By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

New yearsI operate under the illusion that I am a fully functioning, rational adult.  That could be the root of my problem.  Here I sit, two days before the new year, convinced that 2014 is going to be a GREAT year.  I’ve polled a few of my friends and their sentiment is exactly the same – they all are looking forward to 2014 with great optimism and hope.  We will NOT have any of the problems we experienced in that nasty old 2013, no sir.  2014 will be perfect.

What is it about human nature that we completely suspend reality at the beginning of each year?  We forget that life’s road is bumpy and that each year brings with it some amount of problems and worries.  Heck, at our age, every doctor’s appointment holds the possibility of being a life-altering event.  And we forget that the world around us (especially in a year with mid-term elections) can be a very hard place to find comfort and joy.  So this year, in an effort to be more grounded, I am not making any resolutions that are high-minded or completely unrealistic. I’ve decided to make some resolutions of what I won’t do in the new year.  Here’s a sampling:


1.  I will NOT exercise every day.  Every year I say I will and every year I fail.  One year I made it all the way through April.  That year was 1966.  Ever since then I can’t even get through the month of January without sitting on my butt for hours eating Doritos and watching TV.   So this year I am setting myself up for success – I vow to exercise when I feel like it.  Hopefully that will be something more than once a week but I’m not making any rash promises.

2.  I will NOT eat healthy every day.  Although I do consume more than my fair share of kale salad and green smoothies, I hate that I feel guilty when I eat something resolutionswonderfully sugary or packed with carbs.  So…in 2014 I pledge to do my best, keeping in mind that there were probably several women on the Titanic who in their last moments thought, “Damn!  I should have had that chocolate cake!”

3.  I will NOT get organized.  This year I bought one of those P-Touch label makers.  I set up a color-coded filing system and labeled every folder.  Then I made labels for a bank of  switches so I finally could distinguish between mood lighting, overhead beams and the window shades.  Perfect.  But then I took it too far – I labeled the hair dryer, the spice rack and the toaster.  My husband never stayed around me long for fear he would end up with a label.  So in 2014 I will not attempt to organize.  Instead, I will seek professional counseling for what is obviously my OCD problem.

4.  I will NOT watch Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo-Boo or Miley Cyrus.  This one is pretty easy because I don’t follow those people now but since they are constantly on the news I shall vow to avert my eyes when they appear.  Also, in 2014 I will not be Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  Except the whole “Bruce Jenner wants to be a woman” thing.  I met him once in 1977 at a cocktail party and he was the very essence of manhood and virility.  So watching him get his Adam’s Apple shaved and wear women’s undergarments could hold a certain fascination that will prove irresistible.

I think these resolutions are sufficiently low.  In fact, I’m feeling confident that this year I will accomplish all of my goals. Optimism runs rampant today because, like many of you, I look at January 1st as a fresh beginning. My slate wiped clean of any problems, with only great possibilities spread out before me in the coming 12 months.  Today I believe that all things are possible.  Today I believe that the new year will bring contentment, good times and I will finally be able to discard my “fat clothes”.

Here’s to a wonderful 2014 to us all.  May your year be filled with good health, good friends and good times. And may all of your resolutions be fulfilled – no matter how low you set the bar!   Happy New Year!!!!

2014 Jahreswechsel, Neujahr


kaleBy Suzanne Sparrow Watson

Have you noticed that we are surrounded by diet tips this time of year? No matter where I’ve turned lately, someone is telling me how I can expend calories, lower my BMI or lose weight. Frankly, I don’t think my weight is any of their damn business.

Usually I enjoy reading USA Today – the articles exactly match the (short) length of my attention span. And there are pictures – lots of pictures. But this past week even they bombarded me with diet and exercise tips. The Main news section went into an agonizing description of every diet and which medical group endorses it. Blah, blah, blah. Then the Money section dissected the cost of the various diet plans. Sports calculated the calories used during simple everyday tasks like mowing the lawn, chopping wood, and rock climbing. Clearly they’ve not taken into consideration people such as myself. I need to know the net calorie count of sitting on the couch eating popcorn while watching “Downton Abbey”. Finally, the Life section had real life stories of people who had lost 100 pounds. I don’t care what they say, you just know these people are miserable. And most of them gain it all back in a Bacchanalia of Domino’s pizza and grape slurpees.

I blame a lot of this diet craze on the recent assent of kale. Who had even heard of kale five years ago? Now it’s in everything. Restaurants feature kale salad, which is basically kale and then a lot of things mixed with it to mask the taste of kale. There are recipes in magazines for kale chips, kale smoothies, and I even saw one for kale ice cream. The kale craze really hit the Rubicon when one famous, do-gooder, skinny-as-a-rail chef suggested putting kale in a chocolate cake recipe. That is one step too far. Not on my watch will something like kale ruin a perfectly delicious confection of sugar and butter.

So for me, I’m going to cut out the middle man this year and not even start a diet. And I’m certainly not going to add freaking kale to my meals. I’m sticking with the triple chocolate cake from Costco (minus any kale, thank you very much) and I’m guessing that I will end up weighing the same at the end of 2013 as I do today. And I won’t have had the humiliation of kale stuck to my teeth.

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