Time's up, class: Put down your pencils. The test that was 2012 is now more or less over.
Did you pass or fail? I'll say candidly, on a personal note, I consider the year that is rapidly drawing to a close to be a curious mix of success and failure for yours truly.
In the chess game of life, I moved some pieces forward, had others captured, advanced some, had to beat some hasty retreats.
For example, late this year, I enrolled myself in a diet program featuring herbal supplements. I felt a bit like Jack and the Beanstalk, at first: I pushed out a fistful of dough, and basically came home with a fistful of magic beans.
But it worked! Besides popping the pills, you have to write down everything you eat in a little book, limit carbs and sugar, and go in every week to get weighed. Under the rigours of this regime, I lost nearly 20 pounds! Everyone complimented me. "Dave, where'd the rest of you go?" "Your pants are falling off," etc. Me likey! I'm not saying I turned into Kate Moss, but I started to have an inkling of what she meant when she said: "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels."
And then … this last week, I just blew a tire, pulled the ripcord and started scarfing down mountains of pasta washed down by oceans of eggnog, fistfuls of pizza topped with – actually, I don't even want to talk about it. I probably gained back half the weight I'd lost. It's embarrassing. I'm mad at myself.
But see, the beauty of this particular day, Dec. 31, is the opportunity to put your old self to rest and hope for a new self to emerge – bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, full of hope, and imbued with an iron will – tomorrow morning.
All this week I'm going to be writing about resolutions: making them, keeping them, and so on. But that starts tomorrow. Tonight, please join me in tucking a teddy bear under the arm of your old self, kissing it on the forehead, and wishing it sweet dreams. It was only human, after all; it did its best.
Then have a nice drink, to toast good friends, family, another year gone by – but don't overdo it! Tomorrow we begin afresh! Bright and early, soldier!