I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
Why? Truth is, I never kept any that I made, so I figured, ‘what the heck’. Just a waste of time on my part. On most peoples’ part.
Case in point. Forty years back, a friend of mine tried to stop smoking. That year, he resolved to stop cold turkey. The next year, he resolved to smoke no more than a pack a day; the next, smoke no more than a carton a week; the following year, it was no more than two cartons, and the next year, it was to purchase a small cart to carry the oxygen tank that helped him breathe.
And then there is this friend of mine who in 1991 resolved to give up his girl friend and stop cheating on his wife.
In 1992, he resolved to take his illicit liaisons out of town.
In 1993, he resolved to buy his wife a four-carat diamond ring in an effort to reconcile.
In 1994, he resolved to limit his gifts to his girl friend so he could pay alimony.
Now, having said all of that, I’ll admit that if someone is going to make changes in his life, the first of the year is the time. New Years signifies a new beginning—maybe not new or a beginning, because in reality you’re still stuck with the problems you had on December 31.
But, I suppose it is as good a time as any to begin.
New Years originated in 46 B.C. with Roman emperor Julius Caesar who established January 1 as New Year’s Day. Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates, had two faces, one looking forward and one back. Caesar felt that the month named after this god, January, would be the appropriate “gate” for the past year and the “door” to the new year.
How did he celebrate that first New Years? Why by ordering the violent routing of revolutionary Jewish forces in Galilee. Eyewitnesses said blood flowed in the streets.
In later years, Roman pagans observed the New Year by engaging in drunken orgies—a ritual they believed constituted a re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was put in order by the gods.
Leave it to the human psyche to recognize a good thing. That same celebration has survived down through two thousand years. Mark my words, come December 31, there will be thousands of Bacchanalian celebrations around the world.
And if you’d seen some of the parties I have, you’d realize we are still re-enacting the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was put in order by the gods.
Still, the fact that probably three quarters of the world will make an effort to alter their lifestyles does offer a psychological boost to one’s psyche if he is considering change. In other words, you’re not alone in your wishful thinking.
And if it will make you feel better when you break your resolution by the middle of January, three quarters of the world has probably already broken its resolution.
Once during a discussion on the pros and cons of resolutions, a friend asked what mine was. I told him I didn’t make them any longer, but if I did, it would to be a better father and husband.
His response? “You mean you aren’t a good one now?”
His reply reminded me of the old ‘have you stopped beating your wife yet’ question. I ignored him.
Some people go for resolutions in a big way.
The guy who blogs “Weird Meat” resolved this year to eat as many weird meats as he could. According to the Courier Mail, that includes raw yak, crickets, ostrich sandwich, and deer heart wine.
Personally, I think he wrote that for its shock value and the possibility of gaining more followers for his blog. Nobody could be serious about a concoction called deer heart wine.
On another blog, “Gala Darling” made one resolution, to learn a party trick such as weird stomach contortions or learning to belch the alphabet. If not those, then learn to do hand-stand pushups. Now, that’s something worth knowing.
But, back to you and your resolutions. You know why most of us don’t keep them?
Because we don’t think them out.
They are usually knee jerk decisions, right?
It has been my experience that to make a major change, it must come about in your lifestyle. In other words, ‘keep doing what you’re doing, then you’ll keep getting what you got.’
Resolutions are tough to keep. Like the comedian once said, ‘I dieted for a month, and all I lost was a month.’
But, give it shot. And good luck.