Friday, December 28, 2007

Banging My Head Against A Wall Over New Year's Resolutions


Baby No Name Sporting A Bucket
Originally uploaded by alpharat
On the evening of Christmas Day, I was standing on the porch at TFN’s dad’s house, listening to the coyotes. That’s apropos of nothing, but it was still a cool moment – one of those moments that are pretty special, but stand alone, unrelated to the context of things, unless you want to be writerly and force the connection. In this case, I don’t.

The photo of Baby No Name with a bucket on his head is similarly without context, other than to share it, and to say it’s a cute moment with a cute kid who’s growing up fast.

I think that’s how I feel about New Year’s Resolutions - I can't mentally create a context for them. Apparently, along with the New Year that is rolling in whether we like it or not comes the idea that I need to make New Year’s Resolutions.

Goals and the New Year can be contextually related, yet they shouldn’t need to be. Why does January 1 need to be the day my life changes for the better? Does that give me three days to let things slide?

This is really a hard one for me. Making a plan to change or accomplish something should be this thing I do simply because it needs to be done, and setting a deadline seems like I am setting myself up for failure.

Then again, where does the fear of deadlines for this come in? We live in a world dictated by deadlines. My job is a series of deadlines, dates and milestones that have to be met in order to move forward, to succeed and also to remain employed.

Our lives are dictated by deadlines. You need to pay that mortgage, car loan, student loan, cable bill, etc. all by a certain date in order to retain the services associated with them and to remain in good graces with your debtors.

Getting up on time, getting to work on time, showing up for dinner or to meet with friends – aren’t these all a series of deadlines?

So where does this fear of the New Year’s Resolution come from?

Perhaps it’s an awareness that I would be using the idea of a New Year’s Resolution to do the things that I should be doing anyway.

I want to see my family more often.

I want to be on my bike even more than I am now.

I want to write outside of what I already do now. I’d like to finish that novel I’ve talked about for years.

I want to learn to paint.

I want an office with a visible floor.

I want to remodel the kitchen and put a new roof on the house.

I want to take more naps.

I want to start up that band I’ve been talking about.

I want to smoke less, if not quit completely.

I want to frame those prints that have mats in various forms of completion.

I want to up the gauge on my earrings.

I want to finish blogging about the trip to Italy.

I want to take another trip.

I want to take 20 more trips.

I want to live greener.

I want to be randomly kind to people I don’t know.

I want to learn to be a better person.

Maybe there’s this idea that a new year equals a clean slate – and yet I know this isn’t true. My debts are still here and relationships with friends and family remain the same whether or not it’s 2007 or 2008. Life goes on, regardless of the year.

So, will I make a New Year’s Resolution? Yes, I think I will. Will I tell anyone what it is? Probably not, until I complete it, anyway. This will take some pressure off me to do it – I am critical enough of myself, it’s best that I don’t feel like others might be critical of my failures as well.

Maybe my resolutions should include being less critical of my shortcomings, but that brings with it the possibility that, should I cut myself too much slack, it might just be easier to let it all go.

So for now, my only publicly announced New Year’s Resolution is that I resolve not to reveal my resolutions.

TFN had a better one. She announced that her resolution was to visit a bar near our house that we always said we wanted to check out.

That’s a goal I can get behind.

3 comments:

fineartist said...

100 percent behind that goal of TFN's. Coincidentally, as I was coming home from a friends house yesterday, I passed a bar AND grill that has been living no more than a quarter mile from my own house, hell it's so close that if I happened to get really sloshed, (um, very likely) I could leave the beast truck and walk, or stagger (also very likely) home and no human or beast would be harmed, and I haven't even so much as checked out the place yet.

They even have karaoke. What the hell's wrong with me? Nothin I like more than sitting around swilling wine while some other drunk gets up and attempts to sing poorly to karaoke...for real.

ZILLA said...

I can't believe you never told me your office floor is invisible! How cool is that??? And why would you want to change it?

My New Year's Resolutions:

1) Get an office
2) Make the floor invisible!
3) Make myself invisible!!
4) Make all of my friends invisible!!!
5) Save the planet with my invisible friends!!!!

THANK you for giving me a renewed sense of PURPOSE!!!

Ange (formerly Writer Mom) said...

(Sorry. Zilla's powers for invisibility filtered out to all my blog comments. They're there. You just can't see them.)