So. It’s January 4th. And I already broke one resolution. And it was the most important one to me. BUT it’s not too late. I can start over today, and do what I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
I wanted to blog, or write, everyday. I announced that on January 1st. And I didn’t blog, or write, on January 2nd or 3rd.
In my defense, I was away. I took my elder daughter to West Virginia for a swim meet. We left Friday night and came back late-ish on Saturday. And I did plan to write while I was away, but, well. kids. Friday night we had a chipped tooth incident (more on that–I’m saving this story for when the tooth is fixed and the story is wrapped up). And then Saturday, I was going to write at the meet. But the meet started late (icy roads), and the day was crowded and busy. It was late when we got home, and I was exhausted; my writing would have been jagged, at best. Rambling and incoherent (even more than usual) at worst.
So I broke a resolution. But now I have a chance to make a new promise, to revise my resolution, promising to write every day POSSIBLE instead of everyday. I can’t feel guilty for making my kids come first, right?
On that point, I try not to make resolutions. They always get broken and then I spend a few days feeling guilty. Instead of resolutions, I tell myself I’m going to make small positive changes. Like going to the gym. I’m there a lot already for older daughter’s swim practice, and I like our Y, so I just need to get back to it. I actually enjoy it; either classes or machines. Or to use positive more in my life; I’m a pretty positive, bright side kind of person. I just need to use that instead of letting the dark side bring me down.
And I love to write. So, I’m going to do my best to write everyday. It probably won’t be everyday, though.
Stick with me folks, I’m a work in progress.
And now onto Ted Thompson’s The Land of Steady Habits.
Ted Thompson’s The Land of Steady Habits isn’t for everyone. The story is dark and angry, telling the untold story of a generation caught between the American Dreams of “If You Work Hard, You Will Succeed” and “Charge It!”
The anti-hero of the story is Anders Hill, a man who worked hard but plateaued in his career, and became bored with life. When he’s ready for retirement, he does the unthinkable and asks his wife for a divorce. Before it can happen, he nurses her through a year of treatment for breast cancer, doing so tenderly and with love. But, when she is fully recovered, he goes on with the divorce, much to her shock and dismay. Much to Anders’ shock and dismay, his wife finds her way, goes on without him, and falls in love with an old friend of theirs from college.
Most of this is told in retrospect, with Anders and Helene (his ex-wife) looking back on their lives. In the story’s present, it is Christmas time and all of Ander’s sins are coming back to haunt him. His pride wouldn’t let him tell Helene that he needed to sell the house to afford retirement; instead, he stopped paying the mortgage, but didn’t tell her. His finances are in ruins, but he is determined to keep up appearances, although no one in their circle seems to care about Anders.
This story is wonderful, if a little sad. Thompson gets to the heart of Anders, telling the story of a generation ready for retirement, a generation who worked hard, lived on credit, and paid the price when the housing market fell. The story, however, is not preachy, instead telling the story with heart. Anders is not very likeable, but you feel for him any way.
I give this one four stars. Many will find it dark and depressing, and it is, a bit. But it is a great story of success, excess, and expectations. Loved it.