Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year,Again...


“Happy New Year!” That seems to be the popular greeting for the next couple of weeks. It replaces “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!”, which replaced “Happy Thanksgiving!” a month or so before.  After the New Year’s euphoria is over, we’ll probably go back to the more generic “hello” and “how’s it going?” until Thanksgiving rolls around again. I don’t know why “Happy Valentine’s Day!” never really caught on outside of our most intimate friends, and I don’t recall anyone ever wishing me a “Happy Memorial Day!” or a “Happy Arbor Day!”   I wonder if it’s because we have so many holidays, or maybe it’s because a simple “hello” doesn’t seem to require the obligatory smile the seasonal greetings do.

One of the many greetings I’ve heard in these parts for most of my life is “Are you staying out of trouble?”  I suppose, like most people, my answer to that particular question has changed over the years. In my younger days the answer most of the time would have been “no”.  As I grew a little older the answer changed to “I’m trying”, and eventually ended up as a “yes”, partially, I think, because I just don’t have the energy to get into trouble anymore.

I’ve also made a few adjustments in my lifestyle over the last 63 years, many times in the form of New Year’s resolutions, hoping to avoid different types of trouble. I gave up cigarettes and alcohol about 30 years ago. I replaced the cigarettes with chewing tobacco, and the alcohol with Mountain Dew, for a while, but eventually decided I could probably get by just fine without either of those vices as well. I read somewhere that if people who smoked and drank would add up all the money they spent on beer and cigarettes, it would be enough to buy a Mercedes-Benz. When I started they both cost 45 cents, so I probably would have to settle for a pre-owned model.

I don’t drive faster than the speed limit for the most part, and I try to obey most of the stop signs that I see. I got rid of our 40 foot extension ladder a few years ago, and last fall I decided our second story gutters on the house probably didn’t absolutely need to be cleaned out just because the first story gutters were full.

I don’t watch much television anymore, not necessarily because I made a conscious effort to stop watching, but more because it kept getting harder to find anything worth watching. Sometimes I still listen to it, but that’s not usually my choice or fault.

I decided to lose 30 pounds a few months back. I lost 20, but found 4 of them again after too many “Happy Holidays!” I think it will be easier to lose them again now that I don’t have to smile as much.

Last year my wife made a New Year’s resolution for me that I would see a doctor at least once a year. She also made an appointment with a doctor for me, and before it was all over I ended up seeing two doctors three times, and taking some pills almost every morning that are supposed to keep my heart beat up and my blood pressure down. I always thought one would just take care of the other, but everybody involved told me I wasn’t a doctor, and that I should just shut up and take my medicine, which I mostly do.

I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to give up or take up this year. There’s a distinct possibility I’ve reached the age where I just don’t have that much to give up. And I guess I’m just a little disappointed that with everything I’ve already given up, I don’t feel any better or have more money than I do. Or that I’m not driving a Mercedes.

At any rate, whatever New Year’s resolution you decide to undertake, I hope it all works out for you, and that you end feeling better or saving money, or both.

 And good luck with your Mercedes.

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