Given my tradition of adopting ultra-modest New Year's resolutions, you might think that I really have my life together, that I'm at the point of only requiring a little fine tuning here and there.
For example, one year I vowed to remove all those pesky "Renew Now!" postcards from the magazines I subscribe to before I start reading them, thus saving me the time of picking them up later off the bathroom floor. Last year I pledged to get a new lint brush. I'm proud to say that I kept that resolution, although two years ago I got a little too aggressive: Can anyone really break themselves of the habit of responding "fine" when someone asks them how they're doing?
No, it's not that I'm a model of human perfection, a man with only minor flaws in need of resolution. In fact a fellow writer and friend of mine believes that if there was a Pulitzer Prize for "The Self Help Writer Most in Need of Self Help," I'd be a shoe-in for the top prize. (That' s ironic, because a few years ago I resolved to start using a shoe-horn ... only to fail miserably by mid-January).
The truth is, my minimalist approach to setting New Year's resolutions is based on my long-held belief that goals are simply something to fall short of.
But I'm already ahead of the game when it comes to my 2009 resolution, and this time it's one that could actually change the world if it catches on. You see, I've already placed my ATM card and each of my credit cards (all two of them) in a nifty little "Wallet Buddy " I downloaded for free from one of my favorite nonprofit organizations, the Center for a New American Dream. The organization's mission is an important one: To help Americans consume responsibly in order to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice.
Now that speaks directly to this Green Cheapskate!
The Wallet Buddy is a clever little paper sleeve -- sort of a charge card condom, if you will -- with the following message printed on it:
"Every dollar I spend is a statement
about the kind of world I want & the
quality of life I value.
So thanks to the Center for a New American Dream, my Wallet Buddies will help remind me of the important, world-changing choices I'm making every time I go to buy something. Now that I'm lint-free, I guess it's time to take on the world in 2009.
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