While many sports lovers see New Year's Day as a day to watch copious football, recover from ample over indulgence and, this year, to prepare for hockey from, of all places, Fenway Park, I am trying to embrace the New Year as one, last ditch effort to produce...that word again...change.
Tick-tock..tick tock...I glance down at my watch tonight..New Year's Eve..It's 11:55 PM, December 31st. Five more minutes until the New Year. I sprint over to the buffet table and grab a final fistful of Lays overflowing with onion dip (several hours old and slightly coagulated).
I wash down, yet another plastic cup of bubbly. I chew rapidly. One eye on Time Square and the other scouring the buffet table to see if there is one last, tasty morsel that I can down before the ball drops.I spot one lonesome brownie at the far end of the table and decide that with children starving all over the world, it is my civic duty to make sure that this brownie is not wasted. I sprint towards it with the speed of Usain Bolt...10-9-8 seconds until the New Year is upon us...7-6-5...I shove down the brownie and lick onion dip off of my fingers at break neck speed.
4-3-2...I search the room for Kate who is obviously already puckered up to receive her New Year's Kiss. One second remains until I start my New Year's Resolution..to lose weight...to regain the slim, muscular body of a man half my age...to gain control of my runaway eating habits.
I'm prepared to make the necessary changes to ensure my success. Sure I over ate a little bit tonight, but I was bulking up...carbo-loading.. trying to reach my peak weight so that my immense loss would be that much more impressive to my supporters and fans.The clock strikes midnight. I grab Kate. We lock lips in a passionate embrace as a small fleck of potato chip tumbles from the corner of my mouth.
Out of the corner of my eye, I discover that the empty plate of brownies has been refilled. Aaah, maybe just one, I think. To celebrate the New Year, of course.I realize that each year for the past who knows how many, that I've had the same resolution. To rediscover my athletic body of old, which I know resides somewhere deep below these many layers of chub.
Every December 31st, I fool myself into believing that simply by waking up in a new year, I will awake as a slimmer, trimmer version of last year's model. With one magical flip of the calendar page, these unwanted 20...I mean 30...Ummm, these unwanted 40 pounds will instantly disappear from my bulging waistline. Each January 2nd, while munching on a Ring ding and searching for my feet, I decide to wait until next year.So, I've decided that this year will be different. This year, I've committed myself to "gobbling up" everything around me. To taste each and every morsel of each and every day. To drink heartily from this cafe called life. To open my eyes each and every morning with the sole purpose of ingesting every ounce of food the world has to offer.
To refrain from taking life so seriously and simply to enjoy each moment to it's fullest. To laugh more. To love more. To begin each day by putting my feet upon the floor and realizing how lucky I am to be alive.To enter each day motivated, excited and enthusiastic. To make a difference, not only to my friends and loved ones but to every life that I come in contact with in the flesh or while writing on these pages.
In Robert Schuller's book, "What Happens to Good People When Bad Things Happen", Schuller lists actions "big and small" that we can take to ensure a fuller, more enjoyable life. "Think freely. Practice patience. Smile often. Savor special moments. Live God's message. Make new friends. Rediscover old ones. Tell those you love that you do.Feel deeply. Forgive trouble. Forgive an opponent. Hope. Grow. Be crazy. Count your blessings. Observe miracles. Make them happen by never quitting. Discard worry. Give. Give in. Trust enough to take. Pick some flowers. Share them. Give a promise. Look for rainbows. Gaze at stars.
See beauty everywhere you look. Work hard. Be wise. Try on fourth and two (okay, so I added that one on my own). Try to understand. Take time for people. Make time for yourself.Laugh heartily. Spread joy. Take a chance. Reach out. Let someone in. Try something new. Slow down. Be soft sometimes. Believe in yourself. Believe in others. See a sunrise. Listen to rain. Reminisce. Cry when you need to. Trust life. Have faith. Enjoy wonder. Comfort a friend. Have good ideas. Make some mistakes. Learn from them. Trust others. Celebrate life.
The beauty of resolving to eat from life's table is that you don't have to wait until the next January or the next Monday morning to begin your new diet. It is fat free, cholesterol free and contains no preservatives. It is a diet that you can begin today. A diet that if accidentally broken, can easily be restarted by simply deciding to change one's attitude.How often do we break our diets and decide, "Well, I've already broken it anyhow. I might as well gorge myself until next Monday morning?"
By resolving to live life to its fullest, it is unlikely that someone would say, "I didn't have faith today. I'll just wait until next Monday morning." Or I didn't tell my wife I loved her today. I think I'll wait until next December 31st to tell her."See some days, life is more important than sport. And though there will be football aplenty tomorrow, coupled with bowls filled with left over dip, maybe we can all resolve to live life a little bit differently.TC
Todd Civin is a freelance writer who writes for Bleacher Report, Seamheads and Sports, Then and Now. His top stories can always be found on his blog The 'xoxo' of Sports at www.thexoxoofsports.blogspot.com.