It’s time once again to make some New Year’s resolutions. But this year, instead of making resolutions impossible to keep, I will make resolutions that are quite doable. The key is to make sure none of my resolutions have anything to do with dieting or exercise. So, for the year 2017…
I resolve to spend less time and effort being concerned about the lives of people I’ve never met — celebrities, athletes, politicians, fictional characters on television — and more time and effort being concerned about the lives of my family and friends.
I resolve to pray more and complain less.
I resolve to complain less while praying. (God will be happy to hear this one.)
I resolve to count my blessings at least once each day, and especially whenever I feel a “pity party” coming on.
I resolve to stay at the table during the entire dinner and not suddenly get up during the middle of the meal to go into the living room and check the score of a ballgame on TV — unless, of course, the game has important playoff implications.
I resolve to do Christmas differently in 2017 and not go out frantically on December 24th to begin my Christmas shopping, as I’ve done for the past 30 years in a row. Oh, who am I kidding? Waiting till the last minute has become as much a cherished holiday tradition as figgy pudding (whatever the heck that is).
I resolve to do Christmas differently in 2017 and stop trying to recapture a warm and pleasant childhood emotion about the holiday — an emotion that hasn’t occurred since age nine — and instead focus on creating a warm and pleasant emotion about the holiday for a wide-eyed nine-year-old in my community — an emotion he or she can nostalgically try to recapture many decades from now.
I resolve to be less obsessive about sports — unless the Red Sox, Giants, UConn, Notre Dame, Celtics, Phil Mickelson, Bucknell, Torrington High School, or Moe’s Tavern softball team are in contention to win a championship.
I resolve not to mention my wife or daughters in my column — as they’ve requested repeatedly — unless I can’t think of anything else to write about. (And I resolve not to end a sentence with a preposition.)
I resolve to tell my wife and daughters more often that I love them. (At the moment, I couldn’t think of anything else about which to write.)
I resolve to stop complaining about the weather around here — unless it’s too cold, too hot, too humid, too windy, too sunny, or too snowy.
I resolve to appreciate and enjoy the six days each year when the weather around here is not too anything, except too beautiful. (I believe the next one of these days is due to arrive about the third week of April.)
I resolve not to spend the first three months of the year wishing it were the fourth month of the year every time I have to use the snow blower.
I resolve to be grateful I have a snow blower that runs. (At least as of right now. Trust me, if it conks out in, say, February, you’ll be reading about it.)
I resolve to skip playing golf this year to see if I can somehow live without an activity that is five-percent enjoyable and 95-percent frustrating, time-consuming, and ridiculously expensive.
I resolve to spend at least as much time reading the Bible as I spend reading Sports Illustrated.
I resolve to call my kids more often.
I resolve to call my kids more often to tell them we’re driving to Rhode Island to see them in person, and we just pulled into their driveway.
Happy New Year!