I have always been curious to know where the practice of making resolutions for the New Year came about. I would venture a guess that the idea was hatched by some beautiful, thin, well-read, organized young woman that wished the world to aspire to her level. Alas I don’t think the yearly tradition makes one feel as warm and fuzzy as Mother’s Day or Valentines. Maybe it would go down easier if it were named after a saint. How about St. Gluteous Day for the monk that discovered step aerobics or All Crediticus Cardicus Day (in honor of the patron saint of shoppers). It is a proven fact that the membership in Weight Watchers soars every year in January. I am one of those winter solstice members myself.
Perhaps it has something to do with the length of the days and the lesser amount of sunshine. Many people suffer gloomy feelings during the dreary winter months. Does this cause one to reflect on somehow improving one’s outlook by improving one’s self? Whoa….did Bob Dylan write more songs in the winter than the summer? I am not sure if people in the sunny tropics make resolutions. For one thing if a person lived in bathing suit territory year round it would be rather pointless to aspire to starve for June, July and August when you have 9 more months to live on celery and rice cakes in order to be seen in public. Martha Stewart working in cahoots with Dymo may have hatched this resolution thing out; the end result being to sell more products to become better organized. Think about it, it must we a winter thing. Do you really spend your Memorial Day weekend labeling the shelves of your linen closet? I think that is why with the first sign of green spring grass the Six Pack Abs workout video falls into the abyss.
It certainly can be tough time of year to begin your campaign of good will to your fellow man. Have you ever stood in an after Christmas return line between 2 women that have already had too many days of out of school vacation? They are gnashing their teeth like junk yard dogs. Not a good time to compliment them on how you think the color of their eye shadow helps divert attention from their crow’s feet. Perhaps a better choice for a good will venture would be doing some mission work. That’s it. I could travel to the trailer park and share with ladies all my innovative recipes using Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I could show them how to stick a can of beer up the butt of a fryer and roast it on the grill. Great entrée for when you’re having the girls over to watch your favorite reality show “My Name is Earl” on the tube.
Maybe this resolution thing has been the brainstorm of psychologists all along. We analyze our weaknesses and inadequacies and start the New Year with a fresh outlook that in changing these we will have the answer to contentment. Doomed to fail from the start….because….they are weaknesses….duh…no surprise when we are not only falling off the self-improvement wagon but hooking our foot in the wheel and being drug down the familiar road of “been there before”. We are then depressed by our weak spirit and feel the need for professional counseling and assessment…thus the Freud’s of the world are provided employment.
Every year I become less and less willing to go through the motions of throwing out the Ding Dongs and replacing them with Super Fiber Tasteless Crackers in the hopes of telling myself the gnawing hunger and lower bowel grumble is really improving my quality of life. Maybe I just need to have an awakening of conscience. We are constantly bombarded with reminders that we should be more in tune with the earth and how what we do personally impacts future generations. I feel guilty now because I drink water instead of high sugar killer colas. What I thought was making my skin look nice and keep my kidneys humming is leaving remnant plastic containers to be unearthed as the archaeological digs of the future. Maybe I should just drink my water out of earthenware pottery or gourds. In trying to be a better steward of the earth I think that I will look around the house and recycle items that are not being used and satisfy my artistic nature and incorporate these into some kind of “green” sculpture. I already have a good start on the building material. I think I spare an exercise ball, a stationary bike, a bunch of Pilates rubber bands in addition to several empty Slim Fast cans and spent Snickers wrappers. I could call it “Ode to Al Gore”. I have always felt that I had to be depleting ozone when I exercised because the amount of oxygen I was taking in and the sweat I was putting out had to put the ecosystem in a state of imbalance.
After giving it some hard examination I think it is better that I ignore all the “improve yourself” commercials this time of year. Forget about strengthening my core…never even knew I had one. We didn’t have it on the anatomy test in school. I am not even going to try and learn a new language with Rosetta Stone. Only if I can get the condensed version that will teach me to say “I’ll have a Snickers and a Coke” in Portuguese.
Happy 2009 to you all.