January 25, 2008

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Even as January wanes, make resolutions

Shirley Vogler MeisterAnyone who has a computer and Internet access knows how annoying countless, useless e-mails can be.

However, some are exceptions. I don’t mind weeding out the superfluous messages because I usually find some that are inspiring, genuinely funny, clever, educational or just plain interesting.

In mid-January, a neighbor sent a light verse that captures how many of us feel after the holidays.

With credit to an anonymous poet, I share here only a few lines from the lengthy piece so you, dear readers, can understand the verse’s premise:

“ ‘Twas the month after Christmas and all through the house, nothing would fit me, not even a blouse. The cookies I nibbled, the eggnog I tasted at holiday parties have gone to my waist. When I got on the scales, there arose such a number; when I walked to the store, it was more like I lumbered … .”

The writer then lists in rhyme the delicious foods and drinks enjoyed through the holidays, realizing that what the scales said afterward necessitated better control over what would be eaten from then on—until the scales reported a reasonable loss of pounds:

“I won’t have a cookie, not even a lick. I will chew on long celery sticks. I won’t have hot biscuits or cornbread or pie. I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry: I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore; but isn’t that just what January’s for? Unable to giggle, life’s no longer a riot. Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!”

Silly, yes, but usually true.

However, for some reason, for the first time in many years I did not gain a pound during the holidays.

I wish I could explain why because I thoroughly enjoyed everything during the Advent preparation and the Christmas season itself with its bountiful food and goodies.

My husband, Paul, and I also visited with all three of our daughters and their families—and we learned that our youngest daughter became engaged to a fine young man on Christmas Eve.

We were also in e-mail contact with extended, out-of-state family members, learning through technology all the blessings they were enjoying.

The holidays, although perhaps too busy and often rushed, are a magical and spiritual time of year for most of us.

Perhaps January does demand rest and diets, but it is also an opportunity to put our lives into proper perspective.

If January provokes “the blues” because we miss the glitz and the goodies of the holidays, then we should promise ourselves more happy times with others every month.

As January wanes, let us try harder to extend peace and good will in joyful, interactive ways from now on.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

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