Tag Archives: New Year’s Resolutions

Don’t make New Year’s resolutions for yourself… make them for others. It’s easier, more fun, less trouble.

From www.drjeffreylant.com Article Series

resolutions for othersIt’s the time of the year for the obligatory New Year’s
resolutions. You know, what I mean:

I plan to go on a diet and become chic and svelte by Valentine’s  Day.

I will go to the gym every other day, so help me
Hannah. Muscles and enticing curves, or bust.

I will eschew the delights of eating one sugar-soaked
Little Debbie after another.

I will… but you get the idea.

There is something abhorrent about admitting
that you are imperfect. I don’t like it at all.

New Year’s resolutions imply that you have somehow
fallen beneath the high standard of perfection, that
there is something not quite right about you, a nagging
something that needs instant attention.

But what could that be?

Like you, I look in the mirror of a morning and, despite
advancing age, I see nothing but the spitting image of
one who is, indeed, the fairest of them all. It affronts me
to think otherwise.

Thus, while wishing to do my bit to uphold the
traditions of Auld Lang Syne and making resolutions,
I find it hard to do so… as I have nothing to improve
and everything to enjoy.

Hence this modest idea: give up resolution making for
yourself… and focus your full attention upon the others,
lamentable, imperfect, with a pressing need for overhauls
small and large.

Draw up a list of persons known to you with glaring,
jarring imperfections.

Do not stint. Remember, you are performing a useful
act, a noble act, and act of kindness and empathy. As
such, let yourself go… think of your aging peers and their
shocking habits… of your relatives who have outlived the
excuse of “puppy fat.”

Think of your loud,  too boisterous, ear-splitting friends…
and the motor-mouths whose decided opinions on
everything under the sun are, perhaps, de trop.

Think of the always-late delivery boy and those
with too many unattended felines in a confined
space and the olfactory discomfort thereby occurring.

Think, I say, think of  prevaricating politicians…
and those with nookie on their minds and an acute
inability to contain it. Look around you and weigh in
with a will…for you have many resolutions to craft
and far too little time in which to offer them.  Timing
is everything, after all, and New Year’s resolutions
in March seem, well, tardy. Act now.

Now write the New Year’s resolutions — for others.

This part could be troublesome and demands your
full attention and craft. Resolutions must be simple,
straightforward, honest and at least potentially do-able.
Thus, calling your insufficiently loved and abundantly
padded brother-in-law fat just won’t do. Try this instead:

New Year’s resolution of brother-in-law Bob:

To lose 15 pounds by month’s end.

And then your signature and the date.

Keeping your resolutions short, sweet, and to the
point is de rigueur.

Mail the resolution… email the resolution. Only
ensure that your kind thought for their betterment and
perfection reaches them early in January.

Imagine how grateful, how pleased the recipient will be when
he of pronounced embonpoint receives this missive and its
kind and thoughtful message becomes apparent.

Send your New Year’s resolutions even to those near and
dear who share your abode and are bosom buddies and
dear companions on your earthly journey.

The temptation, even for those expert and experienced
in providing life enhancing New Year’s resolutions for others,
will be to personally deliver, message upon hallmarked silver
salver, your resolutions to the people near at hand, spouse,
children, impecunious sons in law, etc.  You will think of
their profoundly grateful responses, you will think of
the affection and love in their eyes. You will hear with
delight words so lavish and abject that even that practised
purveyor of the obsequious Uriah Heep would be put to
shame. No, you do not want to miss a moment.

But you must.

For your recipient will need a moment or two to
compose himself and, no doubt, let fall the grateful
tear, that you should care so much and have gone to so
much bother on their behalf. Allow them a moment
of reflection in privacy, as they think how grateful, how
very grateful, they are to have such a one as you in
their (otherwise imperfect) life.

Savor this moment, glass of grog at hand for
you have done the very best of deeds. Sing under your breath
this little-remembered chorus from Robert Burns’ immortal
annual anthem of maudlin sentimentality, Auld Lang Syne:

“We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.”

And now,  gratitude, indeed.

As I was finishing up this practical report,  there
was a knock at the door… then the telephone rang…
then I noticed a decided up tick in my email.
I was not surprised… I was expecting such a deluge.
After all, I had contacted many with a hearty abundance
of resolutions, necessary, specific, in depth, all
resoundingly honest to a fault. Now, no doubt, the expected
responses, the epistles of gratitude and fulsome thanks
were at hand.

Ou la la!

Imagine my surprise upon reading the first of these
messages:

New Year’s Resolution of Dr. Jeffrey Lant…:

signed your loving sister

Then the one signed by my (concerned) brother, my
(worried) father, one jointly signed by my (still affectionate)
niece and  nephew, my (who-else-could-tell-you?) best friend,
my (long suffering) partners… even my (silent-until-now) driver
and  his wife.. .and all the very many others.

It was jolting to be sure to learn that so many felt
so strongly there was so much of me to enhance and correct.
But these messages, profoundly honest, stimulated
the only New Year’s resolution I shall make this
year: to love them all, warts and all, and be
profoundly glad I have them in my life.

Happy New Year, 2017!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

About The Author

2017 brings Dr. Lant to seven decades of a successful writing career. He is, he likes to say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Over fifty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.

To get your copy go to www.drjeffreylant.com. You will also want to check out his complete oeuvre found in the store at www.drjeffreylant.com

peking_duck_headGeorge J. Quacker Production
Div. Jeffrey Lant Associates, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

‘We’re starting up a brand new day… I’m thinking in a brand new way.’ New Year’s Eve. Unbidden thoughts.

Colorful fireworks of various colors over night sky
Colorful fireworks of various colors over night sky

Author’s program note. All of a sudden there was a bone-chilling gust of frigid air right off the punishing Atlantic filling the night… it was the kind of gust we here in Cambridge call the Montreal Express… not merely cold but gelid, polar, arctic… than which there is nothing colder but the morning after the greatest love of your life said good-bye, this time for good.

Shivering, I had to get up… present reality, even though freezing, being preferable to another minute of the dream being played out sharply in cinemascope in my brain. In it I was marrying Hillary Clinton, and we were redecorating my condo as our love nest after a cosmic flood. Yikes, it was indeed time for this article… and the music for it came swiftly out of no where saying, ” I think you’ve been looking for me.” And indeed I  had…

I was smiling…. this was how Marley (in clanking chains of course) summoned Scrooge to his destiny… and look what happened to them. I’m a literary gent, and I appreciated the reference… and this song by Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, born October 2 1951, known to the world by his sobriquet “Sting”, a name, a description, a declaration, a clear statement of what you must do when the world is too much with you late and soon. Yes, that Sting.

I don’t think much about Sting. I’m not a rabid fan or anything close, but he’s got the poet’s own way of insinuating himself into my life at significant moments.  His words are often mine fields, often verbal shrapnel, the kinds of words one fastidious word smith appreciates in another who like you demands respect for the language and mastery from himself.

Cold reality.

My hands are cold… my fingers are stiff. It is 3:25 a.m., and Sting and his lyrical insights, melodic, as deep as you want them to go, fill the crucial space between two ears. I am listening, because here is a man who has something important to say to me, about the year now past, about you and me, and how we’re glad to be alive and give thanks to whoever made it possible. The song is called “Brand New Day” and I hadn’t heard it since it debuted in 1999, just in time for the new millennium.

I remember hearing this song in this very room, where I sat at this very desk in this very chair as I watched the clock move inexorably to the first midnight of the new century, the Y2K midnight that was supposed to bring cosmic computer chaos, so admonishing experts had told us. And so I, like so many others, worried myself into the new year, following the advent of midnight around the globe… only to discover that nothing happened anywhere…  the biggest “same old, same old” ever. Yes, I was listening to this song that night. It couldn’t really be so many years ago, could it? Go now and find it in any search engine and listen carefully….

“There’s simply no immunity/There’s no guarantee.”

2016. I lived it. Which is to say I was alone, I was together, I made money. I squandered money. I lied. I deceived. I was cruel. I was affectionate. I made messes and ignored them.  I cleaned up messes made by others who ignored them.

I cursed. I adored. I slept the sleep of the just. I just barely slept at all. I did random good deeds… I insulted those who meant me well. I hugged strangers… and ignored those nearest and dearest. I ate too much cake… and told others they shouldn’t eat cake at all, then ate theirs.

I knew the bite of the flesh… I abjured God… then went in panicked search of Him all over again. I was magnificent. I was squalid. I was the best of friends and the most unrelenting and tenacious of foes.

I demanded mercy and gave none. I wanted to make a difference and the difference I made was miniscule and negative. I ate without savor. I loved without passion and thought well of myself when there was not a single reason for so much conceit. I always took the easy way and had the temerity to tell others they must sacrifice when I would not. I took, always took, more than my share and bellowed that it was not more. I winked at injustice until I became an injustice.

I hated. I condemned. I demeaned. I disdained. I hurt whenever possible and denied whenever feasible. I exulted in the misfortunes of others and laid the burden of mine at the feet of God Almighty whose name in vane passed often through my lips.

I chose to misunderstand when understanding was facile… and blamed everyone but me on what was so readily apparent to others but willfully ignored by me. And yet I never lost the deep belief that I was a hero to others, a paragon to myself.

I was all this and more, I did all this and more in the tiniest morsel of time we call one year … as if it was something that could be neatly boxed and neatly understood. But even now this year, waning, its end in sight, abides… with possibilities still to come before it is played out, kaput, history we are glad to dispose of and forget, as if forgetting was even an option. It isn’t.

“Turn the clock all the way back.”

How many hours of 2016, how many hours of your life have you now wasted wishing you could regain even a single moment of time, to live it, savor it, even the most commonplace of activities? It is natural to think so for our system is profoundly exasperating… you lived that moment. It is yours. You want it back. You must have it back. And so you expostulate against your fate, the inevitability that defines us. You must go forward, only forward, never back no matter how badly you want it. and you know how badly that is.

Right this minute, the sands of time are escaping through your open hands, hands you long to close and stop the inexorable… but you cannot close them. And so, you experience the pain of certain loss that defines each of us in a world that we live in, are destroying, but cannot stop and enjoy without anxiety.

Each word you now read here takes you into a future that challenges us, a future we must engage whether we want to or not. We stand alone before eternity… and it frightens us to our very core. That is why next year, the year after that. and all the next years to come you will fail to stand tall and courageous before the vast immensity we call The Future and why instead we will take what comfort we can from what our species is most expert at doing: dissipation, distraction, diversion, self destruction.

Only by such devices can we face that which most concerns us… and so we are profligate about the time which constitutes our essence. Sic semper gloria mundi.

The only resolution that matters.

At this moment of peril for each of us, all of us, for our planet and our Cosmos, for our very God, what are we offering to change our course and destiny? Some opt for trivial resolutions about increased exercise and ways to diminish pounds. Others still seize upon any one or two of a myriad of possibilities to improve themselves, all petit, inconsequential, trifling, insignificant. Is this the best we can do against the daunting, monumental challenges we face? We must do better. And what better time to begin than now as a new year signals the commencement of a brand new day?

What then must we resolve and do? Just one thing: Love. For in this single thing there is everything and everyone. Where we dismissed and condemned… we must love. Where we demeaned and destroyed…. we must love. Where we insulted and hated… we must love. Where we divided and estranged…. we must love. And where we worked to rend asunder and alienate… we must love.

” ‘Love is pain,’ I hear you say/Love has a cruel and bitter way of Paying you back for all the faith you ever had in your brain.”

But it’s the only and certain way to start up the brand new day that dawns radiant this very day.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

About the Author

2017 is fast approaching and with it Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s 70th birthday. He is, he likes to
say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Over fifty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.

To get your copy go to www.drjeffreylant.com. You will also want to join his Guaranteed Millionaire Club with people striving together for financial freedom for all
www.drjeffreylant.com

Listen in to Dr. Lant’s reading and pass it on to a friend, neighbor, lover.

The sands of time are slipping through our hands

Take this time to make a resolution that really matters

To change our ways and direction.

 


peking_duck_headGeorge J. Quacker Production
Div. Jeffrey Lant Associates, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.