New Year's Retribution
Jason (Jase) Graves
Jan. 16, 2017 at 11:03 a.m.
I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I usually scoff at the very concept of suddenly making a decision to change some aspect of one’s life, especially on a night that, for many folks, involves staying up too late and drinking beverages made of fermented organic matter. I mean, really, the most important decision these people should be making is how to navigate their way to bed without ruining the carpet. But this year is different. I’ve decided that at 46 years of age, it’s time to make some significant changes in my life. And why not share them with people who have nothing better to do than to read a blog written by a guy still in his pajamas at 12:56 PM on New Year’s Eve?
Speaking of pajamas, my first resolution is to clean out my underwear drawer. We’ve all been there. It’s 6:00 AM, our bodies and minds are barely functioning, we are in a pit of depression at being up at that hour, and we just grab whatever’s on top in the drawer where we think we crammed our clean underwear that last time our wives made us put them away and stop getting dressed in the laundry room. It might be a pair of underwear that has so many holes I’ve contemplated using it to strain pasta. (Try getting that image out of your brain.) It might be that pair that I’ve had since my senior year in high school and now fits like a giant pressure bandage. It might be the pair that is extremely comfortable, but the fabric is now so thin it has gained the quality of complete transparency. (There’s another image for your brain.) Or it might be the pair whose waistband has lost any semblance of elasticity and by the end of the day becomes an extra pair of socks. Life is just too short to wear underwear that I don’t like, and by golly, if I had to choose, I’d rather wear none at all. (One last image for your brain.)
My next resolution involves the way I spend money. In 2016, I spent far too much money on animals. Now don’t get me wrong; I love animals. In fact, when I was a kid, my hero wasn’t the Six Million Dollar Man, The Fonz, or one of the Duke boys. (I did kinda like Daisy.) No, for me, it was a toss- up among Grizzly Adams, Jacques Cousteau, and Marlin Perkins. They were my 70’s “Dream Team.” Sure, they were all old, weird, and made questionable fashion choices, but they all loved animals-and I did, too. But that’s no excuse for how I’ve allowed my finances to be affected by costs associated with animals this past year-with purchases involving a horse, a dog, a cat, hedgehogs, hamsters, mice, and my daughters. I never dreamed that I would be spending this kind of money for the privilege of constantly handling poop of various sizes, and it simply has to stop. In 2017 I am resolved to avoid acquiring any new creatures that aren’t already trained to use an actual toilet and spend their own allowances to make purchases- without whining about it.
Next, I resolve to be more realistic about the condition of my own body. I try to do some kind of exercise each day, and other than maintaining the current contours of my love handles, it seems to have little effect. It’s about time that I resign myself to the fact that no matter how much Jazzercise I do, how many Sweatin’ to the Oldies videos I watch, and how many reps I do on the Thighmaster, I am simply not going to look like Jason Momoa, The Rock, Joe Manganiello, or even that guy who starred in the latest crappy Tarzan movie. Instead, I think I’m destined to look more like a close relative of Ed Helms. Rather than a washboard stomach with a six-pack, I’ll settle for a belly that resembles a package of deli meat-not too fatty, not too tough, and full of sodium and other delicious ingredients. Caring for one’s physical condition is important, but not at the expense of a trip to Pizza King.
My final resolution relates to my family and spiritual life. This next year, I am resolving to act a lot less like Donald Trump during a Twitter outage toward my wife and kids when something doesn’t go my way-like when I have to go to work, mow the yard, or go to Wal-Mart. I have a tendency take out my frustrations on my family when I am in a bad mood. This usually takes the form of requiring (and not in a sweet voice) that my daughters promptly go to their rooms with a back hoe and hazmat equipment, and begin cleaning, or I will immediately put all of their pets on eBay. I then complain to my wife, who handles our banking and laundry, about the fact that I don’t know how to write a check or find my favorite pair of underwear (see above). Instead of engaging in these unpleasant outbursts, I will stop and pray. And I don’t mean pray in the King James version, differentiating between my “Thee’s,” “Thy’s,” “Thou’s,” “Thine’s,” “Yee’s,” Yay’s,” and “Yeehaw’s,” but pray in my own words and about my real issues. I trust that when the Lord is finished rolling His eyes and making jokes with His friends about all of my petty complaints, requests, and weaknesses, He will help me adjust my attitude according to His will. I just hope that if He decides to send me on a mission somewhere, it will be a place with hot showers, air conditioning, king-size beds, and Tex-Mex. Maybe He will be impressed by the fact that I capitalize His pronouns-but probably not.
Along with all of my own resolutions, I truly wish a blessed new year to all of my family, friends, and readers with nothing better to do. I’ll close with a traditional Irish blessing for 2017:
“May your pillow always be on the cool side;
May your server always keep your chips and salsa refilled;
May your Saturday mornings be free of children’s birthday parties and sports competitions;
May your checkout line at Wal-Mart be free of sales-ad Nazis,
And may you find this blog funny so that I will continue to feel good about myself.”
Amen, and Happy New Year!