Remember. Reflect. Resolve. Repeat every 365 days.
The New Year is a time to remember the previous year, reflect on the changes we’d like to make and then resolve to do it a little bit better in the days ahead. Little things like simple changes to make our days a little easier, our bodies a little healthier and life a little bit happier.
Lose weight. Work less. Travel more. Buy less. Laugh often. Be more organized. Blah, blah, blah.
You know, the stuff that I try to do for about a week or so and then get so disorganized that I quickly resort to old habits. And then stress eat because I’ve failed yet once again.
In fact, according to polls — which were probably conducted by people who vowed to conduct more polls — the number one annual resolution Americans make is to lose weight.
And, just like last year, this includes myself. I even bought a digital scale last week. Now, this in itself, is a big deal.
I haven’t owned my own scale in about seven years, so we’ll see if this purchase alone will help shed the 20 or so pounds I’ve gained in the last few years. So far, I’m down three pounds.
Oh, I’m not going to do anything crazy like change my eating habits or join a gym. That’s where all the “New Year, New Me” folks are right now. I’ll wait until the herd thins and then we’ll reassess that crazy notion.
For now, I’m simply going to step on the scale a few times a week. Baby steps, friends. Baby. Steps.
How did I gain all that weight? By quitting smoking more than two years ago. It’s the second most popular resolution made by those who still light up.
Oh, I still wished I smoked, but I knew I had to quit. I didn’t even do the “vaping” thing because I knew I’d get hooked on those hookah-like contraptions. There’s a vaping store on every corner these days, so somebody is making some money on this deal.
Today, I can breathe easier and my clothes don’t smell like a hazy saloon, but I do go through a sleeve of Ritz crackers like a crazed banshee on stressful days. How did I quit? Very, very slowly. Folks, it was hard to do. Nobody nagged me to quit. No one gave me a hard time about it. I chose to quit. One thing that helped me quit was tracking how much I spent on padding Philip Morris stockholders’ pockets and that, my friends, sealed the deal. When I saw that I could afford a week-long vacation (albeit in a cheap, hazy beachfront motel), I quit.
I now use my Bic to light my very expensive candles that smell like the ocean waves because, well, Ritz crackers are kind of expensive too.
Just don’t ask me to quit buying my very expensive candles. Please, it’s the one vice I have left in this world.
Anyways, back to the whole lose weight, new healthier you thingy. In terms of getting in better shape (the third most popular resolution in America), I think I’ll focus on taking baby steps like walking to City Hall and climbing all three flights of stairs at the courthouse instead of taking the elevator. And yes, I used to drive to City Hall. And yes, it’s not even a block away. And yes, I used to take the elevator to the third floor of a three-story building.
Lately, I have been taking that short walk around town to fill my lungs with all that fresh city of Troy air. As for the three flights of stairs?
I’m quitting killer elevators this year.
Well, to be honest, I stopped taking the municipal court elevator months ago because it smells like Newports and sadness. And lately, there’s been one too many death by elevator headlines in the news. Those grisly stories alone will keep me out of most elevators for a few months or so.
So you see — life is a lot better around here already!
So, I’m taking those baby steps and I’m happy with these small changes for now. All I ask is just don’t ask me to run a 5K or ride an escalator or anything wild like that.
Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. Ground floor perfumery, stationery and leather goods — wigs and haberdashery — kitchenware and food…going up!