“Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” ~G.K. Chesterton
Around the same time of the morning on January 1 that the US Senate passed its bill to avoid the much-ballyhooed fiscal cliff, I was observing a pretty momentous anniversary. Granted, I was fast asleep during the historic event, my only participation in the official switch from 2012 to 2013 coming when I was briefly awakened by the sound of fireworks at the stroke of midnight, upon which I farted, rolled over and went right back to sawing logs.
It was in the wee hours of January 1, 2003 that the last sweet draw on a cigarette made it past my lips. Like the 10 or so failed attempts at giving up smoking during the previous 34 years of my life, I never really counted on being able to do it and already had it chalked it up to yet another busted New Year’s resolution.
Of course, I never broke my nicotine habit as my $8 to $10 weekly Skoal addiction attests. As one friend put it, at least my lungs should still work when my jaw rots off from dipping. So, in the words of renowned philosopher Carl Spackler, I’ve got that going for me.
At the worst, I still figure I’m saving a good $100 per month swapping one vice for another, money that can be put to much better use while I am healthy and skipping around this little planet. Things like beer, live music, wine, more live music, gardening supplies and still more live music.
Improved Mental Health Is My 2013 Resolution
One secret to success in keeping any New Year’s resolution is come up with something that will be fun to maintain. Forget all that self-improvement stuff like exercising more, losing weight and, yes, giving up smoking. Those should be daily resolutions, and in my case the nicotine habit really is something I still think about breaking each day.
My 2012 resolution was kept, however. After feeling guilty for not taking advantage of the great live music in this area, the goal was 50 shows, a mark that was achieved and passed with a final count of 53. It’s probably safe to count it as my latest addiction, in fact, since something akin to the DT’s set in if I’m not listening to tunes at Gruene Hall every week or so now.
The music soothed my soul along the way and made me a happier person as a result, and that same emphasis on improved mental health will once again be my resolution in 2013. There are many ways this goal can be achieved, but the way I’ve chosen is to get back to using snail-mail more by sending handwritten letters and postcards to friends and family throughout the year. In this day of insta-comm,there’s nothing more that I enjoy than getting something other than a bill or advert in the good ol’ fashioned mail.
So the goal is 52 handwritten missives during the coming year. Being obsessive compulsive when it comes to routines, schedules and statistics, the experience will be charted in detail and also in longhand.
Speaking Of Mental Health Disorders & The Fiscal Cliff…
Some may dismiss my 2013 resolution as no big deal, but they’d be wrong.
Other than sending out cards during the holidays and an annual snail-mail event with my fantasy baseball league, I’ve abandoned this traditional form of communication with my family and friends. By doing so, I’ve quit supporting the United States Postal Service, and lord knows that group could use some help. Sure, there’s no greater quixotic pursuit than thinking one person can do anything to bring positive results to an outfit controlled by the federal government and one of its strongest unions. If idealism is my crime, a conviction will only bring a smile.
While trying to help the USPS out of its red crevasse, sending out more snail mail and fewer e-mails will also help me avoid being diagnosed with a mental disorder. New disorders were added to the official list in 2012, meaning Poppa Pharma can now start selling all of those folks drugs to combat the ailments.
Among those being studied and up for possible nomination in 2013 is Internet Use Disorder, or IUD as it is referred to, which I found to be a rather appropriate acronym. I sure don’t want to come down with that.
About the Author: A crotchety old man since his birth during Gen. Eisenhower’s first term as US president, Willie B. Lakey resides in the bee-yoo-tiful Texas Hill Country along with his wife, too many cats and his beloved beer fridge. Employed as an overworked and underpaid freelance sportswriter, his few moments of happiness usually come when communing with critters, tending his garden or sippin’ cold beer and enjoying tunes at Gruene Hall.