John Carlson: Time for Unresolutions!

These are some of the tools I won’t be using in 2019. Photo by: Nancy CarlsonThese are some of the tools I won’t be using in 2019. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

By: John Carlson—

It’s that time of year when we all resolve to make positive changes in our lives, except the positive changes from my New Year’s resolutions never last longer than noon on January 1.

After awhile, these failures get depressing.

So in an attempt to enhance my self-esteem, I figured I’d have way more luck detailing the things I resolve not to change in 2019, and sticking to them.

For one thing, I am not going to keep my desk neater. I am pretty sure I can stick with this one. Yes, every now and again, when I watch a steam-boiled stink bug come stumbling from the spout of the electric water heater I just used to make my instant coffee, I may feel the urge to spruce up my desk a bit.

Give it a day or two, though, and it’ll be right back to its normal, sickening, cluttered self. You know how they say a messy desk is the sign of a brilliant mind? Given all the crap crowding mine, I am amazed I haven’t cured ebola yet.

Not folding and putting my pants neatly away each and every night? Yeah, that unresolution is as good as kept, and not just because I am an inveterate slob. This is thanks to the convenient pants rack over which I simply throw my pants each evening, getting them off the floor and ready to step into first thing the next morning.

I’m not going to spend more time riding my exercise bike this year, either. That is because its handlebars are the convenient rack over which I toss my pants every night. Oh sure, I’d like to be on that exercise bike, gripping those handlebars and pedaling my butt off while miserably working up a good, frothy sweat. But hey, have you ever tried gripping an exercise bike’s handle bars through a pair of pants? Your hands keep slipping. A guy could lose his grip, tumble to the floor and maybe get killed or something.

Well, he could get a rug-burn, anyway.

Then there’s the matter of becoming handier around the house. I am definitely not going to do that one in 2019. Yes, I stand in awe of handy guys. You know, the type of guys who say, “Heck, it’s a half-hour ‘til supper. Maybe I’ll just knock out a wall in the bathroom while I’m waiting.”

I truly admire those guys. I also truly despise those guys for being better human beings than I am.

If I had a half-hour until supper, I could maybe unwrap a new bar of soap and place it on the soap tray in the bathroom. Of course, there is a fifty-fifty chance I would also drop the soap into the toilet, make a desperate dive to grab it, then get my hand wedged in the drain hole. That would be bad enough. Worse, though, would be the look on Nancy’s face when she came in to check out the screaming.

Trust me on this. There is no look of disappointment quite like the look of disappointment on a wife’s face, when she walks into the bathroom and finds her husband sprawled on the floor with his hand stuck in the toilet.

On a more positive note, chances are good that would mark the end of her “honey-do lists” for me.

Another thing I am resolving not to do this year is lose weight. Not losing weight is one thing I definitely can stick with. After walking around on this earth nearly seven decades now, I have finally come to accept myself as a chunky person. Not that there aren’t drawbacks. For example, if I am hanging out at The Fickle Peach with my buddies and drop something important on the floor, my first angry thought is, “Oh, great. Now I gotta bend over.”

I am not kidding about this. Bending over is a hassle. I hate bending over.

On the other hand, as a newly-unrepentant person of chunkiness, which is the politically correct term for people like me, if I decide I want potato chips for supper, I can eat the whole bag, plus a couple Snickers bars for an appetizer and dessert. I figure that kind of culinary freedom must be worth at least twenty pounds of unsightly flab bouncing around on me. Which, by the way, nobody will see anyhow, since for the 68th year in a row, I have also resolved not to join a nudist colony.

All in all, I’d say 2019 is shaping up as a pretty good year.


A former longtime feature writer and columnist for The Star Press in Muncie, Indiana, John Carlson is a storyteller with an unflagging appreciation for the wonderful people of East Central Indiana and the tales of their lives, be they funny, poignant, inspirational or all three.  John’s columns appear on Muncie Journal every Friday.