Most people make New Year's resolutions to improve their lives in some way, or to better themselves.
I think I'll set the bar lower than that. Who needs self-improvement, anyway?
I hereby resolve to drink at least two Diet Cokes each day -- rather than three -- to hasten my chances of kidney damage by only a few years, instead of perhaps a couple.
Just can't seem to break this habit, folks. I'm doing better by bringing water to work with me, but it's just so easy to grab a soda. And I like the taste, darn it.
I have a handful of water bottles that I wash and refill with tap water on a regular basis. I don't like buying bottled water because it's expensive and we don't need any more plastic polluting the world.
At home, I do fine. I can drink one soda per day (I know, that's still too much) and keep to water the rest of the time.
So, fine. I'll keep trying. Harder.
My next resolution is the same as practically everyone else's -- to lose weight, or achieve/maintain a healthy weight. My rotund figure is a huge (pardon the pun) health detriment. I mean, I register far too high on the Richter scale ... er, that is, I score far too high on the BMI scale, and something's got to be done.
I lost about 40 pounds a few years ago with the help of Weight Watchers and working out at the Y in Mattoon, but then I hit a big, bad wall of depression and gained it all back.
Now, though, for a while, with improved treatment, my mental health has never been better. Why, then, no big weight loss?
Motivation. I was going to type that in three times for emphasis, but I lost my ... motivation.
I just can't seem to get moving and stay moving. I keep eating portions that I know are too large, and chocolate is practically my best friend. It's not a good friend, either, to my health.
All this, I know.
But actually improve my eating habits and exercise regimen?
Golly, why would I do that?
My resolution for 2019 is to not gain any more weight.
Done! Check that off the list.
Oh, seriously, I know how damaging it is to be so fat, and I just keep trying and resolving and re-resolving (is that a word?) to do better. I gotta get my dander up and just do it.
"Just do it." That would be a great slogan for ... oh, never mind.
I bet I could, instead, come up with resolutions for me that others might suggest.
I'm pretty sure folks in much of Coles County would resolve that I write nice things about President Donald Trump, and on a regular basis.
They'd be setting themselves up for disappointment right there.
I do resolve -- although this is a daily promise, not really an annual resolution -- to see that we cover the news fairly and that opinions stay on the Opinions pages.
I know for sure some folks in the office would resolve that I stop spouting so many puns.
That's not gonna happen either. If anything, I resolve to increase my incredibly humorous and always welcomed pun fun, and jokes in general.
As a matter of fact (takes a sip of Diet Coke), I do resolve to drink more water and less soda; eat less and exercise more; and be kinder to all in 2019. We can never have too much kindness.
But annual resolutions for this kind of feel hollow to me, as I make daily resolutions to better my own circumstances.
Come to think of it, my favorite New Year's resolutions are the ones I make for others. That's so much easier than improving myself.
I hereby resolve that my mother let me catch on more to her frugal ways. She's a shining example of many of the best ways to live life.
I resolve that my nieces and nephews keep wanting to spend time with good ol' Aunt Penny in 2019. A few bucks at Christmas and birthdays may help them -- all teenagers now except Grace, who'll be 12 this month -- with that resolution.
On other topics, may more people stop sharing inaccurate political memes on Facebook and start sharing more fuzzy puppies and cute kitties ... especially if the pups are Pugs!
May we all remember that debates and discussions on any manner of topics -- but particularly politics -- can and should stay respectful.
May our president show some class. Just once.
I said I was keeping the bar low, now, didn't I?
May everyone realize that building a 30-foot wall on a border between two countries simply creates a market on one side of that wall for 32-foot ladders.
I resolve for Mattoon and Charleston that they cooperate more and, as one unit, bring more good businesses to town -- and appreciate the good businesses already here, and patronize them.
I resolve that no one mow or blow yard waste out into the streets or roads ever again. Now I'm really dreaming.
But since I'm reaching for the skies here, my resolution for America is that we find unity versus discord, that we remember we have in common more than what divides us.
Selfishly, I resolve that everyone in this area recognize the value of local journalism and appreciate their local newspaper. Everyone who works at the JG-TC lives and recreates in and loves Mattoon, Charleston and the surrounding area, too. We're part of our own audience. We work for you.
And now on to wishes -- more than resolutions -- for 2019.
I wish my right knee would stop feeling a little weak when I climb stairs -- hardly noticeable, but still (takes another sip of Diet Coke, feels guilty, sips again and vows to drink more water ... later...shakes head).
I wish my doc wouldn't read this column and have plenty of ammunition to berate me about weight loss. Then again, I wish my doc does read this and use my own words to motivate me.
I wish I didn't have to work quite so many hours. I love my job, and I love this newspaper, but there's a limit to everything.
Like everyone, I wish for world peace. Sigh.
I hope 2019 brings big, happy events in everyone's lives ... I have mine planned; what are you doing to contribute to your own happiness this year?
I hope that you take good care of yourself, and pat yourself on the back for all the good things you are and do. Sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit for our own good qualities.
As I do every year (if memory serves), I wish everyone would stop making New Year's resolutions only and realize that every day -- every minute, even -- is a good time to resolve to do something better.
And, since this brings to mind my resolution to improve my humor delivery in 2019 ...
Did you know I'm really good at napping? Yep. Can do it with my eyes closed.
The funniest thing is that I should be sorry for that awful pun.
But I'm not.
Have a great 2019!