Throughout my earthly passage, I’ve perpetuated my share of practical jokes. I won’t enumerate them here, the simple reason being, I may want to bring one from retirement.
I have to say that many practical jokes are neither practical nor humorous. With the high cost of medicine these days, I will have a merry heart every time. Just call me Dr. Merry Heart, and I’ll dispense some good medicine to everybody who needs it.
Now, the practical joke I am thinking of has to do with New Year’s Resolutions. I look forward to the last week in January for this very reason. For the first several months of January, I am nervous and sweating over those lousy New Year’s Resolutions I am forced to make.
Somewhere there is someone laughing at all of those stupid enough to make New Year’s Resolutions. It is probably the quintessential practical joke played on all humanity. Is there a civilization anywhere in our world today that doesn’t fall with this practical joke? If there is, I want to move there.
The first week in January is probably the worst week when it comes to these New Year’s Resolutions. They’re fresh in our mind and of course fresh on our lips. A New Year’s Resolution would not be so bad if nobody knew that we left one. The problem comes when somebody knows what our settlement is and always reminds us,”How’s your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?”
For the majority of us, it’s a formula for lying. Needless to say, I blame my friends who are tempting me into this pattern of lying. If they would forget my resolutions as readily as I do, there would be peace on earth good will to men.
But during the first week, I amuse high goals about my resolutions. And like the thought-challenged beggar that I am, I boast to everyone about the high quality resolutions I have placed in force for the coming year. All this in an effort to increase my standing among my peers. The majority of my peers are standing in high water themselves. My objective is to make them think that I am a progressive, forward thinking, highbrow person of the future. I cannot control what they think, but I can help them along the thinking process concerning myself.
It’s during this week that I begin to have suspicions about the legitimacy of my resolutions. The first week they seem wonderful, but the next week the rose begins fading and I begin to see what I have strapped myself with for the coming year. Then, just when my confidence is starting to shake, a friend of mine will ask,”How’s your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?”
On Facebook, they have a procedure called”defriending.” I must learn how that works. I have a list of friends I would like to”defriend,” at least before my New Year’s Resolutions have faded into the distant past of forgetfulness.
Then the next week of January comes around. It’s at this time I begin to see that my New Year’s Resolutions were made by a fool. There is no fool like the one on your bathroom mirror. By now, I find there is simply no way those resolutions will be held by me. If only I could sell my settlements on eBay, I might make out pretty good, because on paper they look terrific.
She always says it with a silly little smirk on her face. She knows that the boast of January 1 loses its luster by January 21. After all, she has 46 years, this coming summer, of experience with my New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s the fourth week of January I’m most interested in. To proceed through the first three weeks of January is quite painful but at the time the previous week comes around what’s forgotten.
Not only have I forgotten my resolutions, but everyone around me has forgotten them as well. At least they’ve given up asking me about these resolutions. I take what I get and am thankful. Some might have heard about my defriending policy.
The thing most troubling is, I never learn my lesson. Next year it will be the exact same thing, and consequently, the identical outcome.
There is something to denying the past. I believe it is interesting that the things we will need to forget are the very things we remember, and the things we need to remember are the ones we usually forget.
The apostle Paul understood this very thing. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before,” (Philippians 3:13).
The best resolution has to do with my relationship with God. And that’s no practical joke.