Hay’s Daze: New Year’s Resolution disillusion

It’s exactly that time of year again when we stand on a perilous precipice wobbling away between what was and what on earth will be. It’s a bit of a queasy dizzying tightrope up there, our scrambled thoughts clattering loudly around like a shiny silver ball in a pinball game, bouncing between the mish-mash of random realities of a year gone by and the higgledy-piggledy hopes and dreams for the new year to come. And sometimes life can be as complicated and confusing as that last sentence.

So, yes, it’s that time once again to make what we optimistically call “New Year’s Resolutions”. And why not? Attempting to improve our lifestyle choices and be healthier and happier is a good thing. Even if it only lasts for, say, two weeks and then sort of melts away by January 15th or so.

But I’m sure you can easily guess the top two New Year’s Resolutions listed by many major media outlets who have conducted their scientific research by asking a couple of people. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ve probably made these self-improvement goals yourself (which I like to call “fantasy fiction”) on one New Year’s Eve or another. But do New Year’s Resolutions always have to be, basically, a recipe for disaster, a guarantee of failure, a New Year’s Resolution Disillusion?

Number 1: LOSE WEIGHT. Now that the population is growing and growing, if you get my drift, weight loss is right at the top of New Year’s Resolving. There are more diet programs and weight loss gimmicks out there than you can shake large turkey drumstick at and most of them work about as well as a square wheel. Cabbage soup every day all day? I don’t think so.

There’s just too much yummy food items out there, and most of them are much too fast and easy. I mean, you can scarf several million calories and not even get out of your car. It wasn’t always like that. When I was a young ragamuffin punk I remember a Hannigan’s and an A&W in town and that’s about it, and I didn’t even have a car because I was, well, ten. And really skinny. Now I have a car and I can’t seem to keep it from pulling into fast food eateries on a regular basis. And not so skinny anymore. So the answer is obvious: forget the diets and sell our cars, right?

Which brings us to:

Number 2: EXERCISE MORE. Everyone knows the benefits of physical exercise and many of us avoid it at all costs. So how do we explain the fact that there are more “Fitness Centers” popping up in our fair city than all the Mcdonald’s, Timmy’s and KFCs combined. And every one of them is the size of an airport terminal, and most of them they stay open 24 hours a day! I always drive by and wonder, who’s in there, aliens from the planet Peloton?

But here in the real world, if the only physical activity you get is getting up five times every night to go to the bathroom, perhaps you aren’t getting enough of what the experts call “cardio” (which is a medical term defined as “not getting a heart attack”). As my dancer daughter once told me when I wouldn’t go for a walk around the block, “motion is lotion”. But as I recall, the couch was much too comfy and I remained motionless and lotionless.

So there are a couple of obvious solutions to increase physical activity. Make sure your bathroom is at the farthest point in the house from your bed, and get a really uncomfortable couch. There. Solved.

Now we can all go out and work on Number 3: SAVE MONEY. Good luck on that one.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. You can send him column ideas to harleyhay1@hotmail.com.

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