Dick Yarbrough: Resolutely determined to manage 2017 expectations
The only thing more useless than socks on a pig are New Year’s resolutions. Our intentions are applaudable but our follow-through usually leaves a bit to be desired. Still, that should not keep us from trying. I mean, what else is there to do while lying prone on the couch with a snoot-full of black-eyed peas and collards and watching the Yada-Yada Bowl?
Two of the old standard resolutions I don’t need. For one, I don’t need to lose weight. I lost a bunch while worrying over the Woman Who Shares My Name and who turned breaking femurs into an art form last year. It is not a weight-loss program I recommend but it did drop my waist size a couple of notches, where it remains.
The same for getting more exercise. For years, I have hauled this old body upstairs daily and worked out in my little gym for an hour. No chance I will ever be confused with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it is exercise aplenty and I intend to keep it up.
But there are a few other resolutions that deserve some serious consideration. For example, I resolve to continue to not eat broccoli. Life is too short for that. I will continue, however, to consume copious amounts of banana pudding. Life is too short not to.
Unlike the inch-wide, inch-deep political pundits who are so boringly predictable whether they tilt left or right, I resolve to make you read well into this space before you can identify the Target of the Week. It might be sycophantic Republican legislators associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council who would consume tree bark if so ordered by that bunch of malevolent manipulators, or it could be supercilious liberal Democrats — a vanishing breed, to be sure — who believe themselves morally and intellectually superior to We the Unwashed and who are just so much self-righteous babble. A pox on both their houses.
While straining at the usual assortment of political nits and gnats, I also resolve to try and do a better job of keeping things in perspective. Quit grinding over what happened yesterday (it’s already gone) and wringing my hands over what may happen tomorrow. (There’s a chance I won’t be around to experience it.) Live this day the best I can.
I have lost too many dear friends this year, three in one week earlier this month. I miss them all and resolve to never take friendships for granted. They are too precious to squander and I’m not always deserving of the ones I have. I need to do a better job of putting other people’s interests before my own.
I resolve to not remind supporters of You-Know-Where Institute of Technology that the University of Georgia is the oldest state-chartered institution in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, and has just announced its 24th Rhodes Scholar, which I believe is a trinomial or two more than YKWIT has had. If I do bring up our enviable academic prowess, it would be just like them to bring up an irrelevant occurrence last November about which 1 billion, 385 million Chinese care not one whit and which I am trying to forget. Somehow, I doubt they have the resolve to be that magnanimous.
I resolve to spend more time with my art for as long as I can hold a paintbrush. Under the category of Old Dog/New Tricks, I have been blessed to find I can paint a lick or two since turning in my corporate suit and the key to the executive privy. (If you are so inclined, you can see my efforts on the website listed below.) Having spent most of my adult life in a left-brain world, it is amazing to know there was a right-brain sitting there just waiting to be discovered. I am as grateful as I am surprised.
Finally, in 2017 I will work to earn your time and trust. As is my custom, I promise to not take myself seriously but to always take the opportunity I have been given to communicate with you very seriously. Strong opinions begat strong reactions and you have not been hesitant to tell me when you thought I hit the mark or when you deemed me editorially amiss. The former is appreciated and the latter is oft-times badly needed. Ours is a two-way street. I can’t do this by myself. Let us resolve to stay in touch. Happy New Year.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.