It's a little over a week into 2007 and many of you are probably struggling to stay on the path of your new year’s resolutions. The average person maintains their resolutions for about 3 weeks. However, it seems more likely that most of us don’t even last that long. In support, concrete proof was delivered into my inbox a few days ago from a dear, but desperate friend. I thought I’d share his struggle with you; he writes……
“I challenged myself to abstain from ice cream, coffee, and alcohol in 2007. How about that trifecta? Well, one week and I’m batting .666. Dang, am I weak or what. I lost number three when I caved in and began sipping Merlot to mask my early caffeine withdrawal symptoms, and no – not in the morning.”
Dear friend, I’m going to write about you today because I care about you. And I care that you have chosen to eliminate three of the most trifectfully wonderful things in our world – ice cream, coffee, and alcohol. The only thing you are perhaps missing from your list would be peanut butter. But that would make it a fourfecta which doesn’t sound nearly as cool as the three-fold trifection you described.
Let’s start with the coffee. The crux of the matter is why you would consider doing this to yourself. To go a day without coffee would be cruel punishment to every cell in your body. You will become snippy, short, and ornery – more so than usual. Or at least that’s what they told me. You will see a permanent white halo with your vision and feel a fog in your head. You will pass most of your day sleeping to shake off a headache worse than any hangover you’ve ever had. You might even start shaking, foaming, or speaking in strange tongues mumbling Sumatra, Guatemalan Antigua, Peaberry under your un-coffee tainted breath. You may even see things. For up to 5 days you will become intolerable to be around. You will accomplish nothing at work. Co-workers will leave notes on your desk pleading you to please, go back on the sauce. Socially, it will set a dividing line between you, now a non-drinker, and them, the coffee drinkers. You will walk into a coffee shop while the coffee drinkers silently berate you with OUTLANDER LEAVE when you order tea or – god forbid – decaf. You will not hear this out loud, but be sure it is happening in their heads.
Let’s move next to ice cream. Tyler Hamilton once said in a magazine that he gave up ice cream for a year in preparation for the Tour de France. You see where that got him. Lesson learned – you cannot replace ice cream with dope. Not that you would, but he and you would probably be better off if you just stayed on the ice cream. There are so many wonderful things about ice cream – where to begin. Moose Tracks, Turtle Soup, Caramel Caribou these create purely happy and joyous feelings in your mouth. And there is no substitute. Soy Dream does not count. Your body knows better. Your mind is just making you want real ice cream even more with every spoonful of Soy Dream. And we’ve already had the discussion where soybeans are eaten by cows so real-milk is really soy-milk. So you might as well cut out the middle man and eat the real ice cream.
Let’s now move to the alcohol. A few things here. First, if you are going to give in forget about Merlot. May I suggest some wines that you must not miss – Tempranillo, Argentinian Malbec, Columbia Valley (Washington) Cabernet Sauvignon from Indian Wells, or Australian Shiraz. These would be wines worthy of breakdown. These wines will leave you in the middle of the street shouting about Ironman. Not that I would know. Second, in the words of Ben Franklin, beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy. If it was good enough from the man that did something with a light bulb, then it should be good enough for you. If not, then you might want to think about why you are too good for Ben Franklin and his advice. Third, I’m glad to hear that you are not sipping wine in the morning. Even if you did, it wouldn’t be that unusual and I wouldn’t think any less of you. I’ve seen grown men drink beer for breakfast on Ragbrai or shots of pucker before 10 am. So, Merlot in the morning would actually make you quite classy in my book but it would leave you with purple teeth for most of the day.
Let’s talk about weakness. To give in to what you love in life is not weakness. Why do we feel we must give up the things we love in life to be “good people”. Who says we need resolutions? If you ask me, resolutions smell fainty of made-up media make believe. Kind of like sweetest day – the biggest bullshit holiday. Like you can only be sweet on that day. Like you can only be good if you resolve to eliminate everything you love for an entire year. Life is far too short to limit yourself from these things. You could be gone tomorrow and nowhere will they announce that here lays a man who gave up coffee for the past year and lived a better life because of it. I share this with you because these are the thought processes I have gone through in evaluating all of my own vices or things I should probably resolve to give up – coffee, spending too much time in my closet, drinking wine, spending hours each day exercising. And what I realized is that I should really just resolve to be true to myself, generous to others, and committed to pursuing my passions. These are things they will talk about when I am gone. These are things that will leave a legacy of who Iwe are with everyone we have known.
Good people do all sorts of bad things – drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, drive fast, have a beer for breakfast. These are all things that good people I know are doing. To stop doing these things would make them less who they have taken so long to grow into. Release yourself from resolutions. There’s no need to stop being who you are because other people make you feel like you should change. The new year has nothing to do with being a new or better person. You can be a better person every single day by staying true to yourself and what you love. And by drinking coffee each day - not negotiable. The wine and ice cream are optional on a daily basis. In fact, you might want to lay off of those until the weekend.
So, my friend, join my saucy and sassy legion of sinners and resolve to stay on the sauce – the coffee, the wine, the caramel sauce on top of your Moose Tracks, whatever sauce you please.