This I Believe

Vanessa - Hiram, Maine
Entered on February 15, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in eating cake for breakfast, dancing in the kitchen, and in touching something soft every day. I believe in thinking about the people I love and about God. I believe in washing dishes in a forest among branches that droop into my kitchen sink. Most recently, I have come to believe in the value and power of resolution-making.

Like many people, I have been sceptical about New Year’s resolutions. But this year, Jen, a fellow server at the Blueberry Muffin, inspired me by her ability to make and keep resolutions. In the beginning, my resolutions were quite small. The first was to take the maple syrup to my breakfast customers before their pancakes appeared. In this way, they could eat as soon as their food was placed before them. On my way home from work, came a resolution to keep my purse closed when it wasn’t in use. After work, came a purely «fun» resolution — not to swallow chocolates with terrible-tasting fillings! The next day, came a «responsible» resolution: to maintain a credit in the balance of my school-lunch account – I would try to stay out of debt. Each resolution was small and quite attainable. Each resolution was full of a youthful excitement and a potential for success.

It wasn’t long before I had made a major resolution. I resolved to open and deal with my mail on a daily basis. This resolution could not have been timelier! I had experienced one too many debit cards buried and lost inside of mountainous piles of mail. The title to my house, I had never seen, bills were floating somewhere between here and there, and important university papers were, in my mind, eternally on their way. Banks, insurance companies, and all manner of businesses had sent and re-sent documents into my chaotic world of paper. While in the midst of making my greatest and most challenging resolution, I was struck by the power that had been quietly at work in my little resolutions. Out of my resolve to spit out undesirable chocolates came changes in my mail practices. The simple act of giving my customers their syrup, before bringing their pancakes, now seemed wonderfully parallel to a David fated to confront a Goliath!

Six weeks now have passed since my greatest resolution was made, and the great procrastinator Goliath, ever preferring not to open mail, still appears to be lying dead on the ground of my past. It is now mid-February and, to my delight, my resolutions are still intact. Best of all, they continue to inspire me. I still believe in eating cake for breakfast and in touching softness daily, in dancing around the kitchen and in washing dishes among branches that droop into my kitchen sink. Most recently, though, I have come to believe in the value of making simple resolutions that I can keep. I believe in opening my mail daily. This is what I believe.