Along with the reminder that you’re getting older, the beginning of January also brings the obligation of aiming for some type of self-improvement.
I’ve made New Year’s resolutions practically every year since I learned about the concept. What I eventually ended up learning is that I’m not likely to stick to any of them.
So for 2013, my resolution is to acknowledge that I could do a whole bunch of stuff, but I probably won’t. For example:
• Swearing. I remember giving up curse words for Lent a few years ago. But at some point, I stubbed my toe, or someone pulled out in front of me in traffic, or I was subjected to a video of a girl playing the ukulele and singing. In cases like those, you just can’t help not saying, “Fudge.”
• Drinking. It’s not like I go overboard, but I probably should stop. Then again, I was a teetotaler for six or seven years back in the ’90s, and sometimes it just wasn’t that fun. I’ll continue what I’ve done since: moderation.
• Complaining. Mrs. Funk would love if I could go cold turkey when it comes to griping about what bothers me. I’ve managed to tone it down a bit for her sake, but I’m not getting any younger, so I don’t see a lot of room for further improvement.
• “Should’ve,” “could’ve” and “would’ve.” I’ve been trying not to use those words, because you can’t change the past. But neither can you change your natural line of thinking that doing something differently would have turned out for the better.
Geez, I should’ve studied calculus more thoroughly in high school …
• Eating junk. I’ve been down this road so often, I know where it will end. Someone eventually will put a cheeseburger in front of me, and I’ll eat it. Happens every time.
• Spending money. Specifically, I spend too much money on music, a habit I picked up when I started buying records 40 years ago. I have more than I’ll ever be able to listen to in my lifetime, so I should put on the brakes. Until they start issuing “50th anniversary editions” of my favorite albums.
• Off-color comedies. Mrs. Funk also would love it if I’d stop entertaining myself by watching stuff like “South Park,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and old George Carlin HBO specials. But sometimes, raunchy is just plain funny.
• Calling home. My mother complains because I never pick up the telephone and dial her number. I guess the emails aren’t cutting it, even in 2013.
• Sports. Screaming and yelling at the television is not going to make the Steelers and Pirates rally to victory. Come to think of it, nothing much is going to help the Pirates in that regard.
• Talking about politics, religion and sex. I was raised never to raise those topics in polite conversation. But if someone else starts it ...
Happy New Year!
Harry Funk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.