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Whittling Away: Creative resolutions


By Dick Brooks

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

Already a new year is here, seems like just yesterday we were saying goodbye to 2022. 

I remember as a small child how the years crept by, each one wonderful, but lasting for what seemed forever. Now it’s kind of like watching a freight train roar by, each car that you momentarily glimpse before it disappears down the track representing a year.

A new year again brings around new resolutions to be made. The mental strain gets stressful for me. There aren’t many resolutions left that I haven’t already made and broken. Oh, sure there are the standard ones, the ones that you make every year, the ones that last maybe a month or so before you stash them away for next January so you can pull them out, dust them off and recycle them again, but they’re not very creative. 

The most popular one of them has to be the promise to lose weight. Talk about a doomed resolution. You make the resolution in good faith and you stick to it faithfully until you look around on New Year’s Day. Leftover turkey — turkey has no calories, so what can a sandwich for lunch hurt? Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip help make it a little more interesting, turkey being kind of dry by itself.

Then there’s the matter of all those cookies, cakes and candies that all your loving friends and relatives gifted you with. Aunt Bertha would be heartbroken if you didn’t finish off her holiday cookies that she worked so hard on and after all, it’s only once a year.

The afternoon brings the bowl games, 53 straight hours of football games, football games and more football games, everywhere. The Home and Garden Channel even has “The Decorator Bowl.” Nobody actually plays football, but they redecorate the stadium, do ornamental plantings in the end zones and redesign the cheerleaders’ outfits.

They are called “bowl games” because of the bowls of chips and dip that are consumed in massive quantities along with a bunch of adult beverages. Weight loss dies a quick and relatively painless death. Don’t feel too sorry, though — like the Phoenix, it will be reborn with the coming of the next new year.

This year I’m going to keep every resolution I make. I’m an adult, I can do this. It just means being more thoughtful and realizing my personal commitment level.

I therefore resolve that in the new year, 2024 to be exact, I will: 1) Not purchase or wear any purple silken jockey shorts. 2) Forego pedicures. 3) Eat nothing made from the flesh of the Great Blue Whale. 4) Enter no national beauty contests. 5) Stop sucking on my toes in public.

I know I can stick to these and 2024 will find me a more fulfilled individual. If you find you need help with your resolutions, I’d be happy to help, it’s not as hard as you may think.

Happy New Year from our house to yours!

Thought for the week — “The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.” — Dave Barry

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach columnist Dick Brooks at

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