New Year’s resolution: Live life more happily

I may not live as long as I hope, but the time I am allotted will be spent more happily.

Editor: Re: “New Year’ brings familiar ideas” by Jim McGregor (The Times, Jan. 10).

I have always hated New Year’s. I make resolutions I have every intention of keeping, but never manage to.

Lack of success is disconcerting enough, but when friends and family encourage me to return to my wicked ways, it becomes downright discouraging.

The year I resolved to lose weight because all my clothing had inexplicably shrunk over Christmas was typical. Four days after embarking on a high-protein, low-fat, chelated, roughage-enhanced, yeast-free micro-biotic diet, my partner offered me a large slice of chocolate cheesecake.

“Not to discourage you,” she explained, “but the growls from your stomach keep me awake at night and your growling throughout the day makes me want to leave home. Eat.”

I left my resolution in the dust to make someone else’s life more bearable, but my clothes still were too small.

A week into withdrawal from smoking, my friends bought me a pack of the brand they knew I smoked. As I inhaled, the room began to spin and a measure of sanity returned. I looked down at my nicotine-stained fingers and was thankful for concerned friends, but discouraged with my inability to maintain a resolution.

Oscar Wilde said: “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”

I have resolved to eat as I please, smoke no more but no less, to exercise when I feel that rare urge and to resist everything except temptation. I may not live as long as I hope, but the time I am allotted will be spent more happily.

Ryan Lengsfeld,

Nelson