.m., but we were eating supper anyway, since our stomachs were in another time zone, when we spotted him peering into the pastry case. It turns out he planned to buy a pie for the priests to celebrate Christmas. We went up and said “hi” to him and of course Whitley insisted on paying for the pie, while I reminded the priest that he always says, in his homilies, that he’s on a diet!

This made me reflect on New Year’s resolutions. Just as none of us can get a new body or face (and have to be content with fixing up the ones we have as best we can), none of us ever really gets a new personality either, do we? I’m still a terrible busybody, giving everyone advice, whether they want it or not.

Maybe we can’t really change, maybe we can only hope to become better VERSIONS of ourselves. So that’s my resolution for 2009: I want to be the best version of Anne I can be.

I’m sure I’ll have many relapses as the year goes by, but it’s a good goal, anyway.

NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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