Resolved!

Well, the year is coming to a close and 2010 is about to rear-end us if we don’t get out of its way. People everywhere are taking stock of their lives, measuring their accomplishments this year and making resolutions and plans for next year. Many will make the same resolutions this year that they made last year and probably every previous year as far as they can remember. One of—if not THE—most common resolution is to lose weight. It’s on my list to be sure; just as it was last year and the year before that. But resolutions aside, taking stock of the year is not a bad idea.

2009 would probably fade into nothingness for me but for the fact that this was my sister’s last year to be with us. I have a job that I enjoy and look forward to going to every (well—almost every) day. I have a lovely home with plenty of creature comforts to keep me occupied. I have a faithful dog who loves everything I do and even minds me when the mood strikes him. I have two sons who are making their own ways in the world; three grandchildren who light up my life when we get together. And I have a wonderful wife with whom I fall more in love each day. But these are everyday things. I feel grateful for them every day. They were wonderful in 2009 as well as 2008.

What can I say about 2009 that makes it stand out from past years? That is a good question, and one that I am struggling to answer even as I type this. Perhaps that is the lesson to take away from this exercise. It is not necessarily any one year that we need to remember. I mean, aside from birthdays and anniversaries, years run together in memory. What stands out are the moments, not the years. Every moment you have with those who love you and whom you love—well, friends, that is what defines you and that is what is worth remembering.

That is also what should model your resolutions. Resolve to keep loving your loved ones (maybe even love them more, if that is possible). Resolve to find joy in everyday life. Resolve to be productive in your work. Resolve to make life better; not just for you but for those whose lives you touch. And eat less. No, really, I mean it. We all eat too much.

I just volunteered to cook Chicken Parmesan for dinner tonight, which means a trip to the store to get the needed ingredients, and a good amount of time in the kitchen cooking for the in-laws. Not that I mind cooking for my in-laws—I actually enjoy spending time with my wife’s family and I love cooking. That is my problem. I like cooking too much, I think, and by extension, I like eating. So with a meal of chicken parmesan and spaghetti topped off with either a chocolate meringue or lemon icebox pie for desert, I am setting myself up for my great resolution struggle.

But since it is still 2009, I can make this my last heavy meal of the year (no, seriously, I mean it…I really do) and kick off 2010 with my resolution to lose weight beginning anew. And to make sure I do this, I will create a blog specifically to track my progress; this way I can be held accountable by the two or three people who actually read this blog. So, my resolutions are the ones above: to love my loved ones even more, to find joy in every day, to be more productive, to make life better for those around me, and to lose weight. Hopefully, with diligence and support, I can make my rear-end small enough that 2011 won’t hit me on its way in next year.

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