Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Resolutions



It was years ago that I made the only resolution that I have ever kept.  I do not know where the brilliance of that moment came from . . . whether it was some divine epiphany . . . or the alcohol, but years ago I made the last resolution that I ever kept.  It was quite simple: I resolve to never make another resolution.  That was it!  And, guess what . . . I have never broken that resolution since that fateful New Year’s evening many years ago.  Unlike 92 percent of the people who make resolutions, I have not failed at keeping this resolution year after year.

Actually, I never was big on resolutions.  I never made them, but I got tired of people asking me what my New Year’s resolutions were. I got tired of being hounded . . . teased . . . and being looked upon as something less than normal.  Then one night . . . it happened . . . I raised my glass and said in a loud voice, “I resolve to never make another resolution!”  And, so, I don’t; but I do not stop others from making resolutions.  Shoot!  More power to them . . . and, lots of luck.  The resolution business is tough to win.  The odds are against them from the moment that they are uttered.

Though I do not believe in making resolutions, resolutions fascinate me . . . especially around the first of January of each year.  Resolutions are fascinating.  Over the past 25 years or so the top resolution has usually dealt with better health . . . losing weight, quit smoking, cut down drinking, eat healthier, exercise more, and so on down the line towards a healthier lifestyle.  During that time period the number one resolution each year was to lose weight.  Makes sense as research states that nearly 70 percent of Americans are overweight.  If I made resolutions I am pretty sure that losing weight would be near the top of the list if not at the top of the list . . . but, I don’t make resolutions and I wear baggy clothes.
A healthier life . . . especially losing weight has been the trend for being number one for over a quarter of a century . . . until this year!  This year losing weight got bumped off the pedestal . . . in fact, it dropped to number three on the list of top resolutions.  Curious as to what replaced it?  You love this . . . I thought it was genius . . . the number one resolution for this New Year is “living life to its fullest.”

Researchers found this toppling of the “losing weight” as ironic.  It was ironic because 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese—the highest that it has ever been.  We are a pudgy society . . . a pudgy nation.  Researchers have discovered that less than half of Americans want to diet.  Who can blame them . . . dieting is hard, hard, hard work.  It takes self-control, discipline, and staunch will-power . . . which I know I do not have when it comes to dieting, and I imagine most other people are in the same boat as I am.  No one likes dieting.  These scientific types think that there are two reasons for this shift at the top of the resolution chain: (1) society has pushed for “body positivity” mindset . . . like what you look like; and, (2) because everyone is overweight or obese, people have changed their perceptions of what “normal weight” is . . . pudgy is now acceptable! 

Whatever the reason for this shift at the top of the resolution chain really doesn’t matter . . . “losing weight” is last year’s trend . . . this year’s trend is “living life to its fullest.”  I think that this resolution is nearly as perfect as my original resolution years ago . . . what the hell does it mean “to live life to its fullest”?  I think the human race, or at least the American branch of it, has finally discovered the resolution loophole.  “To live life to its fullest” is the most ambiguous goal I have ever heard . . . just about anything can fall under this resolution.  Anything!

I am reminded of the writer of the Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes, who at one point declares that the purpose of life is to enjoy it to its fullest.  His motto, simplified here, was to “eat, drink, and be merry!”  For him, at least at that point in his life, life was one great big party in which just about anything goes as long as one was pleasing him or herself.  When I hear this “live life to its fullest”, I hear the battle cry to “eat, drink, and be merry!”  Defining what makes life its fullest can vary as much as the population of the planet . . . every person has his or her own definition and idea as to what makes life its fullest. 

For example, I would think that all the resolutions that fall under the number one resolution—“living life to its fullest”, would probably be the blueprint for a fuller and richer life.  You know, things like losing weight, eating healthier, stopping smoking, drinking less, watching one’s finances . . . the typical things that usually show up on a list of resolutions for the new year.  But, those things are hard . . . why do you think the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions hovers around 92 percent?  Because they are hard, and no one like failing. 

Enter the new, full-proof resolution: “to live life to its fullest.”  With this resolution, anything goes . . . anything goes as long as it is satisfying and makes you happy.  Eat that second helping of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream . . . as long as it makes you happy, you are succeeding in meeting your resolution.  Trust me, I know.  A couple of weeks ago I finished off a pint of Cherry Garcia (six billion calories a helping—six helpings a pint).  After unbuttoning the top button of my pants, I looked to heaven and whispered, “This is the life!”  At that moment I was living life to its fullest . . . my stomach seconded that motion; and, my heart objected.  It did not matter, I was living life to its fullest.

See . . . the resolution is pure genius.  I wish I had thought of it way back when I made my original resolution . . . but, who would have ever thought that there were two perfect resolutions? 

Having made my resolution and sticking to it, I rattle the old beads for those who have started the year with the dauntless task of living up to drunken resolutions . . . or resolutions made in a time of self-pity . . . or even whimsical fancy . . . GOOD LUCK!  The odds are against you . . . overwhelming against you.  It is not the matter of effort, it is a matter of wording if one is to succeed.  Think about it . . .

Grasp the trend.  Adopt the key to success.  Go ahead . . . say it: “I resolve to live life to its fullest!”  Then go for it.  If that seem like too much, do what I did . . . resolve: “I resolve to never make another resolution!”  Either way you cannot lose.

In the meantime . . . HAPPY NEW YEAR . . . and, GOOD LUCK!  Join the eight percent!

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