SINCE we are well into the new year, it's probably safe to say that you have broken all or most of your New Year's resolutions. This happened, of course, because all your resolutions involved things you didn't really want to do or stop doing.
Stop smoking, exercise more, stop eating like a pig . . . all these resolutions require tremendous willpower and, let's face it, if you had that kind of willpower, you wouldn't be the wheezing, lazy, slob you are today.
It is much better, in my wheezing, lazy, slob opinion, to make resolutions based on what you already want or don't want to do. These resolutions have a much higher chance of success and are a great way to bolster your self-esteem as you chain smoke Marlboros while lying on the couch stuffing your face with pork rinds.
One of the resolutions I have made for myself this year is to stop worrying about the Asian stock market. The fact that I worried little if any about the Asian stock market last year dramatically improves my chances of succeeding with this resolution this year.
Smoking and snacking
Also, there are plenty of people who are paid to worry about the Asian stock market, so volunteer worriers are hardly necessary. This eliminates any feelings of guilt you may have and allows you to devote more of your energies to smoking and snacking.
Another resolution I have made is to give up any hope of understanding what a "browser" is. The word "browser" popped up often in stories about the Microsoft antitrust case (another subject I have resolved to stop worrying about) last year but there was seldom, if ever, any explanation as to what a browser might be, leaving computer illiterates such as myself to imagine little old men killing time in the public library while waiting for the first seating at the early bird special.
On a more personal level, I resolve to stop making excuses about my backyard fence, which has been in a state of what could most charitably be described as "disrepair" for several years now. It is maybe one good wind storm away from disrepairing into individual sawdust molecules randomly connected by a few strands of rusting wire.
Visitors, of course, notice the fence first thing and often make helpful comments: "Were you aware you have an ugly, rotten fence in your back yard?" or "Isn't there some sort of county ordinance intended to punish people like you?"
In the past, I have apologized for the fence and promised that it is on "my list of things to do," knowing full well that such a list does not exist and even if it did exist, fence replacement would be a low priority, somewhere between "add a second story" and "manually push the house 2 inches to the northeast."
I could come up with many other low-pressure New Year's resolutions, but that would violate my last resolution, which is to make fewer and shorter lists in 1999.
David Grimes is a columnist for the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Fla.
Pub Date: 1/13/99