I've come full circle on resolutions this time of year. After years of eye-rolling and dismissing this cliched tradition, I've come to embrace it...even in it's most predictable area: how I eat. Every year my resolution begins with the same qualifier, "This year it will be different because (enter perfectly legitimate extenuating circumstance here)." But as I round the corner on the last leg before my 40th birthday, I am both suspect of my ability to do this year differently, and yet compelled to try again. So on one hand you have Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr's truism, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." And on the other hand, "It's not how many time you get knocked down that count, it's how many times you get back up." Of course, the first person to coin that phrase was General George Custer...so...
Anyway, I'm starting this year with a famous quote from Aristotle: "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." There is certainly a nobility in getting back in the ring and fighting the good fight, but if the conventional definition of insanity is "doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results," then it seems that our father's advice to "measure twice, and cut once" may be as applicable to potatoes as it is to plywood.
Maybe there is something to MLK Jr's quote, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." And if I take an honest measure of how my food choices reflect my values when I'm stressed or emotional or busy, maybe I can recognize and work on why I eat before I zero in on what I eat (or don't eat).
The frustrating thing about resolutions is when I fail the same way year after year. It's frustrating because I can here my Dad's wisdom in my ears: "The only bad mistake is the mistake you make twice." So this year, it really will be different, because I'm not starting over; I'm starting again. I am going to use the wisdom I've collected from my failures and mistakes this last year to, at the very least, fail in a different way this year. Maybe something will click and I'll better understand my unhealthy relationship with peanut butter or Diet Coke. Maybe I'll come to grips with why I still can't drink V8 juice without gagging. Whatever may come, I want to eat more thoughtfully this year, staying in the moment with my food in the same way I want to stay in the moment with my family and friends.
I guess we can all agree the old adage is true: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool my 39 times..." Ugh... All right, well, Happy New Year anyway. Lets be thoughtful with how we eat, humble in our victories, and gracious in our defeats. Embrace the Cliche!