Be it resolved – whatever day it is

Published 1:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2022

There is no time like the present.

So said John Trusler in or around 1790. Actually, he compiled a book of proverbs in which the wisdom is recorded. The complete sentence includes the phrase that, “a thousand unforeseen circumstances may interrupt you at a future time period.”

Of course, the sage Ben Franklin weighed in with his two cents worth. “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

It is much easier to remember Ben’s version.

Yes, it is New Year’s weekend. No, I still do not make New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I feel pretty proud of that resolution. I think I have human behavior, medical wisdom, psychological reasoning, and mental health all on my side. Not to mention, Ben Franklin and John Trusler, and surely Confucius had a few words to share on the matter.

Nowhere in all of history is there an example of a need deemed ready for action which is better put off because the day of resolutions is January 1st and not July 10th or September 3rd or February 7th or today. Just ask John and Ben.

A resolution is, by definition, a firm decision to do or not do something. A resolution should be made with great conviction that maintaining the resolve is pretty important, maybe life-altering.

If an individual, who shall remain nameless, decides that an increase in physical activity would be beneficial for a multitude of reasons and the day is, just for the sake of this argument, November 23rd, what would be the merit in waiting the 38 days until the calendar page flips to January 1st just to have an official resolution to make?

It will probably be raining on January 1st and I just do not run in cold, rainy weather. In the rules of resolutions, does that mean I have failed before January 2nd?

I also do not run indoors. I have tried gym memberships several times, unsuccessfully. Furthermore, I have no interest in working out with a virtual partner on a screen in my living room. It’s the free and open air, and solitude, for me.

Which brings me to the real point of this discussion. What is the end result being sought in any resolved action and when is it needed?

The answer to the second part of the question is easy – now. The first issue is more complicated, but probably more important and definitely more personal.

When I was a spring chicken, about 40 years ago, I began running – because. Because people were running and I had some free time and no schedule obligations to get in the way. So, I did. I even ran a couple half marathons because people were and I had the time. I traveled with my job and I ran in many cities around the country. Through Central Park in New York, along the beach in December in Florida, around the business district in Philadelphia, and others.

I really can’t pin down the satisfaction in the activity and the benefit it brought. I think it was just to say I did it.

Sad to say, however, all the advice and common sense in the world does not a wise or rational person make. The activity of running never became a real habit. I never really knew why I ran so I never had the resolve to maintain the activity.

As it turns out now, it isn’t honestly the act of running every day. Fact is, that isn’t realistic, for me. Refer to the failed gym memberships and the avoidance of rainy weather previously mentioned. By definition, what I do these days does not actually qualify as running anyway. Running is considered to be a pace of six miles per hour or better. What I do at this point in my life is not that, but that is splitting hairs and irrelevant to my point.

I get out there as often as I can and that is that. In between, and sometimes in addition to my run, I walk to and from everywhere I can, weather permitting. On really inclement days, I take many inefficient trips around the house and office doing little jobs so I keep reasonably active during the day.

Back to the determination of resolution, if the need to run is just to run, then I am done. I’ve been there many times before. If I run to say I did a half marathon, or that crazy ¾ marathon, or win a Grand Masters division at a local race, those ships have sailed and there is no reason to tie on my shoes.

But, if I run when I can because it makes me feel better, that is a resolution worth making on any day of the year and it is one which is likely to be successful. The professionals are right anyway. You don’t need to add stress to your life because of poorly defined goals.

Maybe I will make a New Year’s resolution. On this matter, I am resolved. There is no time like the present day, whenever it is.