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New Year’s resolution

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Last Year, This Year, Next Year

We have a calendar, in our kitchen, tacked to the cork-board.  It records special dates, travel schedules, reminders, etc.  A new year, of course, demands a new calendar and the timing is perfect.  The old year, and its calendar, are scrawled upon, dirty, and falling apart; good riddance, to both.

 

The new year, like the new calendar, is a fresh-off-the-press blank slate; glistening with optimism and opportunity.  With a sense of rebirth, the unblemished, pristine calendar gets pinned to the cork-board.  There is no past, so the old calendar goes in the blue bin and last year, if it happened, is dismissed as practise.

 

This year will be better.  Next year, I’ll be perfect.

 

As the new calendar is put up, it’s traditional to make resolutions, which I do.  I don’t know why; I don’t stick to them.  By making resolutions, however, I acknowledge a need, which is a start, and that is good enough.  I should resolve to stop being so generous with myself, but that’s a tall order, so I, usually, resolve to stay the way God made me.

 

Last year, I started intermittent fasting and resolve to stick to it, this year.  It would be embarrassing to quit, because it’s all I talk about.  I hope I’m still at it, next year.

 

Having a garden, even a small one, is a joy.  Last year, we had a good crop of tomatoes and peppers.  The habeneroes were, insanely, hot.  I hope to expand our garden, this year.  I want to try growing corn.  There’s something majestic about tall, impossibly reedy, perfectly erect corn stalks.  Like everything, it is important for a garden to have an appeasing, soothing aesthetic quality.  Food tastes better, when the garden is pretty.

 

Beauty reigns, last year, this year, next year… forever.

 

Last year, rather than green bins and brown bags, at the curb, I turned all leaves into the garden soil, which will help, this year.

 

Last year, I turned 54.  For a long time, I was sold on the premise of “Freedom 55;” the age at which I could retire and enjoy financial security, until death.  Perhaps, I could start enjoying Freedom 55, this year, if I liquidated, disowned my children, and moved into a fridge box, under a bridge.

Sometimes, that sounds worse than working, so I resolve not to quit, this year.

Last year, in September, like every other year, I shaved my head on Terry Fox Day, to honour the great man.  I’m growing my hair and beard for a full year and will have a special friend shave it all off at the Terry Fox event, this year.  It’s months away, but I already look forward to being rid of the motley mess.  No beard, next year.

My favourite sporting event is The World Juniour Hockey Tournament.  It’s great because it runs annually, starting Boxing Day, and it spans from last year into this one.  Canada always has a great team, the players get better, and the competition steeper, every year.  It’s remarkable how skilled and athletic young people are.

Canada lost to an excellent Finnish team, in the quarter final, and were eliminated, early, this year.  The Canadians played hard and deserved a better fate.  Better luck, next year.

Unfortunately, the Canadian team and its captain, especially, were subjected to sickening abuse on anti-social media.  I’d wager this year’s wages and next’s, none of the tweeters would insult Max Comtois, who is 6’ 2”, 210, and has a black belt in Karate, to his face.

The coach of Switzerland, Christian Wohlwend, is the most delightful person in sports, by light years.  Last year, he was raving his club had no chance, against Canada.  This year, he told his team and the world, “When you give, give give love, you always get it back.  That’s a fact.”

Toward the end of last year, Sarah Thomson, the editor and publisher of The Women’s Post, asked me to write an article per week, which I have resolved to do.  It won’t be easy.  In a hockey vernacular, I’m a grinder.

Quality Writing

Think, write, edit, think, write, edit, write, think, edit…

Every word, mark, and symbol is vetted, sweated, and fretted

It is to hard work that a writer is indebted

Talent, I’d say, gets far too much credit

The only way to get better at anything is practise.   I’ve always had great respect for newspaper and magazine writers, who write, well, often; Rex Murphy, for example.  Thanks to the external pressure, I’ve resolved to write every day, this year.   This time, next year, I hope to have 52 articles and a children’s musical comedy under my belt, on the Internet, in the cloud, out in the world…

Our youngest wants to travel, get out in the world, this year.  Yikes.  There were sad stories of young women travelling, at the end of last year, but I try not to think about that.

I read, a lot, but it is mostly the Internet.  I resolve to read more books; real books, this year.  I resolve to consume less garbage, disguised and sold as food, fashion, entertainment, and news.

I Resolve

Another year has roared and died

And my soft spots are more amplified

2019 is, of course, right here

So, it’s time for Resolutions

And their promise of solutions

While bringing in the year

 

I resolve my resolutions won’t be, again, insincere

I resolve things will be different this year

 

I resolve to drop a pound or ten

I’ve resolved this before and will, likely, again

 

I resolve to eat better and exercise

I resolve to order salad instead of fries…

Wait

I take that back

I resolve to tell fewer outrageous lies

 

I resolve to cut back on drinking…

I take that back, too

What was I thinking?

 

I would resolve to be a better husband, but I don’t think I can

She’s a lucky lady and, as Homer Simpson said, “I’m a wonderful man”

 

I had resolved to be a better dad, but now I needn’t bother

Rather, I bought the t-shirt: World’s Greatest Father

 

I resolve to spend more time of the couch, with flicker in my hand

Flicking through the channels

The world at my command

 

With God as my witness

I resolve to put The Trumps out of business

I resolve to make America great

I resolve to titillate




I resolve to slay the beast and bring peace to the middle east

 

I resolve I’ll lower gasoline prices

I resolve to fix the migrant crisis

I resolve I’ll slow Canada’s traffic:

Highways and death traps, where carnage is graphic

 

I resolve to win the lottery

Financial freedom sounds good to me

Especially, when it comes so easily

 

I resolve I will no longer dream

Instead, I resolve to plot, hatch, fantasize, and scheme

 

I resolve to be short and sweet

I resolve to be fast and neat

I resolve to be discrete

 

That is a long list of resolutions and I can’t disavow

There’s much, much more to resolve, somehow

Yet, I’ve resolved to write The End soon

It’s another problem I’ll solve

I resolve

The End. Happy 2019.

 

10 reasons to avoid the gym

Happy New Year, folks!

This is probably the 94th article you’re reading about new year’s resolutions, but let me tell you the only resolution you’ll need to make this year. It involves the gym. But, I’m not here to tell you to start going to the gym, because you probably already promised yourself that you would. Instead, I am going to tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t go to the gym at any time of the year. So cross that cute ambition off your list because these 10 reasons will change your mind!

1. January brings forth the likes of many

Believe it or not, everyone’s New Year resolution is to start going to the gym. And like you, a lot of people attempt to accomplish this resolution, especially the first few weeks of the year. That’s why, during last year’s attempt to begin a healthy lifestyle, you might have noticed the large rush of people who do not look like they belong there. Men and women alike struggle to keep up on the treadmill, weights scattered across the studio, and confused folks trying to determine how to work their legs out of the complicated machines. It’s an absolute madhouse. Do yourself a favour and stay at home.

2. Money, money, money

The cheapest gym membership is roughly $30. That is, without the activation fees, maintenance fees, late fees, and other unnecessary, existing fees. Every month, whether you go regularly or not, money will be taken out of your account. There is no cash-only option or month-by-month payments. All gyms will require you to hand over credit card information to automatically withdraw money from your bank account. Instead of using this money toward a gym membership you won’t use, hand over that information to a children’s charity, women’s shelter, or buy yourself a really nice dinner.

3. Guilty until proven guilty 

 Eating is so much more fun when there are no weight commitments involved. Calorie counting is not only tedious, but it’s time consuming. Besides, no one needs the stress of overeating amongst the thousands of other first world problems we have. Gluten-free meals may seem like all the rage, but what is bread without the gluten? So just eat your cake and don’t think about the consequences. Chocolate is a great source of iron, especially during your time of month. And fries? Well, given the fact they were once potatoes, they technically qualify as vegetable, you know. Life is too short to not indulge in your favourite foods.

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4. Instagram food, not your bod

And while you’re eating your favourite foods, go ahead and let your followers know. Don’t be that woman who posts a picture in front of the studio mirror with your workout ensemble on. Nobody likes that girl. We realize that with a gym membership comes great responsibility. You constantly have to prove you actually use it. Without a gym membership, the pressure is off! Besides, a beautifully plate of pasta is not only more like-worthy, it’s also more realistic. There’s no added pressure of making pasta look good, as there are with your body. Dimming the studio lights, standing with your chest out and sucking in your gut is just too much effort to demonstrate you are leading a healthy lifestyle. That plate of pasta, however, needs #nofilter.

5. Life is too short

There is probably a list of many other things you would rather be doing than going to the gym. Ending world hunger, knitting a sweater, reading a book, or Netflix binging all seem much more appealing than sweating and panting. If you’re life is busy enough, just keep telling yourself that you’re tired enough by the end of the day to skip going to the gym. The gym is for those people who have the ambition to take the time time and put in the effort to burn some calories. Calories that can be burnt doing something else– such as walking to the nearest bakery.
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6. Home is where the heart is

Work out in the comfort of your own home. Merely watching a YouTube video of yogis and boot camp enthusiasts will have you feeling good as new. The next step will be to try out these moves one day. This way, you won’t have to spend time travelling, sharing equipment, or staring at people who are too fit to be at the gym in the first place. After your ‘workout,’ you have instant access to a fridge full of food so you can replenish those calories. Whether you’re doing crunches on your living room floor, doing leg lifts on your couch, or getting frisky with your loved one in the bedroom, burning calories at home is just more convenient.

7. Gym nuts are intimidating

They grunt, they sweat all over the equipment, and they make you feel less of a woman than you actually are. You don’t need to be exposed to that type of negativity! Gym nuts are people that have already accomplished their goals of attaining the perfect body, so the fact that they continue to take up space on the elliptical beside you is rather pretentious. While you’re struggling to keep up with the beginner level workout, the gym nut beside you is going at 100 km/h and doesn’t seem to be winded. Do yourself a favour and make friends in the same fitness level as you. That way, you can share stories about your late night walks to the fridge and your struggles to wake up in the morning. How romantic.

8. You’ll get your workout clothes sweaty

It’s difficult enough doing laundry — there’s only so many gym outfits you can buy to avoid washing the same set after each session. After an hour of cardio, the only thing you can think about is how to get your clothes off your body and into the hamper. Not only is dealing with clothes an added chore to your already hectic life, but it’s also a waste of water. They look better while you’re running errands, anyways. Create the illusion of a healthy lifestyle at the grocery store with some cute running shoes and a pair of yoga pants while you’re shopping for avocados and kale. People will look at you the same way they look at the Kardashians; a whole lot of envy with an added sense of judgment.  

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9. Love yourself

So what if you have a hard time going up two flights of stairs? At least you look good. Sure, your clothes might be a little more snug then usual, but curves are gorgeous! If stairs leave you winded, take the elevator. That’s why they’re there in the first place. It’s 2016; technology is advancing at the speed of light. Soon enough, we won’t even have to lift a finger. (We all know how difficult that is) These luxuries were invented with people like us in mind. The least we can do is be thankful for them.

10. Find alternatives 

Maybe living a healthy lifestyle isn’t a bad thing. But I stand by my advice on avoiding the gym. Especially during the first few weeks of the year, where everyone will have the same mindset about shedding off their eggnog. Just know there are alternatives to getting fit, without the commitment of a gym membership. Like eating one slice of pizza instead of 10.

Progress.

Good luck and happy fitnessing!