Saturday, January 05, 2013

Why I Don't Make New Year Resolutions Anymore

Out with the old, in with the new! It’s the January cry of merchants everywhere. Year-end clearance extravaganzas are being announced with manufactured jollity in newspapers, on television commercials, on the radio. So why not apply the same philosophy to people? Clear out a few old habits and issue in some new ones.

With resolve in hand I take a look around, deciding to start with my refrigerator where a couple of bad habits—ice cream and bacon—lay waiting for me to indulge (though not simultaneously). I take the ice cream out of the freezer. It’s coffee flavored, rich and creamy and slightly softened around the edges, just the way I like it. I carry the carton to the sink and lift the lid. I figure I’ll take one last taste, just one, before I throw the rest out. Waste, after all, is sin and sinning is a poor way to start out a new year. I grab the first spoon at hand (a serving spoon, as it turns out) and scoop some of the luscious stuff to my mouth. How can something so bad for you taste so good? One spoonful leads to another, of course, and in the end I don’t have to throw out any of the ice cream.

I go back to the fridge for the bacon. There are only a few strips left and I am gazing at them longingly when I spy the last two slices of bread sitting forlornly in their bag. Looking away quickly, my eye lands on a half-cut tomato and a leaf of lettuce poking invitingly out of the crisper. Waste not, want not, I chant, and moments later wash the ice cream down with a BLT.

Because this is the way I often cleaned out the refrigerator in my regretful past, I turn next to the closet where several garments that no longer fit hang in reproachful silence. One by one I take them off their hangers and stuff them into a bag destined for the Good Will bin. Halfway to the door, I have second thoughts. Now that I’ve given up fattening foods, these clothes just might fit again some day. I stash the bag in the back of the closet.

With that “Wow! What a good day!” feeling, I drag on my boots, pull on my mittens and set out for a brisk walk. From now on, I resolve, I will walk two miles every single day. I get as far as the driveway when the first sprinkle falls. Our predicted snow is obviously going to begin with rain. By the time I make it back to the house and pour myself a cup of hot chocolate decorated with a mound of freshly whipped cream, a mixture of sleet and snow is coming down in wind-driven gusts.

Isn’t that always the way? You make a few good resolutions and the weather or your conscience or some other thing you think you have control over leads you down the road of best intentions. It’s a good thing we’re given a whole year to practice our well-founded resolve.

A little gift to you all: For a splendid post on resolute wishes, see Friko's writing on the subject.


Brian Miller said...

ha. blt makes for a nice meal...and i often am cleaning out the fridge in creative ways....and yes, those resolutions get conspired against all the enjoy the warm beverage and watch the snow...i wonder if we have any bacon...hmm....

Pauline said...

lol Brian - I'd share mine but it's all gone...

Marc Leavitt said...

Best wishes for 2013.
I make the same resolution every year; I resolve not to make resolutions.
Actually, I made a catch-all resolution saome years back: To follow my bliss and be nice to people. I try to be mindful of both throughout each year.
If you have a moment; I wrote a poem about the new year (Dec.31 entry on my blog - Marc Leavitt's Blog). Take a look.

Marc Leavitt said...

I was having a senior moment when I suggested you look at my poem on the new year. However, I did post a new poem yesterday.

Pauline said...

marc - I came, I read, i commented :)

June said...

Your account rings loud bells for me.
I bought ice cream for Husband yesterday and did not buy any for me.
On the way to the register, piles of party pack bags of tiny chocolate bars.

Out on the prairie said...

I have both in my refrig. I have a few good places I drive to just to get good bacon. One has the squeally pigs in the back room so you know it is fresh.The other has twice smoked applewood.

Tabor said...

Well, you gave it your best shot and that IS worth something, is it not?

Pauline said...

June - temptation is all around us!

OOTP - as long as there's no bacon in the fridge, I don't eat it ;)

Tabor - I can justify eating almost anything if it's followed by a brisk walk!

Russell said...

Glad to hear you did not make the huge mistake of tossing out perfectly good ice cream! That is actually a criminal offense in many states - or should be!! Heh!

Have a wonderful new year!

Oh, by the way, someone gave me some granola bars this week (apparently they are some sort of food but could have fooled me) and I gave them to a co-worker who is very health concious.

This man rides his bicycle in the dead of winter on icy roads. I think he is more nutty than the granola bar he eats! Really ...!

Don't get me started on people who bicycle on roads ....!!

Oh - happy new year! Again! Heh!

Hilary said...

This made me laugh because I can so relate to it. But it would have been wrong to toss that ice cream. Really.

Barbara Shallue said...

This made me smile and wish I was there beside you, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate!

Friko said...

Resolutions Schmesolutions.

If there’s anything more futile you’ll have to rub my nose in it. Actually, rub my nose in ice cream, I’d prefer that.

Thank you for the mention, Pauline.

Molly said...

My problem is that when I'm here alone, which seems to be more and more the way of it, I can't get motivated to cook and sometimes forget to eat...And then of course I rush to the cupboard and eat all the wrong things! Can't win....But, courage! It's a new year!

Judith said...

Washing down the ice cream with the BLT --
I LOVE this.