Shaken, Not Stirred: Bah! Humbug!

January 1, 2017
Jim Bond

Jim Bond

Shaken, Not Stirred: Bah! Humbug!

#ShakenNot Stirred.

A blog by Jim Bond.

Who do you think you’re fooling? With the slow, metronomic beat of the sweep hand, your life is going to change? Once the final insults between Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin have been delivered and the ball drops, the champagne is uncorked, and the fireworks commence, your life is going to change? Really?

I got a $20 bill that says at 00:00:30 Eastern Standard Time, January 1, 2017, you’ll start changing your watch to Pacific Standard time, light up a Lucky Strike, grab another beer, and devour that last slice of pizza from the ‘fridge’.

Why? Because you’re not disgusted enough with who you are. This evolution to who you’ve become has been a long journey, filled with seemingly insignificant decisions that became a pattern of life. “Like Sands through an hourglass, these are the days of our lives”.

According to Time magazine, the top ten New Year’s resolutions are:

1) Lose weight

Well my friends, unless you need a series of levers and pulleys to extract you from the Barcalounger, or are facing health issues…so what?

2) Quit smoking

Well, ya know, this really isn’t a bad idea. In the 55 years I’ve been smoking I’ve tried to quit many times.

3) Learn something new

This is a resolution? Hit ‘Google’ once a day for a year and you’ll learn 365 new things. (Wait, is this leap year? [I’ll ‘Google’ it.] Nope, 2020 is the next one). Guess I’m set until January 2.

4) Eat healthier and diet

See Number 1 in this list. “Um, excuse me. Could I have a side of fries with my salad?”

5) Get out of debt/save money

This one is admirable. I may even try it myself. Sometime soon.

6) Spend more time with family

Listen to the song Cat’s In The Cradle, written and recorded by Harry Chapin in 1974. That one song has been a punch in the stomach to many fathers over the years.

7) Travel to new places

I hear there’s a new restaurant in town. Maybe when the 3 feet of snow melts I’ll head over there.

8) Be less stressed

You’re going to reduce your stress by quitting smoking? See number 2 in this list. You’re going to reduce stress by covering you eyes when the dessert tray goes by? See numbers 1 and 4 in this list.

9) Volunteer

…to sample the dessert tray in number 8. While you’re at it, access numbers 1 and 4 in this list. Again.

10) Drink less

In the shape this world is in? Seriously?

So who’s the genius who came up with the idea of New Year’s Resolutions?

Well, apparently it was the ancient Babylonians, but they began their new year at the beginning of the planting season, which was in March. During the celebration, they vowed to pay their debts and return any objects in their possession which didn’t belong to them. Like library books, I presume. 

Julius Caesar continued the tradition a couple of thousand years later when he changed the calendar so we could begin the year in January. Average temperature for Rome in January is in the mid 40s, so I guess they started tomato seeds indoors.

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, really began the current practice in the 18th century as a spiritual renewal. As with many religious traditions though, it has become a secular practice, concentrating on the removal of too many Big Macs, ‘walking a mile for a Camel’.

So, typical of many conventions, the practice of resolutions, of being better, which was originally an homage to deity, has  become a self-absorbed journey to developed abs on a treadmill,   

For me, I’m opting for world peace.

After I lose 10 pounds. And quit smoking. And learn something new. And survive on kale smoothies. And save a few bucks. And mingle with all my relatives. And go to a new restaurant, while relaxed. And volunteer as a server. But I will have an adult beverage. After returning overdue library books.

Sometime in mid-March. Pacific time.

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