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Resolution: Have More Fun

by on January 06, 2010 7:00 AM

Happy 2010 everybody!

Now that the ball has dropped and the champagne has been toasted, one obvious conversation to hold while embarking on a new year is what resolutions we all have made.

I decided that to help me chose a good one, I would take a survey here at The Park. I found that although it was 0 percent scientific, because I spoke to these customers first hand it’s truly 100 percent honest.

I was shocked by how many people have decided that their New Year’s resolution was not to make a New Year’s resolution at all! As many stated, why make a resolution when they know that they will break it? Several stated the usual suspects: lose weight, enjoy every day more, world peace... but I realized that I should reflect on my past resolutions to decide on my new one. Here goes. 

In the 1960s I had a paper route along which I delivered 115 papers. At the end of my route, there was a little restaurant that had a pin ball machine I loved to play. I would try everyday to deliver my papers faster and faster so I could enjoy more time to play that pin ball machine.

Upon reflection, I think my parents' goal behind making us (my two sisters and me) commit to a New Year’s resolution was to cleverly encourage us to have more self-motivation while teaching us discipline.

My most disciplined resolution would have to be a more recent one. In 1998, I decided to do what my daughters call "the unthinkable" and resolved to give up chocolate. To this day, the last time I ate chocolate was on the eve of the new year, 1999, at the Tavern restaurant (which has been a dinner tradition with my wife and several of our closest friends for many many years) and it was a delicious toasted coconut ball that was drizzled in chocolate. Let me just take a moment to remember that dessert... (Now would be a good time to mention that my January cookie of the month contest has had an unseasonably low entry volume!)

That brings me to my next point: my new perspective on these resolutions we make, break, regret and follow through with.

Most resolutions sound like a punishment or a compromise. We should start to look at this new beginning in a new light. For example, rather than to resolve to lose weight, maybe attempt to get in better shape? Perhaps put a less negative spin on a very positive possibility!

POLL: 2010 Resolutions

How likely are you to keep your resolutions in the new year?

I've already given up on mine.
At least until February.
I'll keep mine all year. No question about it.

As I’m sure you’ve picked up about me in some of my previous columns, I like to have fun. I feel that life has become a little too serious for everyone in general, and we should try to look at this New Year’s resolution as more of a fun challenge rather than a countdown of the days until we break it.

I also asked my daughters (who still try to get me to eat chocolate almost every time we are together) what they were planning on as resolutions.

  • My Michaela has decided that she would like to put herself first more, which as an art therapy graduate student with an internship for her master's as well as a part-time job, I think is a great idea. 
  • My Marykate has chosen to try to take more leaps with less looking back. As her undergraduate minor was in dance, I’m convinced she will have an effortless transition into leaping more! 

To quote my wife’s calendar that she had on display in our home, the designated quote for Dec. 31 was by Abraham Lincoln: "Always remember that your own resolutions to succeed is more important than anything else." It’s a great thought but I do have to disagree slightly. I believe that love is more important than anything else. But I think I’ll save more of that thought for a specific column sometime in February.

So what can a guy who has already raced through his paper route and given up chocolate resolve for this new decade? My resolution for 2010 is to have more fun. Although, after the year I’ve just completed, it’s definitely going to be a challenging goal to achieve.

A very FUN challenging goal.

Mike (The Mailman) Herr gives his stamp of approval to all visitors Monday through Friday at the University Park post office in the ground floor of McAllister Building, adjacent to the HUB. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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