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New Year's Resolutions

Be it resolved that in 2003, I will not drink from empty bottles, or swim in empty rivers.

I will not compete in team roping contests. I will not run for public office, or join a religious order.

Usually, I don’t make resolutions. I hate to disappointment myself. But 2003 may be my last chance to become a new man. I have really worked on these, and you’re welcome to adopt any that might work for you.

It is my firm resolve to avoid procrastination. I will do the things that need to be done in 2003, catch up on much of what I was supposed to do in 2002, and clean up details dating back to 1999, if I can find the time.

This is important, because Governor-elect Janet Napolitano has asked me to reinvigorate the Arizona Agency for Timely Procrastination. She said I’m perfect for the job. I told her I’ll try to get around to it.

Under my trembling hand, the Wickenburg Institute For Factual Diversity will continue to be the umbrella agency for The Journal Of Prevarication; The Hearsay Trust; The Nadaburg Conservatory, and The Arizona Woolgatherers Association.

Miss Ellie and I will continue to foster our club for people who can’t make up their minds. We still haven’t decided what to call it.

I will not be vain about my good looks, or boastful of my wealth.

God willing, I’ll get rid of my last remaining bad habit. I will be typically modest about that accomplishment.

I will tell the truth when I need to, and lie when it feels good. I will try to not tell more than I know.

However, I will not be stingy with my opinions about how any agency, institution, religion, nation, world or war should be run. I will eschew obfuscation. I resolve to not clone myself.

I will not be fashionable.

I will try to be more tolerant of people who are not like me, instead of wishing they thought or acted as I do; what a dull world it would be if we were all alike (especially men and women).

This matter of being more tolerant is a tough one. I think one way, but sometimes act in a contrary fashion. If I am really tolerant–if I truly believe in diversity–do I then have to tolerate bigots?

And what of aggressively rude people and congenital morons? I am so glad that I got over being judgmental.

I will not be a phony. I will not pretend to like Sean Penn or Trent Lott or Hillary Clinton or . . .

I will continue to thank God every morning for letting me wake up on the top side of the grass.

I will also thank him for the many friends who tolerate my peculiarities, as well as the one or two who don’t. I was never this popular in high school.

Finally, I will endeavor to spend more time addressing my own shortcomings, and less time helping to define the idiosyncracies of Miss Ellie. This won’t be easy, but she’s the kindest, brightest person I know, and she needs some slack.

Happy New Year. Or, as they say in Montreal, Bon Apetit.

Last 5 posts by Jim Cook

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