Something’s wrong with this picture

I wasn’t going to make a New Year’s resolution because I figured that any day of the year I could make a change for the better, so why limit myself to one in 365 days for a personal decree.
But at 11:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, I became aware of the need to adjust my thinking as my right hand stalked the last chocolate toffee triangle on the plate while my left hand reached for a gooey butter tart.
All I could think about was which piece of lovely I would shove in my mouth first.
I could blame my extremities for having minds of their own, but that would be stupid.
Clearly I have a real soft spot for sweets. In fact, my soft spot has grown to twice the size it was before I started my Christmas baking frenzy on Dec. 17, which threw a big wedgy into my plan to wear the new jeans I bought for myself.
So right then and there, 15 minutes before the clock struck midnight, I vowed out loud to three witnesses in the room that my New Year’s resolution was to stay away from goodies.
I lasted until New Year’s Day at 6 p.m., when I was looking through my coat for a grocery list and found an individually wrapped “Turtle” candy in one of my zipper pockets.
Toasted pecans, soft caramel, and smooth chocolate never tasted so good together. I shrugged off waves of guilt, popped it in, and hummed the song “Start Again” in my Alfie Zappacosta singing voice.
Then at 7:30 p.m., starving to death, I opened the fridge door to look for supper leftovers and found a bag of homemade peanut brittle my daughter had given me over the holidays.
I could market myself as the human vacuum cleaner. The waves of guilt lapped at my waistline as I took a handful and crunched it down.
I shrugged at my screaming conscious and chanted, “We just start again. . . .”
I repeated this lovely melody for a third time later that first evening of 2012 when I remembered there were three homemade chocolate truffles left and that I should polish them off.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” I reasoned to myself as I leaned over my soft spot at the bake board table in the kitchen, bit into the creamy centers, and hummed my mantra while reviewing photos on my iPhone that had been taken over the holidays.
I stopped mid-song and muttered, “There is something wrong with this picture.”
Less than 24 hours earlier, I had done two things. I had made a resolution to keep my hands off sweets, and had had a riveting conversation around the supper table with Jon and another couple about the chicken neck syndrome that suddenly happens when you turn 50 years old.
Mine was swaying gently to and fro as my jaws chewed up the final truffle when I came upon a photo that I must have accidently taken at some point while looking down at the iPhone screen.
For a moment I wasn’t exactly sure who it was I was looking at, and then I recognized the loose skin under her chin.
I don’t think a cattle prod could have produced more get up and go than seeing what gravity does to a budding chicken neck.
From now on I resolve to take a whole new position in life—on my back and looking up.

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