Menu Close

New Year’s Resolutions

Author Shelley Fraser Mickle
Air Date 1/1/2002

New Year’s Resolutions Transcript

While most New Year’s resolutions are quickly forgotten, Shelley Fraser Mickle is remembering hers. 

It’s important for children to learn about making New Year’s resolutions. After all, it’s supposed to be a prime opportunity for getting them to focus on becoming better than they already are. Which, to me, makes no sense at all. Because kids are pretty all over wonderful right from the get-go. But when I was growing up, my family always insisted that on January the first I declare something I wanted to accomplish over the next 365 days. 

When I was six, it was to give up biting my fingernails. My mother said that if I didn’t, I was going to end up with a full pouch in my stomach bursting with fingernails and it would have to be cut out. That worried me, but it didn’t cure me. That year my New Year’s resolution lasted exactly two days and ten minutes, which also marked the beginning of a nervous personality that each year began pulling along a whole trainload of guilt. 

When I was seven, though, I became almost smart. I stood up and declared that my New Year’s resolution was to get my brother to quit biting his fingernails. That would have been easy. I could have just whacked him over the knuckles every time I saw him doing it, and furthermore, my resolution would have given me permission. But apparently that’s not the way this New Year’s resolution stuff works. It has to be something that will improve your own life. So the next year, when I was eight, I told my mother my New Year’s resolution was for me to get her to stop asking me to stop biting my fingernails. 

By the time I was in high school, genius struck. The truth is, by then I had a whole dump overflowing with broken resolutions. And I was sick of being a loser. So on the first day of that new year when I was in the ninth grade, I stood up at the dinner table and said with total confidence that this was the year when I would attain complete perfection. I then resolved to gain five pounds, to bite my fingernails, and to never recite Shakespeare in public. Oh, how I dazzled them. 

Posted in Holidays, Stories