Here on the first day of the New Year, I reflect on the past and the future. Doesn't everybody?
Invariably, every New Year's Eve, somebody asks me about making resolutions for the year ahead. I always reply that I don't bother with such frivolities. In truth, I would like to tell them to mind their freakin' business because, indeed, I do make little contracts with myself for the general betterment of...well..my self. And what I decide to resolve for the new year is between me and...well...me.
But, in retrospect, I can share them and how they turned out. Some were successful. Others less so.
Take, for instance, the photo above and it was taken a few years back in Wrigley Field. It takes me back to the new year resolution where I pledged to go a moustache because it would make me look older. Of course, after sporting this extra hair for a few years, I ultimately used the coming of a new year to resolve that I would soon shave off that moustache in an effort to look younger.
Of course, the common resolution for probably 85% of the world's population is to get in shape...wink, wink...lose weight. People who know me can tell you it's a struggle I have always had and, regardless of the year, I work hard to do it. But I think back to a new year's resolution I made back in senior year of high school. That's when all this hard work first began.
The already chubby kid had gotten even chubbier. During the very first gym class of the year, a deep knee thrust popped out the whole joint and that would be the beginning of the long end for my right knee. Touch football games after school were discarded in favor of TV reruns and lots of Hostess Twinkies.
By Christmas, I was no longer "big-boned." I was fat.
I hated the way I looked and vowed to make changes with the new year. There was a diet being hawked on TV talk shows that required you to drink eight glasses of water a day. A problem when you're taking six classes a day in a high school where going to the bathroom was a death wish. But I did it. Plus I monitored my calorie intake. Dad did the super market shopping. I gave him my list.
"Low calorie Wishbone dressing?"
Yes, that Tab.
By spring, I was looking for a new wardrobe.
And, folks, it's been a battle ever since. I went to college and almost ballooned to Jabba the Hut proportions again. Late night hero sandwiches from the Fordham student deli will expand your waist measurement. As soon as I graduated, I went back to dieting.
Weight off, weight on. Muscle tone good, muscle tone bad. I never stayed the same the rest of my life. I resolved one year to get a personal trainer. That happened. She moves to Arizona. I resolve this year to begin work with my new personal trainer.
And so it goes.
I have always resolved to read more in the new year and generally never do unless I'm on an airplane. I have always resolved to write more in the new year and generally I do. Hell, this blog began as a new year's resolution. And, as a result, I complete my tenth year of doing it this March.
Other resolutions over the year? Get into a relationship. Get out of a relationship. Find new friends. Get closer to the ones you have. Get smarter about money. Be more spontaneous with your purchases because, heck, it's only money.
At the end of the day and year, you can resolve all you want but fate always steps in at some juncture and laughs his ass off at you. The departing 2016 was a rough year for a lot of my friends and they never saw it coming on New Year's Day last January. So you can resolve yourself silly and life will intervene anyway.
But I do have some thoughts on what I personally need to accomplish in 2017 and...
Well, it's none of your business.
Dinner last night: Lasagna.