As a child growing up in 1950s Texas, I never understood the need to put myself behind an eight-ball with proclamation’s I had no way of keeping. New Year resolutions were the worst of them all.
My parents made them by the dozens and broke them without batting an eye.
My mother was the worst of the family bunch. Every year, on the eve of midnight, she would make a grandiose announcement to the family, usually after a few glasses of sparkling Cold Duck wine or too many Old Crow eggnogs. She made many resolutions in her day, but her yearly favorite was “kicking the ciggies.” She smoked like Bogart, one in each hand with a third, lit and waiting in the ashtray. My father, a lesser smoker, was a rank beginner compared to his bride. As a result, our household had more ashtrays than dishes. My sister and I also enjoyed the mild smoke from the ever-present Chesterfield cloud that hung in every room. Mother finally kept her favorite resolution at the age of 74, with some help from emphysema.
So, here I am at 72, and for the first time, I am considering making a New Year resolution or two.
I’ve been kicking around the less painful ones, easy things like giving up red meat or sugar. But then, Ovaltine contains sugar, and there is no way I can sleep without my hot Ovaltine, usually taken between 1 and 2 am, which is also my writing hours so that one is out. But, on the other hand, red meat can give me gastronomical grief, and I like fish more so that one is still doable.
Abstaining from distilled spirits? Now that’s tough, but it seems to be the national favorite.
It’s immensely satisfying to hold a crystal snifter of Jamesons or Tullamore Dew while sitting on my patio admiring the beauty of our local mountain, Comanche Peak. Good Irish whiskey settles my nerves and fuels my literary creativity. Jack Kerouac and Truman Capote will attest to that. Reaching old age without dying is hard work, and suitable rewards are in order. So unless I plan to stop writing and live out my final days as a nervous wreck, that one is kaput.
Attending a non-denominational house of worship with my bride. I can do this one with a few exceptions. Firstly, how does the word “none” go with denominational? There are hundreds of organized religions out there, just pick one and go with it.
Secondly, I’m old school church. I need to hear “the word of God,” not some big-haired pastor with an expensive haircut using the bible as a Cliff Notes report. I don’t dance hip hop in the isles, or clap, or sing songs projected on a screen, or enjoy hearing a choir of off-key screeching women whining about their personal tradgadys to the accompaniment of a Led Zepplin tribute band. I need that old-time religion to soothe my soul. The bubble-haired lady playing that Hammond B3 organ; that old rugged cross hanging on the wall next to the velvet Last Supper painting. A yelling red-faced slobbering preacher that points to me and says I’m going to Hell in a used Honda if I don’t change my sinful ways, and then expects money for admonishing me in front of strangers. Uncomfortable seating is a must. I can’t be a Baptist again, that would require me to give up my Irish whiskey, so it’s best to move on to another resolution or consider becoming a Catholic.
Improving my health. Maybe the easiest one of all, except for the sugar Ovaltine thing and the Irish whiskey thing. I possibly can do this one and make it stick. I beat the snot out of Cancer, so what’s left that could get me?
My doctor is young and hip. He wears one of those Apple watches that keep you alive and listens to TED talks in his wireless earbuds and drives a Tesla. He recommends, walking, hiking, biking, going to the gym, meditating, using fewer medications, and eating less of everything that tastes like food.
I reminded him that I need a knee replacement and major back surgery, so the walking, biking, hiking, and gym are out. Using fewer meds? He’s the idiot that put me on them. Sorry doc, I am not eating bagged weeds, Kale, plant-based meats, or gluten-free anything. Lactose-free milk is as woke as I get. I could only achieve a meditated state after a pipe full of Maui Wowie and Cat Stevens on the stereo.
By writing my resolutions down, I realize that nothing has changed since I was a kid. I’m not standing behind that eight-ball at this age.
5 Replies to “Committing Myself To New Years Resolutions”
I lost it during your description of your mother smoking. Your description of a bible-thumping church reminded me of my maternal grandmother’s churches. She was in an old-timey religion…Primitive Baptists, the children of Puritans. The only alcohol she drank was her own homemade wine that she kept in the fridge. She took it in a tablespoon, once a day. Back to the church(es)…they had no musical instruments (have I already talked about this?) and a “Brother” would lead the hymns. They all sounded like dying cows in a hailstorm.
I didn’t know they still made Ovaltine.
I wouldn’t touch plant-based fake meat. It is mostly soy. The thing about soy is, if it isn’t fermented, it is toxic to the body. Ask any Asian. If it isn’t tofu, tempeh, miso, natto, tamari or soy sauce, do not touch. And, soybean oil is deadly…un-fermented and 95% of it is GMO. Don’t even get me started on canola oil…Canadian gear/machine oil (not for human consumption) that had to be hybridized to make it human-consumable…sort of. That and cottonseed oils are 95% GMO and also deadly…and in nearly everything. I only use avocado oil, butter or lard for cooking. Olive oil is fine for salad oils but, cooking it makes it rancid. Good luck finding tallow.
The gluten-free thing…that was born out of people having a hard time digesting wheat (intestinal problems). Most wheat is hybridized to the point the human body can’t use it. Einkorn wheat seems to be the only species left that is an un-touched diploid. But, just like soy, it has to be prepared, properly. If you are to consume bread, make it simple sourdough and, preferably, organic. I wonder what bread-fruit is like. Anything that is considered a “seed” has to be handled a certain way so that it is digestible. We aren’t designed to eat seeds like birds do.
Ever read up on the Weston A. Price Foundation?
I will never give up alcohol.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, SWEETIE!
Thank you so much…I’ll be here all week.
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‘More ashtrays than dishes”. We are from the same people.
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I forgot to mention the closet full of Tupperware that my sister and I inherited.
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