I mean this title literally. In 2010 I am going to brush Frankie’s teeth.
A little background, concerning both New Year’s resolutions and teeth.
I used to make sweeping, vague New Year’s resolutions. I would be a better person, I vowed. I would cook more, eat out less. I never stuck to any of these plans for more than a few weeks, and when the end of the year came around again, I would feel defeated.
Then one year, I decided to make one resolution and only one. Something simple but important. My dentist had been telling me for years that I was committing dental suicide because I wasn’t flossing. I’m not going to go into all my dental issues right now; they’re complicated and involve false teeth (not mine). Still, I knew I could do this one thing, no matter how deep the source of my resistance.
I resolved to floss every day.
That was in the late 1980. I have been flossing ever since. My gums improved, and I was able to cut back on professional cleanings from three times to once a year. Instead of defeat, I felt accomplishment.
Somehow, over the years, I forgot that lesson of simplicity. Sweeping goals crept back in. This year, for example, I found myself vowing to exercise more and economize and revamp my blog. So I’m moving in on something concrete to do for myself (hey, arbitrary deadlines for coming up with self-improvement goals, such as January 1, are so 2009). In the meantime, brushing his teeth is something I know I can achieve for Frankie. And since he can’t tell you whether I’m cheating, I vow to document the process here — and explain why it’s important.
Happy New Year! May all your 2010 resolutions be simple, important, and possible to accomplish.