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Whittling Away: Resolutions


By Dick Brooks

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

It’s that time of the year again, resolution time. A whole brand-new year ahead of us and we get stuck with homework! 

I suppose I could cheat and just copy over last year’s since I didn’t use them much, but I refuse to be a shirker. Last year’s resolutions were pretty much the same as the year before, which were pretty much as the year before that, and so on for as long as I can remember. 

You know the ones, they are the same ones that most adults make — losing weight, saving money, exercising more, less television and more books — same old junk. You list them with good intentions and start out in good faith only to see most of them fade by the end of January.  They usually die a quiet, hardly noticed death only to be revived with the dawning of a new year. 

I don’t like breaking promises, even if they’re promises to myself, so I’ve been thinking of coming up with some more creative self-improvement ideas. 

The old ones sure would be nice and I’ll include them again, but given their past track record, I don’t have a lot of hope for their success. Now, to come up with ones that I can try to keep all year long.

Let’s see, I could improve my dental health by trying not to grit my teeth when I hear the phrase, “fake news.” When the batteries go in the remote control I won’t replace them, that should lead to several more miles walked each week. I will try to eliminate one “I wish…” from each day. I will look through my file of daily problems until I can find at least one that I can smile or maybe even laugh about. I will bring a smile to someone who doesn’t have one at the time — people who are family count. A moment each day will be spent being “childish” and enjoying all that is good about that state. I will remember that my spouse is my best friend also and do one “best friend” thing for her daily. I will avoid disappointment and not enter any more beauty pageants. I will enjoy the aging process and realize that no matter what I do, it isn’t reversible and is much better than the alternative that would replace it.

That should do it, now I think I’ll type my resolutions up and post them where I’ll see them daily and be reminded. 

I’ll put a copy in the refrigerator, I look in there frequently. The steering wheel would be another good place, I spend a lot of time running around each day. I’ll tape another copy on the floor near the spot on the bed where I sit for my daily wrestling match with my socks. I thought about taping one on the mirror in the bathroom but I realized that the older I get, the less time I spend looking in the mirror; I no longer want to see what it wants to show me. I might tape a copy to each doorway so when I go into a room and can’t remember why I went in there, I can at least better myself while I’m trying to recall my lost mission.

Well, I guess I’m ready for 2024, so bring it on. I’m sure that like all the others, it’s gonna be a doozy and has to be better than the one it’s replacing

Thought for the week — Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.

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

Reach columnist Dick Brooks at

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