The majority of responses to the Readers Poll question of the week came from Ukrainians. Clearly that means all those ex-pats who've been leaving town are not only spending the holidays in the bosoms of the families but are also consciously avoiding having their oft-soon-broken resolutions published in print.
In contrast, a number of readers were not the least bit shy about airing their dirty laundry, and bad habits, in public. Answers were diverse, but the majority opted for the usual (and all-too-necessary) health-related resolutions. "Quit smoking" is probably the most beloved of all self-deceptive promises everywhere, and it duly put in an appearance in the Post poll. One woman wrote of, "the usual three: exercise, diet and spend more time with the family" and another reader covered all the angles by resolving, "to leave behind all the harmful habits I have" while "staying healthy and cheerful." Now there's a challenge.
So, apparently, is to "start going to the theater instead of strip bars," for one gentleman - who should maybe take baby steps and start with a couple of floor shows at Joss. Of course if he fulfills his other resolution to "rent an apartment and move there with my girlfriend," he'll likely have some moral support fulfilling the first one.
Family and friends figured in a number of responses. But one reader took a more philosophical line in embracing that big lug of a society as a whole.
He resolved, "to spend more time in the company of people rather than watching the stupid television or working with the mainly useless computer. Things are just things. The feelings you get working with them cannot be compared with the emotions (even the bad ones) you get from contact with people."
We'll forgive him the computer crack - seeing as how e-mail is kind of important to the Readers Poll - and wish him luck. Though, personally, I think even the lifeless Microsoft Word compares favorably with a rush-hour commute on the metro - no matter how many people I meet. But to each his own.
Interestingly, a few readers spared a thought for the greater good: not just for themselves but also for this Ukraine we call home.
"I wish for Ukrainians to be more tolerant and flexible and to choose a democratic parliament," wrote one (with no prompting at all). "I wish for Ukraine to stop making meaningless declarations and to start doing things to become a part of Europe and make the life better to its citizens."
A new and improved Ukraine in 2002 or not, another Ukrainian reader got downright emotional in describing his simple and patriotic resolution. Now, if he's trapped in some foreign country engaged in a number of bad habits he's also resolving to give up, we can only guess. He doesn't say. But clearly he's far from home.
"What is my New Year's resolution?!!," he begins. "That is SO easy for me to say - It is to be back in my beloved Ukraine as soon as possible; the very minute I can. I miss her so much ( how helpless I feel in my situation). Happy New Year - and God bless Ukraine!"
As to whether all those unresolved, absentee ex-pats will share those sentiments upon returning to a slushy, freezing Boryspil, only time will tell.
- Daniel MacIsaac
1. Drop bad habits.
2. Get healthier.
3. Spend more time with family
Others receiving votes: Increase my earnings to $300 a month; stop being a pedant about language; find a good career; enjoy life as a process per se and not just the significant days; achieve my goals.
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