I am really old and wise – aspirational resolutions are silly. They give us false expectations or make us feel pompous until we inevitably fail. Here is a list of practical ones –
- Try to poo every day. That means you are eating fiber and you might even lose weight. It also keeps toilet tissue manufacturers in business.
- Smile at everyone. The worst that can happen is that someone thinks you are crazy or hearing voices. The best is that you find a new friend or make someone’s day.
- Use your common sense. Millennials – google common sense and try to incorporate it into your life. It’s like skateboarding but more fun.
- Choose an appropriate seat at Starbucks. One person needs a small table. If you choose otherwise, 40 miles north of Houston, a strange Scottish lady will come up to you and ask you to move from the table with 6 seats that she needs for her friends.
- On the same topic, get a more appropriate office.
- Try to remember which airline your relative flew on and which city they left from in Latin America/South East Asia/Africa. It helps the frazzled volunteers.
- Rescue an animal or check on an elderly neighbor. Try not to cry when the cat hisses at you or the neighbor says, “I’m fine” and shuts the door in your face. Remember I write with experience.
- Try to read global news from reputable sources – even real news is biased. It might make you realize your life is blessed. Think about Puerto Rico.
- Whilst perusing the World Wide Web, try to avoid following those topics that we know rot our brain. ‘Caitlyn and Kris Jenner get married again’, for example. Nooooooo!
- Say ‘Hell No!’ to political correctness. Here is an example – Our President is an ass wipe and not the nice Preparation H ones.
- Read your horoscope. It’s all unicorn and rainbows. You will meet the man of your dreams in 2018, write that book and win the lottery. Promise.
- Be good or you will go to hell. This is gospel from a lapsed Catholic…
Courtesy of Martin Schultz, Flickr
To quote Donald Trump (and I never thought I would do that), “Look at that face!” but I mean it in a good way. Pope Francis’s goodness just glows from his gently smiling face. I know it is not okay to be ‘in love’ with Pope Francis but I feel a bit like a dizzy teenage fan of a film star. Before he chose Francis as his Papal name – excellent choice, by the way, as St. Francis is my favorite animal loving saint – his name was Jorge and he loved to tango. I don’t know about other ladies but that’s enough for me… Handsome, too. No wonder those nuns adore him.
On a more serious note, I love what he does and says. Telling Congress what they should do was a pretty ballsy move, too (somehow that feels like I just used the wrong word). I think I have mentioned before that I am an Ethnic Catholic to borrow a phrase from Anne Rice, the vampire author. It is so deeply ingrained in my upbringing that, although I angrily left the church as a teenager because I felt it was corrupt and hypocritical, I still feel like a Roman Catholic. I am not sure that I believe in a higher power but in times of sadness I am drawn to prayer. My Mum’s favorite saint was St Jude who is the patron saint of Hopeless Cases – perfect for her and me. I miss the ritual of a mass and the smell of incense but I also miss the Arabic call to prayer so perhaps I am just a spiritual person.
Pope Francis personifies, to me, what a Pope should be. Compassionate, forthright and joyful. It is as though he sprinkles Catholic fairy dust wherever he goes. A colleague said to me today, “He is almost enough to make you become Catholic” which is high praise indeed. I certainly don’t agree with everything he believes in but given his age and the status of the church he is a wonderful breath of fresh air. His message that resonates most with me is that we should not be so greedy. Greed is not good, no matter what Gordon Gekko says. Sharing is beautiful and as the Scots say, “There are no pockets in a shroud”.