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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Before You Go: ‘New Year’s Resolutions’

CRL's John Gray breaks his own rules and offers up some resolutions.

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I mean, if you really want to make a change you don’t need a date on a calendar to do it. That said, I’m going to break my rules and make a few resolutions this January. These are specific to me, but feel free to borrow them if they seem like a good fit for you.

Ice cream, potato chips and cookies cannot be brought into the house unless my children are home and hungry. You know those spooky movies where someone wakes up at 4am and hears a voice whispering their name? That’s me, except the voice is whispering “Double Stuffed Oreos.” In the same vain, I can have Nestle semi-sweet morsels and peanut butter in the house but NOT at the same time.

Speaking of 4am: I will never, ever take money out of an ATM between the hours of midnight and 6am. Money retrieved from an account during these hours cannot be for anything good.

I will write a letter to Taco Bell urging them to close their restaurant near H.V.C.C. by 11pm so I can not stop there on the way home from work. Also, I will not eat at Taco bell the night before I have a lengthy dental appointment. I’ll leave the explanation to your imagination.

When I’m at the supermarket I will not change lines because I think the line next to mine is moving faster. I fall for this every time, and of course, once I’m in the new line, the line I abandoned starts moving faster than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

I will stop praying for stupid things like, “Please God, let the blackjack dealer catch a brick and go over” or “Jesus, if there’s any way this could just be the brake pads and not the rotors I promise to go to church more.” I do believe in God and I have a feeling he’s got bigger stuff to worry about than my car repairs.

On the topic of The Almighty, I will get at least one of my friends to start listening to 94.5 K–Love on the radio. The songs aren’t so much religious as they are uplifting. If you’re rolling your eyes thinking, “No way Gray,” just go to Youtube and listen to a few by Britt Nicole.

Since we’re talking music, I will stop singing songs by Miley Cyrus out loud in my car when I’m stopped at a red light. It must be disturbing for someone in the next lane to look over and see a 47-year-old man shouting, “Nodding my head like YEAH, moving my hips like YEAH.”

I will stop barking at dogs that are in the car next to me when I’m sitting at a red light, trying to get the dog to bark back. This behavior was cute when I was 12, a little weird now.

I will not spend more than 20-minutes per day on Facebook and I will only update my ‘status’ if something significant is going on in my life. Example: “I just dumped a bag of Nestle morsels into the jar of peanut butter and ate them with my fingers. I think I need divine intervention. I’m turning on K-Love.”

I will stop watching movies on TV that I have seen at least three times before. Examples: “Shawshank Redemption”, “Predator”, “P.S. I Love You”. What? “P.S”. is a great movie. My favorite line: “What do you want Holly? I know what I want, cause I’m holding it in my hands.” A small tear forms in my eye. Must be allergies.

I will not go to the Racino more than four times this year, and if at any point I’m up $50 I will quit. I will not get mad at the woman at the Racino who is sitting in one chair, but playing two VLTs at once. She can’t help herself.

I’ll crazy glue my bosses’ desk phone to the phone cradle and then keep calling him.

I will take black paint chips from my car and track down and punish the person who side-swiped me on the Northway recently and then sped off into the night.

I will stop beeping and waving to cops who are parked on the Northway running radar. One of these days they won’t find me funny and I’ll be tracked down and punished.

I will thank every soldier I see in uniform and if they are buying coffee at Stewarts I will pay for it without telling them. One caveat—I’m not springing for the donuts too.

Next time I see a nurse in uniform I will say in a loud voice: “Who’s forcing you to get a flu shot? NOBODY! You go girl.”

I’ll try to vote out every incumbent running for re-election next fall. All of them.

I’ll turn off any so called ‘money expert’ on TV because not one of them warned us about what just happened to our economy.

‘ll try to be extra nice to anyone over 60 working in retail, because chances are they are there out of necessity.

When my teenagers hit that age where they just don’t want to open up and talk anymore, I’ll keep trying because something tells me when they are 25 they will look across the kitchen table and say, “Thank you.”

I will forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it. I will ask forgiveness from someone who has no obligation to give it.

I’ll snow blow my neighbor’s driveway early some morning just to surprise her.

I’ll make sure to walk in the grass in my bare feet after a spring rain.

I’ll take my dog Max to a dog park so he can run free.

I’ll finally read the book Twilight. I’ll re-read To Kill a Mockingbird.

I’ll make more of an effort to see my brothers. Maybe it’s time we got to that Yankee game we’ve been talking about.

Finally, I’ll try to remind myself that today, right now, someone just like me is sitting in a doctor’s office being told they are very sick and only have so many days left to live. How they would spend those last days is exactly how I should spend this one. You too, my friend. Here’s to a wonderful 2010.

John Gray
John Gray
John Gray is an Emmy-winning journalist and writer. In addition to his 32 years of television experience, John is the author of three children's books and two novels. He is married with three children. He and his lovely wife Courtney have five dogs, three of them are rescues with special needs. They make their quiet home in Rensselaer County.

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