Simple resolutions are the best ones

Published 10:54 pm Saturday, December 31, 2011

Following the lead of some folks whom I know and respect, I have decided this year not to make a list of personal New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I never do, and some folks would argue that’s why my life has followed a trajectory reminiscent of the stock market. I’ve had plenty of peaks and valleys, and I’m never quite sure which way things will be headed tomorrow.

I’ve always been impressed by those folks who make a solemn list of resolutions for the coming year: Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise more, get a raise, find a wife, etc. Even more impressive are the few people who actually stick by those resolutions, especially considering how many of them — to get a raise, for example — are, at least in large part, out of their own control. It takes a lot of faith to resolve, for instance, that you’ll have met your future wife by the time the next New Year rolls around.

Personally, I wasn’t even confident enough to resolve that marriage was in my future. I settled for promising myself 11 years ago to meet some nice women and go out with a few of them. The wife part was just kind of an unexpected bonus.

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As for diets and exercise, take a look at the photo in this column. Does that look like the face of someone who’s likely to keep such resolutions? How about this? I resolve not to eat so much that I embarrass myself at the buffet. I resolve to continue to walk to my car and back a couple of times a day, as long as God continues to allow it. I resolve to cut the bad foods out of my diet — things like rutabagas and dried squid. Even thinking about those things makes me feel green, so they can’t be good for me.

Maybe I should resolve to be a better husband. But I don’t really know what that means. Does it mean I’d be home more? That I’d fix things around the house? That I’d cook dinner once in a while? I’m pretty sure my wife would agree that any of those actions could spell doom for our happy relationship, not to mention our continued good health. Maybe I should resolve to ask her what I should improve. I have a couple of weeks of vacation coming. That should give her plenty of time to tell me the list.

Here’s a resolution I’m comfortable making: I’ll continue to pour heart and soul into providing the people of Suffolk the best newspaper and the best magazine my staff and I can publish. Doing so makes me happy — way happier than diet and exercise, by the way — and that makes me a better husband. See? Everyone’s a winner.