Whittling Away: Another New Year is here

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

By Dick Brooks

For Capital Region Independent Media

Christmas barely disappeared over the horizon when along came another New Year steaming into the station. 

I’ve just gotten used to writing 2021 on my checks and now I’ve got to switch to 2022. I have learned how to deal with this minor problem — I now go to my checkbook and write 2022 on the date line for half a dozen checks or so. This doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes, but it helps. 

I did recently date a check 1972 — I have no idea why I flashed back. Must have been a good year, I don’t remember.

I can usually deal with the date change. The thing that annoys me the most about this time of the year is the topic of resolutions for the coming year. You have to make them, it’s a law or something. 

I do get smarter as I age though. I’ve kept last year’s list and since they hardly got used at all, I feel no guilt about reviving them for the upcoming season of good intentions. In fact, if memory serves me, I’ve used the same list for several years — or maybe that should be several decades. I’m sure a quick check will reveal that most of them still are pertinent.

Number one on the list now and forever shall be to lose some weight. That particular one seems to be the most overused and underkept resolution in the history of mankind. 

On a good year I can stick faithfully to this resolution for about a week before my willpower is weakened by the discovery of a stray, stale Christmas cookie or two lurking behind one of the canisters on the counter. This usually puts the resolution back on the shelf for another year, carbohydrate addiction being what it is.

Saving money is the next on this rather rumpled, dusty list of mine. I was quite successful at this in the old year. I set aside a jar in which I deposited my pocket change whenever the weight on the coins stretched my suspenders to the danger point. I rolled up the contents of the jar and deposited the $28.73 in my savings account just last month. I’m pleased with the system and will continue with it.

The third item on the list was to do something about domestic violence and abuse. To this end, I’ve decided to make the terms, “Yes, Dear” and “Whatever you want, Dear” a permanent part of my vocabulary. They have worked well in the past and I see no reason for not expanding their usage in the coming year. They make The Queen smile and a happy Queen usually means peace in the kingdom.

The last item on my little list is to get more exercise. Since this usually involves getting sweaty and movements that no longer come naturally to my older physique, I listed it last.

I will admit that more exercise would be good for me, but it might not be an easy thing to accomplish. I have found that if I exercise for half an hour, the recovery period is usually about a week and a half until I can exercise for a half hour again. 

Another thing to take into account is the fact that the neighbors are sometimes bothered by the noises involved with my exercise period. The cracking, squeaking joint noises and the involuntary grunts and groans carry farther than you’d think. I will work on this in the New Year while I’m doing research on a book I intend to write on recliner exercises.

All in all, I’m excited about the new year. Who knows what it’ll bring? I hope for only good things for all of us or at least the strength to deal with whatever bad things may show up. 

Make a list of your resolutions and tuck it safely away. It’ll save you time making one next year and give you a chuckle when you dig it out next December. 

Happy New Year!

Thought for the week — Those who live by the sword, get shot by those who don’t.

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

To reach Dick Brooks, email Whittle12124@yahoo.com.

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