Thursday, December 29, 2011

I hate resolutions.

I hate resolutions. I really do. I do not like that there is a time so shortly after my overindulgence in practically every one of my vices that I have to cease and desist simply because the calendar has reached its’ last page. I know–after testing the stretch-ability of the middle of my favorite sweaters it may be time to put down the cheesecake for a while, but to simply profess I will stop doing something for ever...for ever-ever is simply ludicrous. Nothing I ever “resolved” to do stuck. At least not because I tried on New Year’s Eve. It takes something more for me. It also has nothing to do with my calendar.

I remember many things that I humbly and most feebly tried to end with the beginning of a new year. Most of these ended shamefully by me resuming whatever habit, yet now accompanied by a heavy dose of guilt and shame. Neither are strong motivators for me personally. Most of the important things that needed to go sloughed off on their own time and through what I only feel is divine happenstance. It took a larger nudge than a ball dropping and Dick Clark for some of the other back-monkeys.

I tried to quit smoking in the past. A lot. Many times. To no avail. I took the loss of my grandfather to lung cancer. I never saw him with a cigarette. Ever. (Haven’t touched one since ’86.)

I tried to quit drugs and other self-destructive behaviors. I took a loving (but firm) intervention, a trip to “Camp Cleanupyouract” and the potential loss of all I held dear to set down that bagage. (Haven’t gone back to that either.)

I resolved to get financially stable. Lost it all.

I tried to diet. I got fatter.

I tried to get stronger. I got weaker.

I tried to succeed. I avoided the challenges necessary to get me there.

You win some, you lose some. I try to keep my batting average high.

I no longer “resolve” on New Year’s Eve, nor do I give a rat’s patoot about the obligatory professions of strength that are required to help me overcome what I should be tending to all year long. It is hard enough to mourn the loss of peanut brittle for another year without resisting everything else that brings me joy, harmful or not.

Nowadays, I simply try to find a blanketing “concept” or category (health, finances, spirituality, relationships, etc.) that will serve me to improve. I also give myself a year (ish) to complete it. I also forgive my shortcomings. I will look back at the end of the year and fish out the accomplishments to be met with a well-deserved “atta-boy”, and put the missed goals back on the laundry list.

I also realize that if a problem or issue crops up on July 17th, I do not have to wait until January to throw it on the docket for improvement.

Again, I win some, and I lose some. I just want to keep it in the black.

I guess for the upcoming year, I have a few things I would like to see change. Some renovations in my life. Hopefully, some good stuff coming down the pipe. I don’t know if I will start on them next week, or come spring. Maybe they will slip through my grasp. But still, I guess these things are about as close to a resolution I may get: (Don't hold me to them, okay - hold me to them.)

• After trying extensively to no avail, I resign myself to the fact that I am going to have to get a job that will require me to say, “Would you like fries with that?” (At least until I graduate.)

• I am also going to have to do what it takes to lower my cholesterol, stop making old man noises when I bend over, and not need a nap just because I took out the trash. Time to lose some weight and get in shape. Dimmer switches can also only do so much.

• I got a 4.0 on my first quarter of school. I am going to do it again. And again.

• I am going to try to become a husband that my wife is not only proud of, but will want to brag about. This may take the full year. (I know she's gonna want me to toss my "dad jeans.")

• I am calm, cool, and collected in the event of an emergency and the big stuff. I can be an asshole when there is a Lego missing from the project. I need to get a wrangle on that.

• I want to make more magic for people I encounter. I don’t know what that is. I just know that would be cool.

* I want to continue to help those who need someone to talk to. I want to clone and expand that as well.

• I am not sure what it is. I know I will find it. But I want this year to be the year that I can say, “Yep, that was the year my life took off.” (And whatever it is, has enough room for everyone.)

• I’ve got some home improvements I need to get done. Dollar willing.

• I want to cook more, and grow more of my own food. I love cooking for people.

• I also want to continue to grow as a father. I grow as they grow.

These may come quickly or slowly. I have been working on some for a while. It doesn’t take a new year to remind me that many of these needs tended to, nor are they forgotten down the road as my efforts wane or challenges increase somewhere around March. I hope if you yearn for health, money, love, happiness, or abundance you receive it. Maybe your desires fall on a more spiritual plane, and with that, I support you as well. I just found it best to keep on, keepin’ on year ‘round, and for me–my resolution is to make no resolutions.

If you don't mind sharing, do you have any resolutions for 2012?