Ringing in the New Year With Non-Resolutions

By ANTHONY DiSIPIO | Dec 20, 2017

Another new year is upon us: 2018! Gotta tell ya, I never thought, hanging on the corner in South Philadelphia back in the ’60s, that I would ever be talking about the year 2018. Back then, I thought my oldest brother was old and he was 28!

But I’m not complaining. As my lovely wife often tells me when I start the “I’m getting too old for this” lament, the alternative isn’t very exciting.

I got this wonderful new idea for the new year the other day after moving my recliner, where I read the paper, and found several columns I had been saving that I had forgotten I was saving. Ever have that happen to you? It’s sort of like the “why did I come in the kitchen” moments we who are closing in on seven decades have at times.

These columns were from the past year of “self-improvement” moments I had that lasted just about that long – a moment. They seemed like a great idea when I cut them out of the paper, but I just didn’t get “around tuit.” For example, there was the April fitness column from the Philadelphia paper that discussed the “summer starter workout” on the abs. It certainly was a workout for me to fold it up and put it under the recliner while working my abs.

No, instead of those New Year’s resolutions on everyone’s mind come Jan. 1, which I am sure to break way before the end of January, this year I’m making a list of things I know I won’t do so why even bother.

In the fitness category, in addition to the columns under the recliner that I’m not really gonna do so why bother, I would include:

Not working out more, since I know it won’t happen. My aquatics aerobics group is a wonderful enough activity three times a week and Ms. Jeri has given me enough confidence that I can actually swim the length of St. Francis pool three times, albeit with breaks for breaths at each end. Heck, I had enough exercise working around the house this fall: I forgot just how much I disliked raking leaves.

And then there’s losing those 20 pounds I’ve been carrying for the last 20 years. They certainly haven’t gone anywhere by me just wishing they would leave, so we’ll put that on the “not to do” list.

And there is no chance I will not buy the Entenmann’s “buy one, get one free” when they offer it. I could try not eating a whole box in one sitting with a pot of coffee, though. OK, cross that out, too.

There is that moment whenever we have spaghetti when, after the first plate, I think about not having that second one. That whole thought process has to go. It never works anyhow. How can you eat only one plate of spaghetti? It is wasted energy trying not to. (My word processing program just told me not to end a sentence with a preposition. In this mindset, I am just gonna leave it there!)

There is the cleaning out of old stuff that must have been on my resolution list for the last 20 years. No way is that gonna happen. As a former teacher, I still have a file cabinet full of lesson plans. Hey, you never know when someone is going to call me up and ask me to present an activity on static electricity. And all those notes and letters from parents and students are a testimony to my life work. How can you just get rid of stuff like that? Or that old rubber chicken that a colleague gave me for, well, I can’t remember what for, but I still have it. In truth, Sandy cleaned out many of my mementos when she sent 53 inches of water into the shore house’s basement storage area, but that was a default strategy not of my doing.

And while we’re cleaning, how about the cleaning out of the wardrobe? How can I possibly throw out those 30-inch-waist pants? I mean, there’s always a chance, right? Keep those clothes that don’t fit anymore or “went out of style”? Hmmm. What is my style? It is whatever T-shirts I have left that actually fit, most of which the twins gave me from their undergraduate days. I paid tuition, I get the shirts!

Probably one of the fastest broken of the resolutions I used to make deals with patience. I pray for patience every day. Sometimes it actually works for more than an hour. Usually something I read in the newspaper thwarts that attempt or I venture out onto the highway and one of New Jersey’s finest drivers makes a lefthand turn from the right lane and there goes the old patience challenge, usually right along with my no-profanity experiment.

One of my patience resolutions was actually easy to keep for almost five months of the year when we lived on the Island: that was to not get upset with summer guests. That would last until almost June.

Hope 2018 brings the best of luck/karma/ju-ju to you!

Anthony DiSipio of Manahawkin resolves to laugh at least once a day, and hopes you will, too, while reading his book Return Address: Atlantic Ocean, a collection of SandPaper columns, some published and some that didn’t make the cut. Order at whenim64ajjr.com or adisipio@excite.com.



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