Saturday, January 1, 2011

On New Year's Resolutions, or, "Spit in the Dirt and Get Back in the Fight"


New Year's resolutions. Passé? Silly? Self-centered? Shallow? A futile excursion into self-reliant moralism? Maybe. They certainly have become everyone's favorite holiday punching bag. Rarely is a kind word said about them.

But I like New Year's. I like do-overs. I like second, third, and thirty-seventh chances. I like trying to be better than I was.

I look at a new year's beginning like the scene in the old westerns - the one where the good guy, embroiled in a cantina throw-down, gets a chair over the head and a boot in the rear that sends him somersaulting outside into the dirt. The pugnacious crowd peers mockingly over the swinging doors and laughs at him before they return nonchalantly to their saloonish distractions. What does our man in the white hat do? Quit? Run? Cry? No. He picks up his dislodged hat, dusts himself off, spits some blood in the dirt, sets his jaw with a wipe from his sleeve, and saunters back into the den of iniquity to give the bad guys what-for.

That's New Year's to me. 2010 cleaned my clock, just like 2009 and the rest of their gang. Time to dust myself off, spit blood in the dirt, and get back in the fight. That's my New Year's resolution every year: get back in the fight.

"Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be." - Jonathan Edwards

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