Not gonna


To start the New Year off right rather than a review of accomplishments from the past year, or list resolutions surely to be broken in a few short months (especially that diet/exercise one), I’m taking the path less traveled.

This year all of my resolutions except one will be all about what I’m NOT gonna do. I know this may be a little strange, but if you’re a regular reader, you know so am I.

First up, I’m not gonna wait ‘til it’s an emergency to clean out those gutters. I can truthfully say using an aluminum extension ladder to clean out overflowing gutters and clogged downspouts during a horrific electrical storm isn’t a good idea. Especially when a tornado warning has just been issued. Not that I’m admitting to anything mind you. Just not gonna procrastinate cleaning out gutters this year.

Second, I’m not gonna do dishes, laundry, or go grocery shopping anymore. At least not the same way I’ve been doing them during the past year. It seems loading the dishwasher, and then forgetting about it, is not actually doing the dishes. You still have to add soap, turn the dishwasher on, and then put the clean dishes up when cleaned. That is what counts as doing the dishes.

Washing clothes, transferring them to the dryer, remembering to turn the dryer on and to the right setting, adding a non-static dryer sheet, and then walking away isn’t doing the laundry. Seems you still actually have to fold, hang, and put all the clean clothes away for it to actually count as doing the laundry.

Making a detailed grocery list then leaving said list at home means shopping by memory. Not gonna do that in the New Year either.

Grocery shopping for the week by loading carts-full of every two-for-one off-brand items of things we never eat, or buying 50 boxes of raisin bran just because it’s a truckload sale isn’t the correct way to shop.

You’ll then spend the next day traveling around to all the stores asking for refunds. Seem they do have store limits on those two-for-one and truckload items after all. But seems there’s no limit on the silly stuff an unsupervised husband will buy at the grocery store.

Third, not gonna disregard reading safety instructions. Especially those for string trimmers, chain saws, and leaf blowers. String trimmers are only used for edging lawns and cutting small weeds. For those of you out there wondering, they are not used to rid low-hanging limbs of those pesky caterpillar nests or chasing snakes and small rodents out of the yard.

Chain saws are used for cutting wood like trees, limbs, or landscape ties and can be extremely dangerous if used incorrectly. During the New Year I’m not gonna use one to cut 2 x 4’s when I can’t find a circular saw.

Leaf blowers have but one function; blowing leaves. During the New Year, no more using a leaf blower to dry off grandchildren’s shoes after they girls have spent the last hour splashing in puddles and walking across creeks. Not gonna use one to blow-up pool floats, balloons, or clean out gutters either.

Not that I’ve done any of the above stuff during last year. Just not gonna do any of it this year.

Finally, this time next year I’m not gonna look back at this column. I’m not gonna look back at which one of the items above I did that resulted in a trip to the emergency room, weeks of physical therapy and a much deserved, “I told you so,” from the voice in my head.

Strange, that voice of reason sounds more and more like The Wife every day. Guess I should listen to her more often. Now that’s a New Year resolution I’m gonna do.

Here’s wishing you and yours a happy and safe New Year.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog:]