Welcoming the New Year

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By Sharon M. Kennedy

We humans are a strange lot. At the start of each New Year, we make resolutions and are sure things will be different. We’ll live the exciting, safe, prosperous and happy life that evaded us during the old year. Some of us will. We’ll work harder and smarter. We’ll bury old grudges and promise never to resurrect them. No matter how hard the ghosts of grudges past try to raise their ugly heads, we’ll do our best to ignore them. Some folks will be successful and others will fall into the same old trap a week after celebrating the Epiphany.

There’s something about human nature that makes it nigh on impossible to stick to resolutions. I haven’t studied enough psychology to offer an explanation as to why this is. Are we just too lazy to stay on a program that benefits our mental and physical health? Does daily exercise exhaust us and cause the towel to be thrown in after a week of serious attempts at sit-ups and yoga stretches? And why do our promises of eating a sensible diet cave after a few days of enjoying wholesome organic food prepared by our own hands?

Old habits are hard to break, and the older we get, the more they’re set in cement. I can’t speak for the young, but I know how difficult it is to force myself to start 2023 on a positive note, but I’ll try. Here and now I resolve to nix a slice of fruitcake in favor of Farina for breakfast and limit my intake of coffee to one six-ounce cup. Lunch will consist of a green salad, walnuts and dried cranberries. Dinner will be a slice of homemade bread spread with organic peanut butter. Water will replace coffee or tea. Daily walks will be part of my new regime. We’ll see if this lasts longer than two days.

I rarely snack so resolving to stop isn’t an issue. It’s not because I dislike snacks. It’s more a matter of cost. Once I purchase necessary items, I’m not about to fork over $7 for a bag of chips or a carton of ice cream I neither need nor want. It’s my belief we often buy things out of habit rather than for the actual pleasure of consuming them. Kids expect junk food. Their palates have been trained to crave chips, crackers, sweets and food from places other than Mom’s kitchen. After a certain age, they shun the thought of anything that looks like a chicken if it appears on the table in its natural state. It’s supposed to look like strips or nuggets.

Perhaps our expectations are too high. Maybe it’s not a good idea to chuck out the old ways and embrace the new. Even as I write this I remember I forgot to do a series of morning stretches. And what’s this I spy on my plate? Could it be toast with orange marmalade? Of course it is. No a.m. exercises, no Farina and absolutely no hope of committing to anything new.

I hope your resolutions last longer than mine. There’s a long way to go before next December. Maybe you’ll reach your goal. Maybe this will be the year you’ll become the person you always knew was buried underneath a pile of old grudges, anger and extra pounds. I wish you luck. Even if I don’t, I have faith you’ll make 2023 your best year yet.

Baking will be a joy of the past

Baking will be a joy of the past


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