New Year’s is time for a ‘do-over’

Posted Dec. 26, 2008, at 9:16 p.m.

I’ve always been a fan of the “do-over.”

When something doesn’t turn out right the first time, you just do it over again.

When we were kids and the wrong person won the game — the wrong person, of course, being anyone but us — the wisest of us could always come up with a reason the first round wasn’t played right and convince the others that a “do-over” was the only fair resolution.

New Year’s is the granddaddy of the do-over. To hell with all the mistakes from 2008 — the thank-you notes you didn’t write, the exercise routine you didn’t maintain, the budget you didn’t stick to — you’ll get it right in 2009.

Now that the last leftover stuffed mushroom and meatball has been plucked from the fridge and the remnants of the last bit of fudge have been swept from the countertop, it’s time to face the year ahead.

My former colleague, Tom Weber, used to refer to us as the resolutioners.

According to every national poll going we resolutioners will vow to be 20 pounds thinner by this time next year. The routine-going gym rats will scowl at us in the coming days as we jam into the workout rooms and lengthen the lines for the most-sought-after equipment.

They’ll smugly talk among themselves, knowing full well that in a couple of weeks we’ll all be gone, our willpower as saggy and weak as our core muscles.

Stay strong! Don’t let the buff guy on the next elliptical machine intimidate you.

Should you decide to let the gym membership lapse, then perhaps it’s only because you are working so hard on resolution No. 2 — sticking to a budget.

Being more financially responsible is the second-most-popular New Year’s resolution.

That’s right. This year we really are going to bring our lunch to work every day, clip more coupons and scour the sale fliers. We’re going to avoid stops at convenience stores and make do with what we have until the next scheduled shopping day.

And if you should have to order out fast food a bit more it may simply be because you are so busy being committed to finally finding your real dream job. Up there in the top 10 on the resolution list is getting a new job. Of course, unemployment rates being what they are right now might make that a little difficult this year.

Anyone can understand that, can’t they?

When you think about it, perhaps we all spend just a bit too much time at work. After all, resolution No. 4 is spending more time with friends and family. What’s more important: work or spending time with our loved ones?

And should you find yourself dodging visits with Aunt Marie, it’s probably only because you are so committed to learning something new. No one is really going to want to hang around you if you have become so stale and uninteresting that you’re afraid to try something new and daring. Learning something new is No. 8 on the list.

But perhaps rather than worrying about yourself so much you should concentrate on bettering the lives of others. Spending more time volunteering comes in at No. 9.

If you’re having a hard time keeping all of this straight, then perhaps you should work on resolution No. 10 — getting organized.

Supposedly the Romans named January after Janus, the god of beginnings. Janus had two faces, one to look backward and one to look forward. He was considered the guardian of doors and entrances.

Hence the start of the season of resolutions.

So good luck to you as we all start this new year together. Perhaps you’ll be 20 pounds lighter, a bit more financially secure and a lot more enlightened.

If not, then stand back and simply insist on a “do-over” for 2010.

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