Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 New Years Resolutions...still trying

Three years ago I wrote what follows, my last attempt at a measurable set of resolutions. I had mixed results, to say the least. However, it was quite a good list and worthy of another try. Maybe if I keep publishing it, I might one day actually start checking a few things off as done. Although in fairness, I did landscape the yard!

"New Years Day is one of 365 days in a year, yet it produces in us a unique desire for reflection and self improvement. It is the turning of a page, a flipping of a calendar, a chance for a fresh start. Towards these ends, the New Years Resolution was born.

The beginning of a new year launches a thousand campaigns of self improvement from physical fitness to vows of sobriety. We promise ourselves to be better husbands, fathers, businessmen. We devote ourselves to greater levels of organization, more prudent spending and less junk food. By March the first, most of us are washing down a box of doughnuts with a beer while we rack our brains trying to remember where we put that letter from the bank informing us that we overdrew our checking account.

But no matter how spectacular our past failures have been, nothing stops us from making the effort. This year will be different, we tell ourselves, and mostly we believe it to be true, such is the genius of human deception. So, after much thought, here are my resolutions for 2013.

I could use less cynicism. It might be nice to look on the bright side every once in a while. It might help to be less critical, more empathetic, less of a smart-ass. My contentment level would probably rise if I was less obsessed with the future and more invested in the present. I should attempt to be a better listener, offer my opinions less frequently, and not hold those opinions in such high regard. I should pursue friendships with more vigor, hold grudges less tightly. I should spend more time in prayer. I should read the Bible more and the Drudge Report less. I should recommit myself to my hobbies, more golf and fishing, less excuses. Greater enthusiasm for my profession, more thankfulness, less fatalism. I need to escape the treadmill of politics since it only breeds frustration and resentment, and give the guys on the other side of the aisle the gift of my indifference. Cleaning out and organizing the attic and the garage would be a valuable use of my time. Replacing the countertops in the kitchen and making a sustained investment in landscaping the yard would be very popular expenditures, and earn me considerable good will. Maintaining my present weight would be wise. I should improve my dish washing skills and be more observant when emptying the dishwasher.

That’s a long and daunting list. Wish me luck.