New Year's Resolutions--Maybe

I’m contemplating what, if any, resolutions to declare for the New Year. Over time, I’ve made plenty of them, but most of them fell by the way side before long. However, some of the most important ones I managed to carry through.

The resolutions began as soon as I had a life outside the house. As a teen, I promised myself to do better in school. That included actually bringing my text books home, reading them, and completing homework assignments. As I’ve admitted to everyone before, those promises lasted until school opened after Christmas breaks. Then I was back on the slide. Not until college were those resolutions fulfilled.

When Amy and I first married, life was different. Too many times I said things that hurt her feelings. With each year, the resolution to be a better husband was uttered. I swore that I’d take on more chores, be more understanding, and be more attentive. For awhile life ran smoothly and I carried through with those things, but before long, I’d forget to something or roll my eyes when Amy told me something. It’s a wonder that she put up with me. I am lucky that she loved me in spite of my failures to keep my resolutions.

As a dad, I promised to be more patient. Folks who knew me realized the resolution was in impossibility to keep. So was the one that dealt with being loud and bullish. Lacey and Dallas learned to flip the switch so they didn’t hear my growling.

I’d never run a mile in my life as a teen or younger man. When one of our friends died, my brother and I decided it was time to get some serious exercise. I resolved to begin running. At first a half lap around a track caused gasps and stitches in side. Eventually, I ran two miles every other day and even ran in a couple of 5K events at the school. Back surgery was the only thing that could stop my running in all types of weather or whatever city I was in.

A few years ago, my older brother Dal died of lung cancer. He, Daddy, and Mother all died the same way. Dal had just turned 54 a couple of weeks before he passed. Daddy was 53 when he died. The year that I was to turn 52, I made the resolution to quit smoking. If not, I felt sure I’d be dead within another year. The process of quitting was tough and required relaxation therapy, a strict plan for cutting down and then quitting, and something I didn’t realize existed inside—willpower. That was seven years ago, and it’s hard to believe I quit.

Over the last few months, I’ve put on some weight, and it’s not comfortable. Trying to lose a few pounds during the holiday season is an exercise in futility. So, I’ve already decided that the main 2010 resolution will be to cut some poundage before summer. With luck I will find the willpower to stick with the diet. If not, the problem will grow—and so will I.

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