Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Now that “the holidays” have passed, you find yourself in that strange limbo-like stage between the vacation mind set and the harsh reality of being back at work. While you float between fantasy and reality, your mind ponders whether you really did eat your body weight in Cheez Whiz – don’t deny it – and if there’s some way you can convince your neighbors that your Christmas lights are actually up in celebration of Ground Hog Day (so you’ve got until February to take them down). Inevitably, these musings – spurred on by heartburn and the anticipation of having to get back to work – cause us to look inwardly and decide we’re, by darn, gonna make some changes in our lives! And so begins the list of New Year’s resolutions.

Let’s be honest here: the vast majority of us aren’t going to try to scale Mount Everest or swim the English Channel (whether it’s for reasons of laziness or sanity). We are, for the most part, trying to kick a bad habit or get out of a rut into which we’ve let ourselves fall over the year. I’ve been there, and I’ve made my share of lists – that have gone, probably, 98% unfulfilled. But that’s not the point. The point here is that we all need to come up with resolutions that will enable us from forming bad habits in the first place. Here are but two resolutions that I promise to devote my full energies to throughout the year:

1. It never fails. Whenever I sit down in a doctor’s office or wait to board a plane with a good book or magazine to read, somebody in my general vicinity decides now is an excellent time to call someone on their cell phone and proceeds to speak at a volume that a 60-year-old fading rock star could hear. Mark my words: in all of 2007, I resolve not to begin reading my book aloud so I can drown out the caller and be sure I’m following the intricate plot. Although I might be confused about why Harry Potter’s been sent to detention again by Professor Snape, it would be rude of me to intrude on the caller’s peace.

2. Driving along the great highways of our nation, more often than I would like I find myself in the far left lane (some dare call it “the fast lane”) applying the brakes and then following a much slower car ahead of me. I follow closely in the hopes that the driver ahead of me will notice their error and get over. Oddly enough, they don’t. Flashing the lights doesn’t help because they’ve demonstrated that they’re either not looking in their rearview mirror, or they have a vitamin deficiency that precludes them from seeing my car. It is my resolution for the upcoming year that I will not affix a large metal plate to the front of my car to help me in pushing these people out of the way. Obviously, these metal plates are needed for these drivers’ heads.

I hope this helps you in coming up with your own list of resolutions. If you need further help in deciding what needs to be changed in your life, call a friend. Might I recommend you do so on your cell phone in the middle of a movie just when the plot twist is being revealed – you’ll get plenty of people telling you what to do.

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