On the first day of each year, I tend to follow tradition, make a list of new year plans. And every year, like the rest of the world, I fail to keep my promise. Now older and wiser, this time I decided to first research the true meaning of the word ‘resolution.’
To begin my study, I consulted Merriam Webster. Meanings such as undertake, decide, and so on came as no surprise. But I was shocked to realize that I had overlooked the word’s most significant connotation, one that had a direct affect on me.
Before beginning to work, I thought it best to continue my research and find out what the significance of the word to famous authors.
To Mark Twain – my idol in writing – the new year resolutions were but “Harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody.” But I prefer his words on a more positive day, “Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Well, maybe not positive enough, but we’re talking about my friend Twain, whose humor never allowed him to take life seriously.
Oscar Wilde wasn’t such a fan of resolutions either. To him, they were, “simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.” Then again, we have Henry Moore to lift our spirits by saying, “I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.”
The more I read, the more I thought of all the years that a particular meaning of the word had skipped me. How could a writer miss that? “RESOLUTION: The point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out.”
I stare at the stacks of paper, the monument that has taken me three years to build, and have the sudden urge to hit myself on the head with the heavy dictionary! It is as if I had been standing in the dark for the entire past year and have finally found a matchbox!
I smile to myself and promise to find the “resolution” for my story. Still, this doesn’t change the fact that I also want to wrap up a few other unfinished businesses. So I hope to walk more, lose weight, and be a better person, too.