Maybe the best New Year’s resolution is to resolve to make no resolutions
Here it is, New Year’s Eve, the annual affirmation of what William Shakespeare called “the inaudible and noiseless foot of time.”
It’s also the time for the foolish to make resolutions.
Actually, fewer of us are doing that — about 32 percent of us according to a CBS News poll a few days ago, down 10 points from just two years ago.
Perhaps that’s because only half of those who do resolve to do the usual things like lose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking, get organized or accomplish other goals actually follow through.
Count me among the backsliders.
Those of us over 65 are least likely to make resolutions, according to the poll. Those under 30, commonly but apparently incorrectly thought to be the slackers, are supposedly most likely to make those New Year’s promises to themselves.
In the spirit of making it easy to succeed, here are some of the resolutions I’d be making if I were under 30 rather than comfortably ensconced in my Social Security years.
✔ I’d resolve to get my bird-hunting tips from Phil Robertson but lean on more reliable sources — maybe that refreshing new guy, Pope Francis — for my moral guidance.
✔ I’d plan to spend more time perfecting procrastination as an art and relying on adrenalin as a motivator. Just as soon as I can get around to it.
✔ I’d try to write a little more in the style of Rachel Sauer and Melinda Mawdsley and a little less like Charles Krauthammer and Thomas Friedman.
✔ I’d resolve to deal more with what’s good, celebrating declining unemployment and record highs in the stock market, for instance, and less time griping about what’s wrong, while still trying to remember one purpose of both journalism and opinion writing is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
✔ While doing that, I’d also continue avoiding Fox News and MSNBC, places where those who like to choose their own sets of facts to back up their pre-existing biases get their news. Instead I will compare reports from a variety of more responsible outlets that know the difference between commentary and journalism.
✔ I’d pledge to keep in mind one of my favorite quotes from Ernest Hemingway — that “every damn thing is your own fault if you’re any good.”
✔ Another goal would be to spend fewer hours sitting at the computer and more time outdoors hunting, camping, exploring and just kicking back.
✔ I’d also want to spend a little more time actually participating in community events, volunteering for a project or two, rather than just commenting on them.
Now I’m thinking a bucket list for the coming year might be better than resolutions.
✔ Mine would include finishing work on the old Porsche that’s been part of our lives for most of our married years and then to quit spending money on old cars — at least until that Model A pickup I once owned gets rolled into the garage.
✔ I’d spend more of our summer up in Crested Butte and act on my desire to have Rod Cesario teach my son and me fly fishing.
✔ I’d honor my late friend Randy Udall’s advice that everyone ought to spend 10 nights a year sleeping on the ground. I’d want to enjoy most of those nights under the stars someplace we haven’t been before.
✔ The list would have to include getting Bonnie to someplace warm with a beach at least once during our cold months. Maybe then she’d accompany me to Santa Fe to listen again to the music of Bill Hearne andbuy me a Steak Dunigan at the Pink Adobe or lunch at the Tesuque Market.
It isn’t Shakespeare, but perhaps the following sentiment is worth some thought between the time you read this and when that crystal ball drops over Times Square and everyone begins singing Auld Lang Syne:
“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” — John Wayne.
Let’s hope we’ve all learned something in 2013. And that we can do better in the coming 12 months.