One week down, 51 to go

So, how do you like 2017, so far? One week down and only 51 to go on all your New Year resolutions, that is unless you’ve already broken yours.

I used to tell people that, every year when the ball dropped in Times Square, that my New Year’s resolution was to not make a resolution. It seemed like a safe bet since, as I mistakenly reasoned, if I didn’t make a resolution, then I couldn’t possibly break it. Then came the epiphany. Resolving to not make a resolution was, in fact, a contradiction of terms and that in reality I was instantly breaking it as soon as I made it.

So, this year I came up with something different. Oh, sure, I looked at the usual things people resolve to do every Jan. 1. Hmmm, can’t give up smoking, since I don’t smoke. Give up drinking? Oh, hell no. If I did that, what would I do at Margarita’s when we visit Nashua each year? Marg’s Guadalajara steak fajitas just wouldn’t be the same without my two obligatory Heavens to Margatroid.

How about working out? The town I live in has a brand spanking new Planet Fitness just a few minutes from us. I certainly could afford to drop 20 or 30 pounds, not to mention my man boobs, which would make my primary care physician ecstatic. But then, reality strikes and I begin thinking about it, I quickly conclude I’d just wind up like 98 percent of everyone else who joins a gym on Jan. 1 and then stops going on, oh say, Jan. 2.

Thinking about it, resolutions are sort of like Lent, only longer. One year, I decided to give up chocolate and sugar for Lent. I thought it would be the proverbial piece of (sugar- and chocolate-free?) cake. I thought wrong. Man, that was the hardest, longest 46 days in my life. I never realized how much stuff I grazed on had either sugar or chocolate or both in it. The following year I simply quit M&Ms for Lent.

Much has been made about all the celebrities who died in 2016. In fact, 2016 couldn’t end without one more notable passing. William Christopher, who played Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H*, made the final journey at 84 on New Year’s Eve.

But as I pondered all of the people we’ve lost in 2016, it struck me that I might have stumbled the perfect New Year’s resolution for 2017 (and every year to follow).

So, yes, boys and girls, here ’tis. Let it be known, I hereby resolve to not die in 2017.

Now, you might argue I have no control over my fate during the 365 days in the year, and of course you’d be 100-percent right. But I can say with absolute certainty that I have no intention of breaking this resolution in 2017. If I should pass on it won’t be because I decided to voluntarily leave this earth by my own hand. So, there you have it. The perfect New Year resolution.

Seriously, every year is good for some and bad for others. For me, most years are more good than bad, but 2013 was probably my absolute worst. It starting with the passing of a long-time music buddy just two weeks into the year, and continued with the loss of many more friends, a good neighbor in Merrimack, and, sadly, my father in Nashua. That year could not end soon enough, as far as I was concerned.

Yet, 2013 wasn’t without many good things happening, as far and work and family goes. And that is how it goes for most people in most years. If you never experience a bone-rattling pothole or frost heave, you’ll never appreciate that nice stretch of freshly tarred, smooth highway.

Planning continues in earnest for Nashua Senior High School’s Class of 1967 50th reunion, on Oct. 21, at the Nashua Country Club. According to reunion organizers the Class of ’67 numbered 488 graduates. Sadly, almost 13, or 60 classmates, have passed on since we graduated at Holman Stadium that warm, June evening in 1967.

You might say my class reunion is an added incentive to fulfill my New Year’s resolution. A 50th class reunion is one of those once-in-a-lifetime rites of passage I feel a need to be a part of.

Every new year dawns on hopes and prayers it will end as a "good" year. And so, God willing and the tides don’t rise, when the drops again at midnight next Dec. 31, I will look back at 2017 and time spent getting reacquainted with old friends in October, and declare it was a very good year, indeed.

Nashua native Paul Sylvain’s column appears the second Sunday of the month. He can be reached at