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The list for 2002

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It's that time of year again, when life seems to be dictated by a series of lists.

The most exciting list of course, is the Christmas wish list. This year I asked for a laptop and instead got a pink fleece and some long johns (as it turned out, not the most exciting list). Oh well, I guess I'll be warm this winter, if not waxing eloquent in the comfort of my home.

The second list of the season is the "TO BUY FOR" list. Try as I might, the things on this list never seem to get checked off in time for Christmas, which gives the folks fodder for the upcoming year about how selfish and ungrateful I am – whatever happened to, "it's the thought that counts?"

Then there's the Christmas card list, the Christmas day food list, the stuff to get done at work before the Christmas holidays list, the Best of Whistler list.

It goes on.

The problem of course, is that I compile my lists in my head. This explains why, in years past, I have forgotten to buy cranberry sauce for the turkey dinner, a gift for my older cousin, and a Christmas card for the boss.

You would think that someone who writes for a living might be able to write down a few simple reminders but I operate on the belief that my mind is airtight, despite all the evidence that points to the contrary.

Plus, it's hard to fit a list on the back of my hand, which is where most of my reminders go.

So, I figured that maybe my first New Year's resolution should be to write down a list of the things that I hope to accomplish in 2002. And having them published for all eternity in Pique Newsmagazine might give me some incentive to stick to them this year instead of letting them fall by the wayside, as is often wont to happen.

Resolution making is a tradition that dates back to the early Babylonians when the most popular resolution, presumably carved in stone, was the promise to return borrowed farm equipment.

Can't say that's top of my list but here are a few things that have been swirling around in my head as stuff that I would like to get done in the New Year.

BECOME A BETTER SNOWBOARDER — Hopefully this one won't present too many problems as I've just started and I can't really get any worse. So let's "up" the challenge. By the end of the season I want to be able to ride switch. Oh, and maybe finish a cat track without falling down 100 times.

SAVE MONEY — It doesn't bode well for this resolution that I'm already chuckling before I finish writing it down. Seriously though, it's as dad always said, "put 10 per cent of every pay cheque in the bank" – obviously, my dad's never lived in Whistler.

START THAT NOVEL — Along with all those lists swirling around up there is this idea I have about a young boy who discovers he's a wizard and goes off to wizard school to make new wizard friends and battle evil forces in the land. I'm thinking I can roll the story into seven books, maybe a movie deal... no, wait a second, I think someone's already used that idea. But there are others. It's just a matter of getting them onto paper. (If only the folks had realized how much they're hindering my Booker prize-winning career by giving me fleece instead of a laptop.)

LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE (preferably Spanish) — How hard can this one be? Take a course, pop in some Easy to Learn Spanish tapes, drink a little tequila...

LEARN TO COOK — and I mean something other than heating up sausage rolls and baked beans or pasta and tomato sauce. I mean, learn to really cook, like Martha Stewart style, minus the button down shirts, khaki pants and the serene, monotone voice. Come to thing about it, there would be nothing serene about me in the kitchen, attempting to follow a recipe.

So you see, I don't really think I'm reaching for the stars here. I think these are manageable resolutions. Oh, (note to the ed.), I plan on working harder in the New Year too.

Now after all that I already feel better and more accomplished than before. I highly recommend that everyone write down their New Year's resolutions – it's a worthwhile, albeit a potentially fruitless exercise.

Happy New Year!

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