By Andy Rooney

Christmas has passed and I assume we're all ready to stop goofing off and get back down to work. I was so busy over Christmas that I never did get at making any resolutions for the New Year, but they're ready now. I hereby resolve:

-- That trying to balance my bank statement is a waste of time. If there's a swindler in the bookkeeping department at the bank, I doubt if he's going to pick my account to steal from. In the future, I'm going to assume the bank is right.

-- To forget about trying to be in bed by 11 p.m. every night. I've worried about it for years and I'm not going to worry about it anymore. On the average night, I miss by 20 minutes. Many nights, I miss by half an hour, and occasionally I don't get to bed until 12:30. In the future when that happens I'm just going to enjoy it and find someplace to sleep on the job the next day.

-- That the cellar and garage are fine the way they are. And so is the attic. Every Saturday morning for years, I've awakened and started to make plans to clean them out. I hereby resolve not to suffer through another year of guilt about the mess in the basement, the garage and the attic. I like them the way they are and I'm going to leave them that way.

-- Not to try and keep either a diary or careful income tax records. I've started both of these half a dozen times in the past 10 years and never got past March with them, so what I did keep was a waste of time. As you know, only three months of records gets you you know where with the IRS.

I further resolve that:

-- I'm not going to try to stand up any straighter than I naturally stand, which is a little bent over. People have been nagging at me to "stand up straight" for as long as I can remember. My mother started at me when I was 9. I'm tired of worrying about it. Take me as I am, a little stoop-shouldered, or don't take me at all.

-- There are books that I've always thought I should read and I never have. I'm not going to read them this year, either.

-- There may be a day I miss reading the newspaper, too, and I'm not going to kid myself this year by leaving it on the coffee table as if I was going to get at it tomorrow or the next day. I know damn well I'm not going to read it then, either, so if I haven't read today's paper by the time tomorrow's comes, I'm throwing it out this year---whether it has my column in it or not.

-- No matter what time I go to bed, I'm not going to resist falling asleep on the couch at 9:30 p.m. in front of the television set. I've spent hundreds of miserable hours trying not to fall asleep watching terrible television shows and I'm not going to do it anymore. If I feel like taking a little nap before going to bed, I'm going to take it.

-- I'm not going to try to improve my tennis game. My tennis game is just fine the way it is and any attempts I've ever made to make it better have failed.

-- At long last, I have become convinced we are what we are. I am what I am and no amount of resolve will change me.

(This classic Andy Rooney column was originally published Dec. 30, 1981.)

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