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I just this very moment realized that I was making resolutions for most of 2017. One after another, in fact, desperately trying to change the things I couldn’t. No serenity there, definitely, but I tried.

That’s all we can do, right? I can’t fix the world or anyone in it. I may be able to make a few personal changes. It’s an easy call.

I’m not sure it made a difference, these resolutions. A lot of them had to do with how I engage social media in these times, which is ongoing (and has been for longer than a year) and instructive. I’m learning, along with everyone else.

I don’t have much to share, though. I’ve changed a few minor habits, and I assume I’m maybe a bit more comfortable, but that doesn’t stop me from making mistakes, and overall I can’t say that I’m better off. Maybe.

But I have nothing to offer, really. Even the two tripwire alarms for a new year, booze and overeating, with which I have some experience, are either overdone (by me) or too far distant to be of much use. I’ve seen some encouragement out there, sober people offering support to those struggling with alcohol, and I was tempted to toss in my pennies, but I’ve got nothing. It was too long ago. I’m left with bromides and slogans, sometimes useful but not particularly deep. I wish everyone luck and grace.

Ditto for eating. I figured out long ago that I made a little trade, turned over my powerlessness and started looking around for something I could control. Learning to manage my appetite, exercise, and weight was also an easy call, something I could learn to do and see positive results from. You can't really quantify sobriety, other than adding up days without drinking, and after a year or so that gets a little blurry. I needed to feel in charge of something.

So I'm comfortable with the rationale for this minor obsession, even if I unintentionally cause a little eye glazing. I focus because I can control it, and I need to control something. No deep thinking required.


Drinking isn't a problem anymore. Eating isn't, either, although I've had some adventures with snacking over this holiday season, not new but not common in the past few years. My strategy remains the same: If you're going to eat two-dozen cookies one day, enjoy them. Just don't forget them.

The exercise makes me a little crazy, though. These past couple of years have been rough on the routine, what with losing my appetite and my will to move, more or less, for long stretches of time, never quite getting back there. Again, I have notes to refer back to, and I can easily see that I've dropped off. Me, the marathon walker, now averaging less than 15 miles per week, hardly sedentary but hardly working.

The Fitbit was a surprise in this regard, although it shouldn't have been. I was incurious and really not interested in wearable technology like this, figuring I was fine just eyeballing routes and miles involved, and i was. But data is fun, and the Fitbit gave me a bunch. I can see what I'm not doing, pretty clearly.

And those 10,000 steps a day? Please. That's about five miles, which used to be my baseline walk every day, seven days a week. Baseline. Minimum. Bare minimum, even.

Now, I'm not disappointed with half of that, most of it coming just moving around the house and walking the short distance to one of the stores in my neighborhood. That part of my game needs work, and motivation is the bugaboo. I don't need to exercise more to compensate for eating more; eating, again, is fine.

It's the next 20 years that speak to me. It's fragility and health and atrophy and brittleness that I hear these days, loud and clear. Move. Move more. Stay alive, etc.

And if that isn't motivation, I bought my son a Fitbit for this Christmas, so he could join the family adventure. He was mildly interested, but I noted that he installed the app and started taking more walks on his days off from work, obviously trying to make his goal.

Then he went back to work, and when he got off he saw that he'd done 25,000 steps. He was pushing 30,000 yesterday. He's nonchalant about this, as he should be. He's in his 20s.

So my work hasn't been cut out for me. It just lives in the same house, mocking me. You can't get more motivational that that, if you ask me. Here's to stepping more, sitting less, and happy new year to us.

Chuck SigarsComment