2009 resolution: Live, laugh and love

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I have always loved the holidays, enjoying the merriment of the magical, treasuring the family togetherness as we drift through the tail end of a year and prepare to welcome the new.

Not this year

But this year, for some reason, I have decided to say “Bah Humbug” to new year’s resolutions.
It feels too much like the powerful demand of a great aunt or something, forcing us to be good when in actuality, I am already pretty darn well-behaved.

So, just in the name of playfulness, I have decided to adopt a whole new set of new year’s resolution rules. Sort of like opposite day, in a way, I have opted to come up with a whole raft of daring and silly resolutions.

Now, we all know that at the top of the list for almost every single person who makes a new year’s resolution is to lose weight.

Lose the scale

I have decided my new year’s resolution is to throw away the bathroom scale, get rid of those fashionable belts that cinch and bind around the waist, and work very hard at packing on enough pounds to make my doctor cringe.

I have decided to take up drinking. I might even start chewing tobacco! Mark Twain once said that every one of us should have at least a few vices, so we have something to bargain with in a pinch.

If you don’t kick up your heels with a chew of tobacco tucked between the cheek and gum, let’s say you are suddenly stranded on a frozen tundra with no rescue in sight.

You sit down to say your prayer to the good Lord for a plane to suddenly appear overhead.

Now, the way I’ve been living, I can’t imagine what I would use as my bargaining chip. But, after the new year, I know what it would be.

“Dear Lord, I will never, ever chew tobacco again!” I can exclaim, as I send that round container from my back pocket reeling off in to the frozen tundra.

Age just a number

One of my oldest friends is a man named Dan who refused to give up his toys on the farm, even when he reached his 80th birthday. His wife urged him to stop reeling through the trails in the woods on his four-wheeler.

“I worry about you!” she said with great sincerity.

He told me with a wink, “I’m still a kid, and I’m not done playing yet!”

He had worked hard all of his life, and retired with the grand plan of leaving behind all of the adult-world demands, focusing on being a kid again for as long as possible.

Not long ago, this great man suffered a stroke. Visiting him in the rehab center of a nursing home, I asked him if he is looking forward to getting back on his four-wheeler and enjoying his newest toy, a Gator.

Keeps him going

“You bet. It’s what keeps me from getting too crabby with these nurses!” he said with a warm smile, and I told him I completely understood.

His wife asked if perhaps it wasn’t time to consider putting the toys up for sale.

He looked at her, then looked at me and said, “You wanna become my second wife?” And we all had a good laugh.

Here’s the point

Which leads me to the point of this column. We all need to find a way to add laughter to our lives. Enjoy the small stuff, laugh through the challenges that life throws your way as best you can, and make up your own set of silly resolutions.

I have decided to live my life more like my friend Dan, looking at life from the perspective of holding on to that playful childishness that makes life fun.

Wishing you and yours a very happy — and fun-filled — new year!

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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