New years resolutions, so easy to make so hard to keep. This year, I have vowed not to make one I can’t keep. Now if I can just figure out what that will be.

Last year, I vowed to cut back on my gun-buying habit. Well, we all know how that one ended. Of course, this year that’s out.

Several years ago, I was with a friend who made a vow at a New Year’s Eve party that he couldn’t keep. It was at a party I attended with some friends. This person had been having a few too many beers and celebrating. We all were listening to him spout about deer hunting and his skills. That was when it happened – he vowed that the next year he would shoot only a record buck.

We all scoffed as we all know how hard that is to do. But this person, who isn’t a bad guy, continued to boast.

The next hunting season we all were out hunting on the first day of buck season. I had heard he hadn’t seen anything worth shooting and was holding out. Days 2 and 3 would pass in the same manner as he held out for that trophy buck. I think maybe I was starting to believe. Sometimes, though, one must be careful what one asks for and I heard on Day 4 that he had a massive attack and had to be rushed to the hospital for a surgery. His appendix was removed and thus ended the deer season and his New Year’s Resolution.

Did the pressure of his New Year’s Resolution get to him and cause his appendix to crack? Who would know? So now I hesitate to make resolutions that could end badly.

I think I might make a resolution to be a better person, but then I think back to another year when I resolved to change my ways. It was New Years 1980-something. My wife had been a little unhappy with me at Christmas. I remember very distinctly her present that year. It was a great combo fishing outfit that I picked up at a great price. I was sure she would love it. That was not exactly what she had wanted.

I am still not sure what she did want that year but boy was I in trouble. That was when I made the vow. I vowed to listen better and be a nicer person regarding my beloved wife. The next year, I paid close attention all year. I listened as she complained about doing the laundry, so I bought her a brand-new washing machine. She was not so excited about this as she said it was work. I just can’t get resolutions right it seems.

So, this year I have resolved to make a great resolution. One that I will never break, have backfire or come back to haunt me. This rules out a lot of my best ideas. I think it will be a vow to neaten my gun room. The old man-cave is starting to reek, and I can’t find things. Yesterday it got so bad I lost the same thing twice, and I never moved.

With supplies hard to get and expensive, this would be a smart move. As it is now, when my friends drop by, and if it would be clean, can you imagine what they might say?

My other thought would be a vow to leave my beloved .270 at home and shoot a deer with a different rifle.

Now I must think about which carries the least risk.

Giving up the .270 for one season or cleaning my den of filth. Both will carry some risk. If I clean, I might not be able to find anything afterward or lose something of value plus the general teasing by friends. If I give up my beloved .270, I will have to worry about finding the right gun to shoot. What about luck? That .270 is very lucky. Luck or filth? I think I might have to ponder this a little further.

After 53 years of slovenliness, I might have to start cleaning. If no one sees me in a week, then come dig me out of one of the piles of gun supplies, magazines, gum drops and cartridges.

George Block writes a weekly outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.

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