I don't like New Year resolutions - mainly because I have never kept a single resolution that I have made on January 1st in my life. Oh, I have tried, but I must admit that I've never been very committed - how can you be committed when you are coming down off of a Christmas High. Christmas creates an adrenaline rush like no other time of the year. I don't know about anyone else, but I tend to get a little depressed after all the lights and decorations are down. I pack up each ornament in tissue like it's worth a thousand dollars and pack it in a box labeled: FRAGILE - Old Ornaments - DO NOT TOUCH!!! I usually shed a tear or two as I'm putting my Precious Moments manger scene away. And I personally tell each of my Santa collection figures "goodbye, old boy - see ya next year". They go carefully in the attic - they are gone but not forgotten.
And then, I'm supposed to make a resolution? Lose weight, start exercising, get organized, keep my house cleaner, blah blah blah..... Well, I wanted to find out who started this stupid tradition in the first place, so I turned to my best friend, Mr. Google - he has all the answers. The first recorded resolution stemmed from the Babylonians about 4000 years ago. I've always thought of them as the evil ones - always beating up on the Israelites. Wouldn't you know they would be the ones to to start the odious New Year tradition of making commitments? It seems like it all revolved around returning any borrowed farm equipment, as their New Year coincided with the start of their farming season. The scenario probably played out something like this: Meshach goes up to Shadrach and says, "Here's the plow I borrowed from you last year. I bent the blade a little, but I'm sure it can be fixed". Shadrach says "that's nothing, here's the rake I borrowed from you - I broke the handle off it, but I'm sure that too can be fixed". Then they get in a fist fight and Abednego has to come and break it up.
Not long after that the Romans were the next recorded people to make resolutions. Remember, they were pretty rotten to God's chosen people too. They would count their stock at the end of the year and resolve to increase their stock in the coming year. I can just picture those Roman guys walking around in their smelly wool togas and sandals counting their goats and sheep and bragging about how many more they would have next year. No wonder we don't like to make resolutions - this practice was started by the bad guys. It just seems plain wrong.
I am begrudgingly making a New Year's resolution starting Monday morning to lose 15 pounds on the South Beach diet. For two long-g-g weeks, I will eat no potatoes, no bread, no pasta of any kind, no sugar, no fruit, no carrots, no tomatoes (because these last three have natural sugars). After the first three or four days, it won't be quite so bad - I'll lose my cravings for all those things. I've done this before so I know I can do it - but I remember how happy I was when those two weeks were up. I could actually eat 3 chocolate covered strawberries - I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
I will post my ups and downs on my blog site. I may be a tad grumpy and Henry has threatened to put a label on my forehead that says "FRAGILE - I'm on a diet - DO NOT TOUCH".