For a while there, it looked like the flurry of Christmas parties would never end. It was a challenge amid the traffic situation, impassable snarls from the moment you left your house. It is ridiculous to have to leave home at least four hours before an event. As if in self-defense, people became more selective.
At a dinner the other night, a couple compared notes. I listened as I enjoyed my chilled singkamas juice. It was good, by the way. I don’t know about its nourishment value, but it was delightful.
Anyway one guest explained what to me was a no-brainer: “If I have several invitations for the same day, I choose the one that is easier and with less of a traffic hassle.” Duh!
Of course! If I need several hours to get to where I’m going and then suffer the same fate coming back, I pass. I will decline. Immediately. Everyone will understand. No one will feel in the least bit slighted. They will know it’s a traffic thing. What else could it be?
Nothing is worth the aggravation of sitting, stuck for hours, in a car going nowhere, in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
I don’t know when or if this chaotic situation will ever see relief. Does anyone have a magic wand? The year is about to end and no one has come up with a silver bullet.
I feel for those who have no choice but to battle this insanity, day in and day out. I do, thank God. I can choose to stay home. That’s just one of the many perks of people my age.
Here we go again
In a couple of days it’s 2020.
Here comes the season for resolutions, for making promises we cannot keep, wagers we cannot win. Sometimes I wonder why we even bother. Some think it’s a show of good faith.
One easy prediction for the year is that there will be long lines at the gym with well-intentioned applicants raring to get in shape. More diet meal packages will be delivered, at least in January. Weight Watchers may experience an all-time high in new sign ups.
But there’s no telling what will happen after the initial frenzy.
Remember last year’s surge of trendy diets? Where are they now? Are there any new ones? Do keto, paleo and Noom have as many followers as when they began? How about Whole30? Remember vegetarians and pescatarians? Some restaurants had a separate menu just for them.
And here’s another one for you. Flexitarians. Its author and promoter, dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner, defines it as the “marriage of two words: flexible and vegetarian.”
The widely read diet guru explains: “You don't have to eliminate meat completely to reap the health benefits associated with vegetarianism—you can be a vegetarian most of the time, but still chow down on a burger or steak when the urge hits.”
The diet emphasizes flexibility: “You don't have to stick to any rules all day, every day. It's all about progress, not perfection.”
As the New Year dawns, people will quit smoking and hopefully vaping. Others will taper off or totally stop drinking. We will suddenly awaken to the gravity of what the doctors order.
Our problem is that we start the year health-conscious and then throw all caution to the winds. This accounts for a group of people known as yo-yo dieters; starving and bingeing, losing and gaining.
We do the same with our noble intentions. We must change that.
A new page
As we start writing on our 2020 journals, let us make an effort to become thoughtfully aware of one another; and perhaps for the first time, see each other with the heart, as brothers and sisters, not adversaries.
I pray that we return to a lifestyle of trust, courtesy and respect; concerned not only for what is good for me, but for the good of others as well.
For the techies, when you see filth and meanness online, click delete. Do not copy and paste. For those who can’t stop ranting and raving, hold the vitriol. Measure what you say. Your words are like seeds that you sow. May God have mercy on you when it’s time to reap.
Learn to stifle the urge to be mean and petty. Do not gloat because someone got his comeuppance, no matter how deserved it may be; resist the sarcastic sneer and snicker. Do not give vent to sickening glee. It makes you ugly to rejoice over someone else’s misfortune. Vindictiveness shows the dark side of your soul.
Let us open up our hearts and discover the good in people. No prejudice. No judgment.
The amazing thing about this coming year is that every one of us has one thing in common: We all have 366 days (it’s a leap year). The difference between us is how we use our days. I pray we use them well.
On to 2020
I received a Christmas greeting from a niece who lives in Costa Rica. We should make it our mantra for the New Year, and every day that follows.
“May the truth shine bright this coming year. May we always be kind to each other; may we speak with honesty and integrity. May we banish from our discourse offenses and vulgarity. And above all may God bless us all, everyone!”
In the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, let us “ring out the false, ring in the true.”