To Resolve, It Is Often Just Too Hard
Every year about this time, I try and come up with a column about New Year’s resolutions yours truly has made for the upcoming year. Usual result: resolutions made, resolutions not achieved. I am hardly alone. According to Business Insider, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. The root word of resolution is resolve, which means “to decide firmly on a course of action.” Perhaps, we are setting the bar too high. With this in mind, I am substituting firm “resolutions” with the more flexible, “I kind of hope I can do some of these things.”
I kind of hope to make it to more City Council meetings. Hurricane Peter Blake is now on the Council. I am eager to see the impact of a man who says, “When they go low, I go lower.” Is this the type of attitude we need when the level of civil discourse in our town and the nation is at an all-time low? I believe Michelle Obama offers more sage advice on this, Mr. Blake.
I hope to make it to more Laguna Beach High School baseball games this season. In their cozy little stadium, with (root) beer and hot dog in hand, I can watch as they routinely slay larger schools. It is like being in Fenway Park without having to be a Bostonian.
It would be nice to write about more local issues, as the Indy is a local paper. This will be a hard one for me to achieve. I remember back in the 1970s when OPEC cut off oil supplies for a while. One way we tried to deal with this situation was to lower the speed limit on freeways to 55 miles per hour. The venerable rocker, Sammy Hagger, wrote a song entitled, “I Can’t Drive 55.” Well, with the issues and cast of characters on the national scene, I, like Sammy, just cannot break old habits. Most likely, some national issues will find their way into certain columns. After all, what affects our nation and our world does affect our city.
I hope I can continue to be a type of town crier continuing to tell one and all about a local treasure right here in Laguna Beach. That treasure is Laguna Beach Books, a truly, wonderful, independent bookstore. To walk inside is to enter a magical place of warmth, where the staff, even if they do not yet know you, are your helpful friends. So, you there, with the mouse in your hands, ready to order a book on Amazon, stop it. Stop it right now, and get thee down to Laguna Beach Books—it is a short trip, and one well worth making.
One of the most common “resolutions” Americans make is to lose weight. I have actually done this, losing nearly 15 pounds in four months. Hopefully this trend can continue, but I am finding that the spirit is strong but the flesh is weak after this four-month battle. Having lost the weight, I now feel a strong urge to reward myself with cheesecake. Stay strong, Jim. You can now reach tennis balls in the corner of the court, instead of looking on helplessly and saying over and over again, “nice shot.” Pretend pants come in sizes no larger than 36.
I hope in the coming year, I will travel more. But when you live in paradise, it is difficult to leave.
I hope when I come across someone who works for the fire department or police department, I will take the time to thank them for their service.
Also, I firmly resolve to:
Stop comparing Laguna Beach to Newport Beach. It is just not a fair fight.
Watch more of Fox News, and less of CNN. I want to be more “fair and balanced.”
Replace the 6-year-old column photograph that appears in this paper with one that is more up to date. I want people to see the ravages of time.
See, some resolutions are just made to be broken.
James Utt is the author of “Laguna Tales and Boomer Wails.” He hopes 2019 will be a year of joy and happiness for all.