Throughout my earthly passage, I have perpetuated my share of practical jokes. I will not enumerate them here, the simple reason being, I might want to bring one from retirement.
I have to say that most practical jokes are neither sensible nor funny. However, I operate on the biblical assumption,”A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). With the high price of medicine these days, I will have a merry heart every moment. Just call me Dr. Merry Heart, and I will dispense some fantastic medicine to everyone who needs it.
Now, the practical joke I’m thinking of has to do with New Year’s Resolutions. I look forward to the last week in January for this very reason. For the first several months of January, I am nervous and sweating over those bad New Year’s Resolutions I’m forced to make.
Somewhere there is someone laughing at all those dumb enough to make New Year’s Resolutions. It is probably the quintessential practical joke played on all humankind. Is there a culture anywhere on the planet today that does not fall with this practical joke? If there is, I want to move there.
The first week in January is probably the worst week when it comes to these New Year’s Resolutions. They are fresh in our mind and of course new on our lips. A New Year’s Resolution would not be so bad if nobody knew that we made one. The problem comes when somebody knows what our resolution is and constantly reminds us,”How’s your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?”
For the majority of us, it is a formula for lying. Of course, I attribute my friends who are tempting me into this pattern of lying.
But during the first week, I amuse high intentions about my resolutions. And like the thought-challenged beggar that I am, I boast to everyone about the high quality settlements I have placed in force for the next year. All this in an effort to improve my standing among my peers. Most of my peers are standing in high water themselves. My purpose is to make them think I am a progressive, forward thinking, highbrow person of the future. I can’t control what they believe, but I can help them along the thinking process concerning myself.
It is during this week that I begin to have suspicions about the validity of my resolutions. The first week they look wonderful, but the next week that the rose begins evaporating and I start to see what I have strapped myself with for the coming year. Then, just when my confidence is starting to shake, a friend of mine will ask,”How’s your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?”
On Facebook, they have a procedure known as”defriending.” I must learn how that works. I have a list of friends I would like to”defriend,” at least until my New Year’s Resolutions have faded into the distant past of forgetfulness.
Then the next week of January comes around. It’s at this time I begin to find that my New Year’s Resolutions were made by a fool. There’s absolutely no fool like the one on your bathroom mirror. By now, I find there is absolutely no way those resolutions will be held by me. If I could sell my resolutions on eBay, I might make out pretty good, because on paper they look terrific.
She always says it with a ridiculous little smirk on her face. She knows that the boast of January 1 loses its luster by January 21. After all, she has 46 years, this coming summer, of experience with my New Year’s Resolutions.
It is the fourth week of January I’m most interested in. To proceed through the first three weeks of January is rather painful but by the time the previous week comes around what’s forgotten.
Not only have I forgotten my resolutions, but everybody around me has forgotten them as well. At least they’ve given up asking me about those resolutions. I take what I get and am grateful. Some might have heard about my defriending policy.
The thing most upsetting is, I never learn my lesson. Next year it’ll be the very same thing, and consequently, the identical outcome.
There is something to forgetting the past. I find it interesting the things we need to forget are the very things we remember, and the things we need to remember are the ones we usually forget.
The apostle Paul understood this very thing. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before,” (Philippians 3:13).
And that is no practical joke.