Resolve To Read This Column!

By Tony Moorby February 14, 2022

It’s about this time of year that many New Year’s resolutions go the way of most good intentions; the workout bike in the corner of the rec room becomes a clotheshorse again. A pre-prandial gin and tonic once again graces the table by the armchair before dinner and dinner itself includes potatoes again and crusty bread as a preferred go-with. Promises to abstain from this or that get forgotten as the social pressures to get back to whatever was normal outweigh the feeling of commitment to do better.

Of course, making New Year’s resolutions is not a recent development. They have origins that go as far back as Babylon or ancient Rome when people looked back on the past year, as promises to the Gods to do better were made to gain favor in the New Year.

Over the centuries the commitments became more secular and perhaps, a little less formal. Even so, the promises to abstain were similar to those we make today; lay off the booze, loose weight, get up early and exercise. The diarist, Samuel Pepys in the 1600s resolved to give up his 7 or 8 glasses of wine a day after the indulgencies of the 12 days of Christmas. He slid back into drinking again about 12 days later, decrying experience over hope saying “It was of necessity, being ill for the want of it.”

The promise to keep a diary wears thin after a couple of months reporting the same things or being a little embarrassed at baring one confessions a little too openly.

We have Twitter and FaceBook for those things today as once private thoughts are aired like underwear on a clothesline. I have to be careful here, as half our readers have probably never seen a clothesline! Instagram is now the peephole for family and friends to peer into the corners of our lives and minds.

I made a resolution to use my phone only as a phone instead of it being a semi-permanent fixture at the end of my arm. “Wordle” put paid to that but luckily that’s only a once a day dalliance.  

Getting the kids to spend less time on IPads and the like and spend more social time with other people in the same room is a short-lived resolution. Their distractions allow more time for mom or dad to indulge in their own. The truth is that the kids will spend their lives in this realm; so promoting their dexterity early on is probably no bad thing. I think the pandemic has accelerated everyone’s acknowledgement that living vicariously through machines is inevitable.

I resolved to lay off chocolate – easily said after the overdose of Halloween. I always buy too much candy on purpose so there’s enough left over to sneak a Hundred Grand or a Snickers bar. I excuse myself based on the fact that they’re miniatures – phooey! Then just as the resolution’s commitment to abstain is tested, along comes Valentine’s Day. Regular readers may remember my dissertation on a box of chocolates and those sensual delights have not dissipated.

So it’s back to normal for me as I lean on something my Grandmother used to say, “A little of what you fancy, does you good.” So I take back all those promises to quit – no one likes a quitter!

Last modified on Monday, 14 February 2022 17:23