The very first column of 2008. Isn't it wonderful the way we chronicle time? We divide it up into neat little sections - months, days, years, decades, centuries - and on and on and on, and every time the moon goes through its cycle 12 times, we get to declare a new year and start over.
I'm all for starting over. New beginnings. A fresh slate. A whole unblemished year before us, and I haven't ruffled anyone's feathers this year or made anybody mad.
Well, I'm sure that's about to change.
It's the first column of the year, after all, and the first column is always the one for making resolutions - which are promises we make to ourselves that will never be kept. The way I see it, they are just like records - made to be broken.
It's a funny thing, too, because most of the resolutions we all make, if kept - will help us improve our minds, bodies and souls, not to mention our financial situations. Sort of that "healthy, wealthy and wise" thing Benjamin Franklin wrote about in "Poor Richard's Almanac."
Be honest now. Who among you has not made a resolution, at one time or another, to "eat right" and exercise and "take better care of myself" in the brand new year?
The cave men probably did. "Honey. As soon as that moon becomes full one more time, that's it. Only one wooly mammoth per sitting. And I'm working out with my club every time the sun comes up."
There will be more diets starting up this week than there are recalled toys in China. I'll admit it. I plan to cut back a little myself. It's not my idea, though. My lovely wife, Lisa, tricked me. She gave me a lot of nice new clothes for Christmas and they will actually fit me as soon as I lose 20 pounds.
I started the new year in the same city that has Mother's, Mulate's, Commander's Palace, Toujagues, and the Café du Monde - all among my favorite restaurants in the free world - so you can imagine how that particular vow is going.
The exercise part? More people will join gyms and buy workout clothes and exercise equipment the next two weeks than the rest of the year combined, not to mention the treadmills and free weights and other torture machines they got for Christmas.
By February, there will be plenty of room at the free weight station again, and when the weather turns really nasty - well, treadmills make excellent coat racks. I can testify firsthand.
Me? I may take up a lane at the Johnson Park pool for a week or two. We'll have to wait and see. I'm not making any promises though. Not even to myself.
And a lot of folks will try to read through the entire Bible this year. I have tried that a few times, too. I am well versed in the stories of Adam and Eve and Noah and Abraham and his children. After the Northern and Southern kingdoms get divided, not so much.
But enough with generalities. It's time to "get down to brass tacks," as my daddy used to say. What are my resolutions for 2008?
Well, I resolve to write only nice things about the presidential candidates - including Hillary.
Just kidding, y'all. Columnists dream of years like this. The whole process is like shooting fish in a barrel. But I promise to be an equal opportunity offender and will tray to satirize Ron Paul and John Edwards and the other also-rans whenever I can.
I also intend to improve my mind this year and read more than trashy novels in my spare time. I'm not going to quit reading trashy novels, understand. I just intend to read other things, too. Like a few biographies. Last year, for instance, I read everything I could get my hands on about Teddy Roosevelt. What a man. If he were running for president again, we might have a shot at straightening this country out. This year, in honor of Col. Wheeler Davidson, I am reading as much as I have time to read about Winston Churchill, who is one of Wheeler's heroes - and should be one to freedom loving people everywhere.
And quite frankly, that's about it. If I eat a little better and swim a lap or two and learn about the man who literally willed a country to victory in World War II, I will have a pretty good year.
Oh, wait. There is one more. In 2008 I resolve to try my best to treat everyone I come in contact with - even the ladies blocking the aisles at Kroger while they talk mindlessly on their Bluetooth phones - like I would like to be treated.
Hey, that was good advice 2,000 years ago, and it's still god advice today.
Happy New Year. See y'all Saturday.
Darrell Huckaby is a local author and educator. He can be reached at dHuck08@bellsouth.net.