I love Anita’s voice.
Really. I do.
After her eyes, her smile and her meatloaf, her voice may be my favorite thing about her.
Just not in the morning, when it's still dark outside.
Like this morning.
“Honey? Are you ready to go walking?”
Uh, let’s see. I’m in bed. The lights are off. My eyes are closed. I’m wearing my jammies. And I’m pretty sure the last sound that penetrated the early morning darkness was my snoring. There may be a culture somewhere on this planet in which all of that combined would constitute being ready to go walking. But not this one.
And not at this hour — no matter how much I love the voice asking the question.
“Um … well … no, not really,” I mumbled while groggily trying to decide if I was dreaming, hallucinating or in the middle of a skit on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
“Do you want me to wait for you, or should I just go without you?” Anita asked.
“I’m sorry,” I told her. “I didn’t get to bed as early as I planned. There was this basketball game on TV … and it went into overtime … and … you know … I couldn’t …”
“It’s OK,” she said, more cheerily than is probably appropriate for that hour of the day. “You don’t have to explain yourself to me. It was your resolution, not mine.”
And with that she headed outside, leaving me in the smoldering wreckage of another shattered, tattered New Year’s resolution.
It happens every year about this time. Most of the noble intentions and dogged determinations of Jan. 1 are either forgotten or discarded, lost in the day-to-day distractions of living. I have every intention of sticking with my resolutions. I really do. And usually I do a pretty good job of staying focused for a couple of months — or, if it’s a diet of some kind, a couple of weeks. Or at least until halftime of the first New Year’s Day bowl game.
But then along about March, stuff happens. My attention gets diverted elsewhere. Or I get discouraged that I’m not progressing any faster on my goals than I am. Or I just get lazy. In any event, my resolutions lose their resolve, and I slide back into my normal patterns of living — the ones I was so committed to changing on Dec. 31, and so resigned to accepting by March 1.
Except this year.
The other day someone reminded me that Sunday, March 8, is the day most of America and many other parts of the world return to Daylight Saving Time. That means when we go to bed on Saturday, March 7, we need to set our clocks ahead by one hour, otherwise we’ll be an hour late for church or whatever else we have going Sunday morning. This is the “spring forward” part of Daylight Saving Time, as opposed to the “fall back” part that will happen Nov. 1, when we all set our clocks back an hour and return to standard time.
I know a lot of people — including Anita — who hate Daylight Saving Time. They say the time shift plays havoc with their internal equilibrium somehow. A number of state legislatures around the country are concerned enough about it that they are considering measures to bail out of Daylight Saving Time, as Arizona and Hawaii have done.
I don’t know about any of that. I’m just focusing on the “spring forward” part of the Daylight Saving Time equation. Isn’t that a bold, dynamic, optimistic message? “Spring forward” with your life. “Spring forward” in your most important relationships. “Spring forward” with your goals and dreams and resolutions. And it comes at the perfect time, when the fresh newness of the year has worn off and so many of us are starting to “fall back,” to retreat from our resolutions, to surrender our dreams and give heed to the voice of failure.
Which, strangely enough, sometimes sounds an awfully lot like Anita.
And have I ever mentioned to you how much I love her voice?
To read more by Joseph B. Walker, visit josephbwalker.com. Twitter: JoeWalkerSr