Wed | Aug 23, 2017

As a man : 10 New Year resolutions for men

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2016 | 1:00 AMMel Cooke

It is the first Sunday of 2016 and three days after New Year's Eve, so it's a strong possibility that one of two things (or both) has happened - the effects of the partying, (if there was any), have worn off and the pastor has seen thy face to start 2016 right.

For those of an age to have intentions and regrets, by now, there would have been the custom of making resolutions. Of course, keeping them is another matter altogether, but it does indicate that the maker and breaker - or keeper - of those resolutions have taken stock of their life and is dissatisfied with some aspects of it.

Although I have not made any bold self-statements - looked myself in the eye using a reflective surface or cell phone/tablet front camera and declared "I hereby resolve ya de yah," there are a few things I would like to do. And, if I may be so bold - as a man I would like to suggest a few that other men could pick from as they wish - or refuse. It would be just as effective if the lady or ladies in their lives, related genetically or genitally, pick out a few and nudge or nag the gentleman in the suggested direction.

1. Exercise if you are not already doing so. We are notoriously bad with the physical structure we have been given to live in until that number is called and it is our turn for How Great Thou Art to be sung over us instead of us doing the off-key warbling. Until then, we owe it to ourselves and the persons in our lives - especially the women upon whom the main responsibility of taking care of the sick inevitably falls, to take care of it as best as we can. You don't have to be a gym hog or run 10 kilometre races every weekend. But a few push-ups and some brisk walking will make a huge difference. Including in that department - you know, that department, if you are not careful, you will be using holes closer and closer to the end of your belt sooner than you think. Believe me, I have been there. Still there, actually.

2. Go to the doctor when you need to. The stereotype of the man who does not like to go to the doctor exists because it is very real. Maybe it is because going to the doctor makes us feel vulnerable, less than the real man who toughs it out and bears pain until it is simply unbearable - or maybe too late and something has gone permanently awry. Whatever the reason, avoiding the doctor costs more in the long run - a bit like listening to a rattle in a car for a few weeks before taking it to the mechanic. Not a good idea.

3. Drink less alcohol and sweetened drinks, eat more vegetables and drink more water.

4. Tell the woman in your life (if there is one) that you love and appreciate her. Don't assume that she knows it.

5. Tell the children you have fathered (if any) that you love and appreciate them, even though they sometimes drive you to the brink of losing self-control.

6. Drive slower. There is a reason why most of the persons being killed in accidents on Jamaica's roads are male. Try not to add to the number.

7. Read a book for pleasure. If you already are, read more. That means less television, hopefully.

8. Reduce the number of women you are having sex with (if more than one). Despite the availability of Viagra and Cialis, the false promise of oysters and the reputation of the combination of Guinness and a spliff, there is only that much of yourself to go around-contrary to the advertisements,

9. Spend less time and money on 'hot gal a road' and more at home. Directly related to number 8.

10. Go somewhere in Jamaica that you have never been before and nobody knows you. It could be in your community or another parish, in the urban area or way up in the mountains. Your horizons will broaden and you will get a different perspective of yourself.

Now, having made the suggestions, I will be bound to try at least a couple of those which apply. Dammit!

melville.cooke@gleanerjm.com