Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Playing the Game of Resolutions

I quit making New Year's resolutions. I make mine on any day of the year except December 31st because then, technically, it's not a New Year's resolution. It's just a resolution. Right?
 I prefer to just do shit without making breakable promises to myself. Because every time I broke a New Year's resolution (and I've broken MANY) I feel like I've betrayed my number one go-to guy (me). And that's bad form on any day of the year.

 So, in order to avoid that ill-fated cold turkey method of stopping bad habits, or the just-as-jarring sudden start way of beginning things, I started the practice of making my New Year's Resolutions early. Sometime in Autumn usually gives me enough of a head start that by the time the New Year comes around I'm already ahead in the game of resolutions.

 For example, I'm a junk food junkie. Even here in Japan...they've got their junkfood here as well. Onigiri (a rice ball, usually filled with mayonnaise and something fishy, Tuna or Salmon) or some snack from the sweet bread section of the combini (I love me some melon Pan) for breakfast, Bento lunch boxes for lunch and whatever happens happens for dinner. Seldom does cooking find its way into that rotation. And the result of this practice haunts me every time I step in front of a mirror. Spare tire doesn't begin to describe what I see there. More like the trunk you store the spare tire in. 

There was a time, not too long ago, when I was so active, and my metabolism was such that I could consume junk at a prodigious rate and not have to duck mirrors. But those days are very much over. This isn't just a vanity thing either. My blood pressure is high, cholesterol level is high, and my risk for heart attack is probably a lot higher than it ought to be for a man of my age. 2016's tally of dead didn't help much either. Not that I'm afraid of death. When it's time to go it's time to go. I Just don't wanna skip line or anything, you know? I've got work to do before I check out.

 So, I resolved one day in September to reduce my junk consumption by cooking more often...and cooking as healthy as my budget allows. It's been slow going with many, MANY, slipups along the way. But by getting an early autumn start, and gradually gaining my bearings and building momentum, and facing some of the challenges of such a life altering resolution without the pressure that the modification "New Year's" puts on resolution, I've been able to gain my footing a bit...and just in time!

 So, come today, January 1st, I'm a cooking ass mofo, and don't feel all that resolution pressure.

 Of course, as fate would have it, I have a whole pot of Hoppin' John to put away...not exactly healthy cooking. But it's the holidays. Gotta cut yourself some slack sometimes. Life is too short... So pass the peas like we used to do!


  1. Happy New Year Baye!
    I read the NYT article about a Japanese comedian wearing black face on his New Years eve TV show.
    Your twitter comment gave me chills it was utterly succinct and drove me to your website where I became totally enamored with your writing and the life you have created for yourself.
    I want to read every article! In the hour plus spent here, I have learned so much about life in Japan and the cultural challenges of being a black man/woman in their society.
    May we all continue to to have faith in humanity in 2018. Blessings to you.

    1. Thanks Sandra! It's very gratifying when your work reaches people and helps to bring about real change. Here's hoping '18 has more positive changes in store for all of us! Happy new Year and pass them peas! (-: