After arduous research (boot up the computer, go on the Internet, type in “New Year’s resolutions”), I’ve found that these annual promises to improve oneself or one’s situation have been made since about 153 B.C.
Back then, they were sworn to in March, since Julius Caesar hadn’t yet straightened out the calendar, doing so in 46 B.C. and declaring January — named for the Roman god Janus — as the first month of a new 12. One can only guess at what some of his resolutions might have been: “I will stop corresponding with that conniving little Cleopatra”; “I will cross the Rubicon this year for sure“; “I will pay off my debts after the Ides of March.”
(A digression: The Babylonians celebrated the new year’s beginning some 4,000 years ago — in March — with 11 days of festivities. And you think you’re wasted on Jan. 1.)
More research landed me on USA.org, a website whose managers are presumably financed by us taxpayers and where I found a list of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, to which I would add this one: We, the members of Congress, resolve to trim this kind of silly service from the budget.
Anyhow — here with the resolutions and my commentary as to how they apply to us older folks:
Here I’ll add a couple of resolutions I made years ago and hope you will, too: Never throw anything out of your car; think how neat New Orleans could look. And whenever you go to the grocery store, buy one of those five- or 10-dollar bags of canned goods to put into the Food Bank bins.
Happy New Year!
Bettye Anding is a former editor of The Times Picayune Living section, for which she wrote Silver Threads until her retirement. She now writes it for NolaVie. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.