What is new for the New Year?

For the last 13 years, I have been writing this column, I find it very difficult to write the last column of the year. Do I write about the year gone by or about the year to come? Should I write about good things or bad things? Should I make it light hearted or serious? Then I ask myself, “Does anybody really care what I write at this time of the year?”

My mind is never empty. It is always constructing opening and closing paragraphs of my future articles. The buzz in my head goes on for days until I sit down and start writing. But, sometimes I do get mental block or writer’s cramp. But I don’t think I get a swollen head.

This reminds me of a quote by Coulson Kernahan (1858–1943), an English novelist, “There are two literary maladies – writer’s cramp and swollen head. The worst of writer’s cramp is that it is never cured; the worst of swollen head is that it never kills.” I think I am safe.

This brings me back to the title of the column, “What is new for the New Year?”

It is the same old, same old.

This includes the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions are almost always the same. Mine do not change from year to year. One resolution never goes away is my prayer, “Oh God, take away 20 lbs from my girth so I can fit into my pants.” The prayer never gets answered and my resolution stays on the board for the next year.

Studies have shown that people understand their health risks but do not necessarily change their lifestyle. Surveys have shown that 57 per cent of people are not motivated to stay healthy. Don’t they care? Thirty four per cent of people have no time and 30 per cent have financial barriers to pursue a healthy life style.

Here are five resolutions I would be interested in:

1. Move to an island where I can find Robinson Crusoe and Friday. I would like to know where “No man is an island” is. Is it in Bow Island? I would like to spend more time with my family and friends if Friday does not mind.

2. I would like to be 18 again. Fit and healthy. Run 10 km a day and pump iron every day. I would like to look like Charles Atlas (does anybody remember him?) or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It would be cool just to know how to spell Arnold’s last name. That, in itself, would be lot of heavy lifting. I would like to have sexy accent like his – then I can run for an elected office against Sarah Palin. But I am a Canadian and that will never happen. Dang!

3. Tame the bulge so I can get into my pants and keep my cardiologist happy. And I don’t get my shoes wet. Why is this so difficult? It is not like taming a lion or Elizabeth Taylor. Some say it is the gluttony. Shame on me. I will see if Santa can fulfill my wish this Christmas – Santa, get me some will power. Not a drill dummy, I said “will power.” Ok Santa, the “drill” should help my bulge. Right?

4. I don’t need to quit smoking because I…do… not… smoke! Ah, that is smart or what? If you are a smoker, better quit before you turn into ashes. Right now your dollars are burning. Then your lungs will go black…ok…ok…I will stop now before you throw up.

5. Do not drink and drive. Drinking and driving is not funny. You are not only putting yourself in danger but you are putting lot of innocent people in danger. Chronic drinking hurts your family and friends. Quite likely, chronic drinking will make you a lonely person and in the long run, perhaps a street person or a number in jail.

So, be smart. Have a safe and happy New Year!

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