Getting a Head Start on New Years Resolutions

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. Except for the calendar change, there isn’t anything that makes one year different from another. Seasons are cyclical, orbits are cyclical, life is cyclical — and by their very natures, cycles have no beginning or end. Still, a new year is a useful convention in the same way that a new day is a useful convention, giving us the feel of a new start, and so I am getting a head start on my resolutions.

Often during the year, I resolve to go back to a healthy diet and be more conscientious when it comes to an exercise program, but however disciplined I am, there comes a day when I simply do not care, and there ends the discipline. (This is, I think, a lingering effect of my grief over Jeff’s death, and seems to be a cycle that many of us left behind succumb to. On the one hand, we want to do what’s right. On the other hand, it makes no difference what we do — healthy or not, we all end up in the grave or the crematorium.)

I am going through one of my disciplined stages (or rather, my wanting-to-be-disciplined stage since this is only day two of this new cycle) in an effort to “youth” instead of “age.” Impossible, probably, to ratchet back the toll of the years, but it would take such a miraculous feat to enable me even to attempt my impossible dream of an iconic hike.

The only item on my disciplined to do list that I did not follow yesterday was perhaps the least important — the no eating after 6 o’clock rule. The others I did — stretched, lifted weights (very light weights considering my weak hand, wrist, and elbow), ate plenty of vegetables, and skipped the sugar, wheat, and milk products. Most importantly, I strapped on my backpack, added a bit of weight (the whole contraption weighed maybe eight pounds) and went for a two and a half mile trudge around the neighborhood.

Who would have thought so few pounds would make such a difference? I could walk but not with any bounce, speed, or glide to my step. And even though I used trekking poles and kept myself upright (too often you see people with backpacks bent over from the weight) my lower stomach muscles feel tight, and the inside of my thighs right above the knees are sore. (These must be muscles that my various dance classes don’t develop.) Those pains are in addition to an all-over body ache.

We’ll see what happens after a few days of this disciplined life. Before even the new year begins, I might have already broken my resolutions. But maybe not. There is that impossible dream — the unreachable star — to stretch toward.

Or trudge toward, as the case may be.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

8 Responses to “Getting a Head Start on New Years Resolutions”

  1. LordBeariOfBow Says:

    Just another day now, I’ll be in bed at the normal time, be up at 5.30 to give my dog his medication and to feed him a 6.30, have my first breakfast and do nothing much for the next few hours. Great life; if I don’t weaken

  2. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    Your no eating after 6pm is really, really smart. I wish I could do that, but somehow at 8:30 or so in front of the TV I can’t control myself. I might steal this one idea for my own resolutions post. Good luck! – Marty

  3. Auld Lang Insane – Snakes in the Grass Says:

    […] snacking each night. I’m actually stealing this resolution from blogger Pat Bertram over at Bertram’s Blog. Perhaps it’s good to make this a collective endeavor. Let me know if you wish to join the […]

  4. 2017 Got the Last Laugh | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] Getting a Head Start on New Years Resolutions […]

  5. My Faux Backpacking Trip | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] for just having started my conditioning for a backpacking trip. I’ve also stuck to most of my non-resolutions, such as no sugar, no wheat, almost no dairy, but the not-eating-after-6:00-pm has been a problem. […]

  6. Still a Writer | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] had added “writing” to the list of daily resolutions I’m trying to get a head start on, then I took it […]

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