Resolutions should be seen, not heard
New Year’s resolutions don’t work for me out here at Clear Creek Ranch. Or for anyone I have ever known, anywhere.
To express a desire to improve myself as of the first day of the New Year is to doom my efforts (if any) to certain failure. And to cruel ridicule by those I was foolish enough to share my delusions with.
If you feel compelled to improve yourself, take a page from the Clinton playbook: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Surprise me sometime later in the year with your dramatic weight loss, new muscles, or total mastery of Urdu dialects.
Turn the resolution process into “show and tell,” rather than the usual “tell and NO show.”
For most folks, myself included, New Year’s resolutions just aren’t that important. When I limit my self-enhancement launches to a single day each year, I have months of excuses for inaction after I invariably slip up. “Next year” is always going to be another story, but it never has been. It’s permanently on the sidelines, waiting for the “new, improved Mike” to take shape.
The way I look at it, I can do one of three things: change myself (very hard), change the world (harder still), or change my perception of the way things should be (as easy as a visit to the “self help” section of the library).
Take the weight loss issue. Throughout most of human history, keeping weight OFF in the middle of winter has not been the problem. Having enough to eat, however, took some doing.
And speaking of doing – it is time I quit initiating new projects (self-improvement, home-improvement, etc.) until I’ve either completed the old ones, or conceded defeat and hired someone else to finish up. Like that two-hour linoleum project in our spare bathroom that has been pending since late in the last millennium.
Hey out there!! if you are a Floor Guy with an afternoon to spare, the job is yours.
Unfortunately, I can’t hire somebody to get into shape for me. Unless I want to accept myself “as is,” I’ve got to do the work. Real estate renovators talk about sweat equity, but the term applies to my flex-time bouts at the Ranch health club/barn, as well.
Most of the things I’d like to change about myself are philosophical rather than physiological. (Although I do plan to grow another 5-and-a-half inches this year, which will allow me to enjoy being 6-feet tall before I’m 6 feet under.)
Here are a few of the axioms I plan to mantra-ize in the coming months: Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. No good deed goes unpunished. And it never pays to try and teach someone a lesson. Hmmm. Perhaps a little negative.
One positive lesson I’d like to learn: how to grow older gracefully. It is getting harder to pirouette and jete impressively across life’s stage when all my remaining moving parts are creaking, and I need one hand to keep my toupee from flying into the orchestra pit. Using a walker is bound to crush my tutu.
Perhaps there is a local support group for this condition. I’d like to chair their gardening subcommittee. I’ve already got the support hose.
And now that another unimproved year has passed? I plan to implement any resolutions I may make beginning next February. It is only 28 days long. Gives me a much better shot at lasting a whole month than the early birds who start in January.
Check on my progress next March. But if you can’t tell, don’t ask.
Mike Drummond is a Nevada County writer whose column appears on Tuesday. You can write him in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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