Surrender, Dorothy

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I'm giving up giving up. Giving up is the new black, the latest trend. Everyone I know is giving up something.

They announce things like, "I gave up smoking and I feel so fresh." Or "I gave up diet sodas and lost 15 pounds." Or, smugly, "I gave up drinking and found nirvana."

I like nirvana as much as the next guy and so I tried to keep up with the Joneses. I gave up red meat and hard liquor and Fox news and skydiving. But I always missed out on the virtue.  I gave up butter and my cholesterol shot up.  I gave up chocolate and put on 20 pounds.

And the Joneses were still joining 12-step groups and running marathons, training their dogs to eat vegetarian and meditate.  But for all my giving up cotton candy and therapy and tattoos, not once did I get even remotely close to nirvana. Instead of giving up, I was giving out.

The last straw was my husband.  He announced that he was giving up our morning Starbucks and I thought, "I'd rather give up gay marriage. Or the children.. Not that I don't love him or our two sons or our four dogs but I don't want to face any of them without caffeine."


I decided not to surrender anymore. So Instead of giving up, I'm giving in. You'd be surprised at how good that spoonful of frosting tastes after a few weeks of denial.  I wash down my blood pressure medicine with a chai tea latte and I put mayonnaise on my cholesterol pill.

I agree with Winston Churchill: never, never, never give up. By giving up less, I'm getting a lot more. The meek may inherit the Earth, but they won't enjoy it.  As for me, I might not live til 100 or have a 30-inch waistline or win any Mahatma Gandhi awards, but I will enjoy the life I lead, washing it down with cheap Chardonnay and bonbons.

With a Perspective this is Kevin Fisher-Paulson.

Kevin Fisher-Paulson is a San Francisco deputy sheriff.