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Aisle Seat: Resolutions Are Not Solutions

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

By Naomi Serviss / New York City

Raise your hand

if Christmas or New Year’s

great expectations

went up in smoke.

Whose didn’t?

Stress and anxiety

over canceled flights,

scoring home Covid tests

and sheer panic

stretched our wafer-slim patience to the nth.

Civility took a powder

on flights accentuated by slap-happy,

duct-taped passengers

who forgot their kindergarten lessons.

Who could process resolution-making

when the sky was falling?

Here we go again.

And what’s the point of resolutions, anyway?

They don’t solve problems–

they manufacture agita.

Resolution-making couldn’t help

thousands quicksanded

in transit limbo hell.

High hopes of hugging out

the garbage year with loved ones?

Crushed like harvested wine grapes.

How about those loners stuck home,

kids too far-flung to gather?

The bloom is off the Zoom.

We’re Twilight Zone-terrified

of contracting or passing Omicron,

home Covid tests are a myth

(try to find one!)

and the infection rate

hasn’t even plateaued.

Thanks to the past year’s

malevolent tornadoes,

floods, blizzards, fires, droughts

and permafrost melts,

maybe we should look up.

By the way, climate change deniers:

it’s NOT “just weather.”

Everything’s a mess.

An unusual warm winter spell in Alaska

had soaring temperatures (60 degrees Fahrenheit)

and torrential rain,

during a period when bitter cold and snow

had been the norm.

Dr. Fauci urged wannabe

New Year’s Eve revelers

to shelve it.

The country has reported

200,000 new Covid cases every day

since October 27.

That’s the highest seven-day period

since January 19, 2021.

I’ve never been much of a resolution-person.

I don’t schedule self-reflection

promptly after winter solstice.

It’s a reflex, always on call.

Plus, making resolutions

gave off religious vibes.

Its Babylonian roots

were sown 4,000 years ago–

The new year began

when crops were planted mid-March.

Resolutions were cast,

pledging loyalty

to either the reigning or replacement king.

Debts would be settled.

Borrowed items would be returned.

So it shall be written.

Romans were doing likewise or similarly

under Julius Caesar,

who spun the calendar his way,

designated January 1

as the Official New Year.

Resolution-making evolved with the times,

as should our Constitution.

Early Christians held night services

to entice the heathens away from partying.

Secular humans

have tweaked the tradition,

vowing to stop smoking, gambling, drinking.

AA lite.

Some resolutions are well-intended

but not viable.

Like resolving to dissolve

a toxic relationship,

only to be sucked back in,


Or resolving to think before placing

my size 11 foot in my mouth (Sagittarian).

But there are some–

let’s call them goals–

to be aware of.

(Would have written “mindful”

but I am so over that word.)

We can resolve

to be kinder and compassionate

and still demand

social justice and corporate responsibility.

Let’s prioritize what’s important:

*Good health, starting with Mother Earth

*Getting the pandemic under control *No more free trial subscriptions

Solutions might be long aborning,

but let’s dedicate 2022

to restoring faith in,

and being grateful for,


It’s merely a suggestion of intention.


Naomi Serviss is a New York-based award-winning journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Highroads (AAA magazine), in-flight publications, spa and travel magazines and websites, including



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