I’ve made 10 vows to myself in an effort to better my life. I’m not the only one who has to learn these things. In a flimsily veiled search for my long gone and oftentimes wasted youth, I’ll quit buying things from flea markets, vintage fairs, and internet vendors. I’ll tell myself that purchasing a little, practically empty bottle of Evening in Paris fragrance won’t make my strong aunts appear or magically make them appear with nice, padded shoulders so I may fall asleep dreamlessly like I used to on Sunday afternoons. I’ll keep telling myself that owning the bottle would just make me regret spending more money for an empty one than they, in their thrift and wisdom, would have paid on a full one. Such things in my life not only remind me of my own mortality, but they also need cleaning. Additionally, the more absurd ones bring back strong memories of the saying my cherished aunts used to say every day: “Gina, for a brilliant girl, you’re not that bright.”
I’ll no longer hide things to keep them secure. I am the only person who can never remember where I placed anything after I put it away for safety, thus these supposedly precious goods remain a mystery to me. I once managed to conceal a treasured necklace so well that I had to request every friend and relative to search through my drawers, bookshelves, and closets. One of my kids lighted lights to draw St. Anthony’s attention. And with everyone’s assistance, I discovered the necklace. I now hang it around my neck in a spot that is simple for me to find.
I’ll quit hoarding past grudges like broken perfume bottles or bizarrely warped Hummel figurines. I’ll get over being offended and put my temper in the past. Resentment causes me wrinkles that make my lips sink down at the sides, which is not a nice appearance, impatience consumes too much time, unfunny bitterness destroys the taste of life, and impatience takes too much time. Even less than another empty bottle of Evening in Paris, I don’t need this terrible luck.
While we’re talking about mailing, I’ll also handwrite some thank-you cards and urge any kids or teenagers I come across to do the same. I’ll let it be known that I realize the embossed “Thank You!” on the front of a card doesn’t take away from the requirement for me to elaborate on that sentiment in depth inside the body of the text. I will back up my words by writing cheques to charity organizations whose work I am familiar with and admire. Women need to be aware of the purse’s influence. If we have the option, we should act collaboratively when it comes to deciding whether to donate money to a shelter or a local arts group rather than purchasing more shoes (or—you guessed it—tchotchkes), for example. Yes, giving your time helps, but if you can just give $30, that would also help. When I’m feeling down, I’ll count to 10, when I’m argumentative, and when I need a chuckle, I’ll call my pals. I will foster in myself and others a ravenous thirst for knowledge and an inexhaustible desire to give; I will rejoice when it is feasible, reassure when it is required, and triumph even if it means being referred to as “bossy.”