New Year

I tend not to make New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I don’t see the value in wanting to make positive changes to one’s life, I just don’t see the necessity to feel automatically compelled because of an arbitrary change in a number representing a trip around a burning ball of gas. Perhaps that a bit clinical, but it doesn’t change the fact that people have all kinds of reasons to make changes and they shouldn’t save them up to make the commitment at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

If I were to be bluntly honest with you all, I’m perfectly aware of my shortcomings that could easily be changed if I just made the proper choices on a day to day basis. But that would mean actually changing my habits; routines that I’m perfectly comfortable with, thank you very much. Probably the most offered resolution around this time every year is to “lose weight”. Well that would be nice, now wouldn’t it? I could stand to lose a few, myself. But is the period just after a holiday period that encourages eating not only too much, but incredibly rich foods really the best time to reach this conclusion? What,  are you people masochists or something?

Another that tops the list is quitting smoking. To anyone who finds solace in burning tobacco, this is something akin to removing molars with no anesthesia — only less traumatic. And what makes it fun is when you combine this resolution with the aforementioned. It makes for the perfect storm of unpredictable emotional outbursts. Pro tip for my non-smoker friends out there: Quitting an oral fixation (don’t get cute with that) tends to make eating an all-too-perfect alternative. Trying to moderate your nutritional intake while quitting smoking has been a dominant astronomical theory in the collapse of certain galaxies. Ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

For those that insist on making resolutions, I have a few suggestions.

  1. Resolve to take the time to understand yourself. Too many people out there have no fucking clue what’s going on in their own heads.
  2. Be a good person. Not just mildly tolerable, but actually good. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or visit someone in a retirement home.
  3. Learn how to drive properly in a multi-lane highway, for fucksakes. I’m willing to offer lessons at reasonable rates. Sometimes I just hurl freebies laced with profanity because I’m just that good of a person.
  4. Love. It’s not that hard. And give yourself to it because the rewards outweigh the risks.
  5. Don’t lose yourself in problems that you have no control over. Instead concentrate on your personal challenges and work to resolve them. You’ll find it easier to sleep at night.
  6. Take the time to learn something new every day. You’d be surprised at how little effort this actually takes. Did you know ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the deaths of their cats? See that? Zero effort. If you’re ADD like me, this is astonishingly easy to commit to memory and be spewed out at awkward, inappropriate moments.
  7. Don’t worry so much about money. Worry enough to care for others and yourself and let the greedy ones fret themselves to early graves.
  8. Accept being wrong and admit it when it happens. You’re a hell of a lot braver for admitting it than not.

I could probably come up with a lot more, but I figure that most folks already have some variation of these. At least I like to think so. Then again, some people are just pricks.

2013 was a mixed bag for me. I met a lot of cool people, a lot of strange people and sometimes they were both, which is pretty awesome when it happens. I’ve had my up moments and my down moments, but that’s part of life. I’m hopeful that 2014 will bring new ideas, challenges and the chance at making something special out of it. And I sincerely hope that I can live up to my own expectations. One can never be too careful.