Terre Gorham 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Resolved to a Happy New Year I’ve had all of 2010 to think about my 2011 New Year’s resolution (just one, yes), trying to choose carefully among so many options and possibilities, weighing this angst against that one and throwing in a bit of bargaining with God in the process. If I simply pledge to tone down my Type-A tendencies, for instance, is that good enough? Can I just broad-brush it and simply vow to fidget less and do my obsessive compulsing only during waking hours? Or do I have to be specific and promise, say, to sit perfectly still, doing absolutely nothing for 10 minutes each day — which sends me into a fidgeting, obsessive compulse just thinking about it? In my youth, my resolutions focused primarily on trying to be a nicer person — a sure-fire guarantee of failure back then, just as it is now. But with good intentions, I’d resolve not to force my little brother to play Barbie dolls and dress-up with me. And I vowed to graciously allow my older brother to buy all the railroads in Monopoly — even though he was a big, fat cheater in order to get them. As I reached my wage-earning years, I resolved to be more charitable and selfless from a monetary standpoint, and I set aside a hefty 0.0000023% of my minimum-wage paycheck to donate for the betterment of mankind. In order to get more bang for my buck, I chose charities that I thought might benefit me down the road — Mental Health America and American Cancer Society, for starters. Then I discovered volunteerism, which struck me as a much better resolution to make because no money left my pockets. So I magnanimously resolved to devote at least one hour per year — which I could break into more manageable chunks of a few minutes here and there — to perform helpful duties, free of charge, along the lines of working the beer tent when I needed a refill or taste-testing desserts at the bake-off. But today, as 2011 dawns on my southern slope of life, I notice that I’m being forced to make involuntary resolutions left and right — and not just on New Year’s Eve. Every trip to the doctor guarantees I’ll be told to form a new habit, break an old one, or — my favorite — modify my behaviors in ways that only the Navy SEALS could successfully pull off. At my age, a barrage of medical tests are now required to “establish baselines” so I can watch just how much — and how rapidly — the ol’ bod declines as it plods through the years. Most of my report cards from those tediously invasive tests already reveal the consequences of a happy-go-lucky youth: big, fat F’s with an occasional C-minus thrown in for encouragement. And that’s when I started finding myself being told to commit to all these non–New Year’s resolutions in doctors’ offices across the region. Too much information can flat-out put a kibosh on that happygo- lucky youth of yore. Now, every time I sneeze, my first thought is, “Oh, my God! Will my heart start back up again?” And I’m pretty sure I could ace any test on reading food nutrition labels. Here’s just a small sampling of resolutions — and reasons —currently on the no-fly list: • Sugar (diabetes) • Animal byproducts (cholesterol) • Salt (high blood pressure) • Alcohol (cirrhosis of the liver) • Tobacco (cancer) • Hot and spicy anything (heartburn, acid reflux) • Sitting for long periods in front of a computer screen — which, excuse me, is what most writers do for a living, for crying out loud — (heart disease, carpal tunnel syndrome) All of which, by my calculations, leaves me to indulge in a carrot stick and a few dry pinto beans. With water. Standing up. Where does it end? Well, I’ll tell you where it ends. It ends no matter what you do. How’s that for a happy-go-lucky kibosh? Do I really want to live to be 100? Nah. I start fidgeting just thinking about what resolutions I’d have to make to make that journey. So, what the heck! Let’s raise our canes to a 2011 New Year’s resolution to increase my health insurance coverage! Now, excuse me. I’m going to go sit in front of my computer for several hours, pop a cork, unwrap a KFC Double Down, and grab a slice of frosted spice cake.
Published by Downtowner Magazine. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://bluetoad.com/article/So+It+Goes/592578/56391/article.html.