(A look back at what I wrote before New Years, 2017)
When I was a little kid, soft drinks, (pop) in machines cost ten cents, then 15 cents, and then a quarter. The bottles were 10 ounces or so, and made of glass. Back then, my dad would tell me that when he was young pop was a nickel. Since I was a kid, I mentally rolled my eyes at his old-ness. Now,
I am generally quite resolute in my policy of not making New Year’s resolutions. This year, though, I may change my strategy and take some steps towards self-improvement.
The New Year’s resolution first started in the year 1943 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Actually, I just made that up. In reality, the origins were religious. We know that Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year, as did the Romans.
Even though January first is an arbitrary “beginning,” it is nice to have a clean slate on which to inscribe our year to come. Most resolutions aren’t kept, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad idea. It means we’re not very good at changing our habits.
Here are a few areas of my life where some resolutions might be in order. Don’t hold me to these, though. I haven’t committed yet.
1. Earlier to bed and earlier to rise.
2. Remove some joy from my life by eating less.
3. Remove even more joy by drinking less pop.
4. Treat my phone like a tool and not a companion.
5. Spend more time with nice people.
6. New rule: Make more than two hurtful or stupid Facebook posts, and you are unfollowed.
7. Write notes to people on paper and mail them in envelopes with stamps. At least I think that’s how it’s done.
8. Set some goals and make some objectives. Plan my days. I know: it does sound crazy.
9. Regain my lost youth through exercise.
10. Always get my columns in on time.
So, those are some candidates. Maybe some of them ring true with you as well. There are others, like volunteering more and spending more time in nature, but those aren’t really resolutions as much as they are things to be aware of as the opportunities arise.
I’m grateful that I’m not someone who has truly difficult changes to make, like quitting drugs, drinking, or smoking. If it’s so hard for me to drink less Pepsi, I’d have no chance at quitting cocaine.
On the other hand, people are capable of amazing changes when they put their hearts and minds into it. Maybe listing the things we want to change on December 31st is mostly important for bringing our thoughts and feelings into clearer focus. Even if we aren’t perfect humans one year later, maybe we’ll be better than we were.
So, for now, good luck to you in whatever you undertake in the New Year.