There's Gonna Be a Resolution

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For more than 50 years, someone has asked me, or rather sung to me, "Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?" and then, right after, "What is your New Year's Resolution?"

Now, the great thing about being raised Catholic was that I could treat the New Year's resolution as a test drive for Lent, so if I gave up cotton candy or sky-diving, I would just see how hard it is for the first three days of the year, just to see if I could spend six weeks without that particular vice.

And it's not just me.  For 30 New Year's Eves my husband has given up smoking, and given it up again on Ash Wednesday, and some year it's going to stick.

I don't like New Year's Eve. In law enforcement, we call it amateur night. It's all those people drinking and smoking and eating like heck because they all face the prospect of waking up to their hangover the next day, knowing that they promised to face the next 365 days without bacon or vodka.

And there is something sad about daybreak on January 1st, seeing the neighbors in a rush to tear down their Christmas trees and Kwanzaa candles, rushing back to the gym and giving up.


This year, I'm not giving up.  I'm not giving in. I'm giving forward.

Instead of losing those 20 pounds that I will never lose, this year I'm going to start small:  my resolution is one act of kindness a day, whether that be contributing money to a charity, or calling an old friend to check to see how he is doing, or volunteering as a coach at the school.  And even if I am the worst basketball coach in the history of CYO, at least my boys will know that rather than spend my time fixating on the ice cream that I gave up, I am willing to learn the difference between a zone defense and a man-to-man defense, just to spend a little more quality time.

Should old acquaintances be forgot?  No, but make a few new acquaintances in the meantime.

With a Perspective, this is Kevin Fisher-Paulson.

Kevin Fisher-Paulson is a captain with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.