Every New Year, I make resolutions that I seldom keep.  This year the resolution I hope will succeed is to stop swearing.  The problem is, I enjoy swearing.  It’s a small and satisfying way to let off steam.  I would like to think it doesn’t hurt anyone, but judging from the expressions on some people’s faces when I throw a colorful cuss word into an otherwise polite sentence, it is clear that I am wrong.  The shocked expression I see may partly be due to the discrepancy between how I look (quite respectable) and how I can sound (salty).  But if those same listeners believe that 70+ women don’t swear like sailors (at least in private), they haven’t met my friends. 

The second of my two resolutions is to eat a healthier diet.  My husband is the chef of the house and he makes wonderful, healthy meals.  However, over the years, a pound here, a pound there…we all know how that goes.  On January 2, I happened to read an article in National Geographic about a village in Sardinia with an extraordinarily large group of men who are 100 years old or more.  Dan Buettner, on whose  book, The Blue Zones,  the article was based, reports that the men live in a hill town (which requires daily exercise by virtue of its topography) and eat a diet primarily consisting of corn, beans, vegetables and bread prepared by the women of the village.  The women rise before dawn, stoke wood fires and prepare the hot breakfasts the men gather later to eat at communal tables.  These male centenarians’ long lives are attributed to their diet, lifestyle, and—wait for it—“Sardinian women have a reputation for taking on the stress of household responsibilities.  For the men, less stress may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease…’I do the work, admits Tonino, hooking Giovanna around the waist, “my ragazza [wife] does the worrying.’” 

I feel a swearing fit coming on.

Photo by carson arias via Unsplash



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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