Home Opinion Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT Teetering on the resolution high dive
Teetering on the resolution high dive
There are two types of people in this world: those who make resolutions, and those who roll on the ground laughing.
I make resolutions. Perhaps you do too. Trying to have a serious conversation with the people rolling on the ground is difficult.
I’ve made as many resolutions as mountain man John “Liver-Eating” Johnson has set traps. And about the only thing I’ve caught is a cold.
That happened the year I resolved to wash my hands with enthusiasm. Yes, the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for Ducks fan from the University of Oregon celebrating a Civil War college football victory. Beaver fans from Oregon State University, of course, resolve patience — or at least to be happy with the annual moral victory. Beaver fans, at least the traffic circle engineers and bug scientists, are probably smart enough not to make resolutions.
Yes, as you probably know if you’ve got a pulse and the sense of a rock, there is light at the end of the 2013 tunnel. By all reckoning, it is 2014, the train bearing down on my big stack of resolutions.
For the moment, 2014 looks so bright I must wear shades. Or squint like Clint. That’s Eastwood, the guy who worked in a Springfield mill until he was discovered by Hollywood moguls and began drifting the high cinematic plains.
Clint had his habits. I have mine. Habits, as you know, die hard. They go through death throes like the actors in spaghetti westerns, clutching their black hearts, making impassioned Al Gore-eqsque speeches, then realizing that all they have is a Monty Python-worthy flesh wound.
Most people who make resolutions, like the Monty Python gang, are idea people. You know the type. They have desk drawers and even old broken down dishwashers full of ideas written on napkins and receipts. They have ideas in every orifice and porthole of the house.
These idea people know what they want to do. They know if they did everything on their list, they would be heroes in the community, be saluted at the annual hot-dish banquet with slides shown from the peak of their cuteness crest, and get their names in who’s who books for sale for only $39.99 and perhaps win the Obama peace prize.
If you do make resolutions, it’s important to make them totally impossible to achieve. Running the three-minute mile. Climbing a 35,000-foot peak. Feeling more pain than Bill Clinton. Living in a castle when the only royal treatment you get is at the local Burger King fast food joint. Driving a race car through La Grande. Ice skating in July. Herding butterflies. Being struck by lightning out of the clear blue sky on the way to pick up your earnings in the Megamillions Lottery.
My resolutions are simple. Refuse to get upset when some nincompoop spends $50 million on a painting. Enjoy driving my own all-American Lombardini health insurance plan and feel privileged to live in a country — USA, USA, USA! — with the 37th most effective health care in the world at the highest prices. Fix what you can. Use temporary measures to fix what you can’t afford to because you’re buying the Lombardini. Enjoy each day. Win the day. Live. Laugh. Love. OK, laugh 400 times a day like the typical child rather than 10 times a day like the typical moldy adult.
Don’t laugh at people making resolutions.
Fake it until you make it. Give until it hurts. Give some more. One day at a time.