New Year's Resolutions: Why I Keep on Trying

exploding frig

The bottom shelf on my refrigerator exploded. From my oldest son’s explanation, I gathered not much damage happened and, certainly, none of it was his fault–the words “broke without any discernable reason” were repeated more than once. He made sure I knew he hadn’t done anything. “I just opened the door and, phhht, a small piece broke off the shelf.” But, while I wasn’t here to see the event, the fact that there were milk splatters clear across the floor led me to understand that “small piece broke” didn’t quite cover the experience. A gunk covered ketchup bottle shoved hastily into the one tiny open corner of the frig confirmed that at least one slimy thing escaped and slithered across its fellow bottom dwellers before being rubbed out (or partially rubbed out—as I still might be able to refill the mustard jar, if it was intact, from the vast chunky remains dried onto the ketchup bottle).

But, I knew the worst part wasn’t in the splatter clean up–my trusty dog has a rather amazing tongue useful for clearing milk off of any surface (Hmm, I wonder if she would like mustard?). My actual fear was ordering a new part. I had to replace this same piece several years ago and experienced a Kafkaesque hell reserved for bureaucrats and people who keep their appliance information jumbled together in one bag shoved at the back of a messy shelf. This could take a whole day. This could take several. First, I would have to figure out which shelf which would entail endless pulling out and cramming in of dreaded things-I-should-have-dealt-with-but-probably-never-will-which-means-I’m-a- worthless-person-so-why-even-bother-trying -to fix-frig-when-I-never-deal-with-anything-anyway. Then I would have to sort through a bag stuffed with bland folded, crumpled, ancient warranties and trouble shooting manuals.

Could God hate me? Then a thought drifted slowly down from heaven like a pure crystal snowflake. Last January, in a fit of New Year’s Resolution good behavior, I had bought an old binder for 25 cents, filled it with clear plastic pages, and alphabetically organized the whole bag while cleaning the shelf the bag was on. Tentatively, I approached the shelf. Surely this was too good to be true? But no, there was the binder and, snuggled within its bowels, alphabetically under ‘refrigerator’ was not only the part number but also the phone number of the place I needed to call. Five minutes later, the piece was winging its way across the continent to me…. A chorus of angels is still singing, “Hallelujah!” in my heart.

God, I love New Year’s Resolutions. I’m getting off the computer now and I’m going to work on keeping some more.

Also I’m making one more…

Resolved: when feeling that there is no point in trying to keep Resolutions because I always flake out, remember whatever I succeed in doing, no matter how small, will come back and bless me when I least expect it.



  • Best fridge magnet phrase – Ever! LOL.

  • Kafkaesque hell
    I wish I had your….resolution. I haven’t done that although all of my appliance stuff is in a manila folder and I know just where it is. I think. *goes to check drawer I just know it’s in….but now probably isn’t*

  • “broke without any discernable reason”

    Did your son ACTUALLY say this?! …more than once?! I’d forgive him the frig shelf if he used “discernable” in a sentence.

    Did your dog go for the mustard? Ours eats ice cubes and RUNS to the kitchen if he hears the dispenser. And congratulations on getting things organized just in time!

  • My 17 year old son said “discernable” not my 5 year old. My 5 year old has a large vocabulary but not that large. If my 5 year old tried to pretend the refrigerator shelf leaped by itself, I would be less snotty. My 17 year old should have grown a little past this. Hmmm, although I’ve been known to say things like, “I looked up and the bag of cookies was just crumbs. I don’t know how that happened.” So maybe I should be a bit more understanding.

    As to the mustard, I drew the line at using the bottle if it had been thoroughly slurped so I actually had to use a sponge.

  • Thanks Kitty. Have you ever seen that Steven King where the refrigerator magnets spell out warnings? Mine is a fiend with a large vocabulary and a few missing letters. It makes uncanny predictions about my weight. “Obe$ity lurks,” etc.

    Jen, Someday manufacturers are going to give us appliances with an url stuck on them that leads to a web site with all the needed info instead of the ton of pamphlets written in four languages (none of which I read) that they stick consumers with now.

  • That sounds familiar.

    That’s funny too, obesity lurks. My fridge is stainless, so I can’t put anything on it. It’s a good thing these days because I tended to have a messy fridge door with things falling off. Avalanche!

  • Wow! So glad last year’s resolution worked so well for you this year! We did a similar thing a couple of months ago. We had a whole deep drawer full of warranties, instructions, etc., and it was a nightmare to find anything in it. So one day when I had a lot to do and Mike didn’t, I gave him the drawer and some file folders and tabs and had him sort through all of it. He threw out papers on items we no longer have, organized it by what type of object it was for (appliance/furniture/whatever) and put it all in a file cabinet and life is much better now!

  • Someday manufacturers are going to give us appliances with an url stuck on them that leads to a web site with all the needed info instead of the ton of pamphlets written in four languages (none of which I read) that they stick consumers with now.

    That’s BRILLIANT!!!! Maybe you should patten that!

  • Patent. Patent. Ugh! Need an editor for my blog posts.

  • I think we’d all sound smarter if they’d allow a 2 minute comment modify period! I tend to drop words and sound like Tarzan.

  • Great story well told as always Kym – always a pleasure when I get a chance to peek at what you’ve been up to . . . .

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