Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

As a rule, I do not cotton to "new year's resolutions." I mean, January 1 or 2 is as a good a time as any to start something new, but why the pressure as you hang a new calendar on the wall?

Additionally, most resolutions are "good for you," something a person hasn't started for one "good" reason or another — a reason that can as easily color the person's future as it did her/his past "future."

Finally, most resolutions are a little pie-in-the-sky.  Nothing short of a taffy pull will make me 5-foot-8, and even Miss America Wannabees don't weigh what their bios claim.  If I want to look like someone else who's tall and svelte, I can resolute all I want — and when I don't achieve it, I can simply chalk it up to my inability to keep a resolution, then settle back on the couch with Cisco and a bag of Cheetos.  Oh, well, it was just a New Year's resolution.

Between hype and ambivalence, I think it's safe to say a resolution is easily doomed, doomed, doomed.

Therefore, I'll give the whole resolution thing a shot.  (I always root for the underdog.)

The first thing I'll do is read more.  In 2009, I read only 40 books.  At that rate, I'll never finish everything in my library — and I've got some good books waiting for me.  If I don't work on it, I'll never get to all of the great tomes I eye every day.  (Another advantage of the printed book: perusing their spines as they line the library.)

The second thing I want to do is write more letters.  I love writing about everything and nothing in a conversation on the page, and the occasional non sequitur amuses me.  I like Facebook and Twitter, but a letter is like a surprise gift.  I would use homemade stationery for the letters I sent to my grandmother.  (As her eyesight deteriorated, I simply used larger fonts.)  Send me your address and we can start a written correspondence.  I'd like that.

David's and my new iPod will help with another resolution: to listen to music more.  We have hundreds of CDs between us, but rarely have we play them because the 5-disc player required selection, loading, unloading and more selection.  With the mega-iPod, now all of our music is available to play with a few clicks of a dial.  Set it on "shuffle," and we hear a little of everything (and subject the family to "deep in the vault" songs, like Jingle Cats — go ahead, listen to a snippet or two).

While I am at it, I want to listen to more music.  Every time I climb into the car with Nikki, I hear her music.  It hearkens back to the music I listened to once, the lively, culturally pertinent pop music of my youth.  I loved that, and some of today's pop music gets me listening (and, yes, dancing in my car seat).  I need to listen to more music — which means I need to find a good pop radio station.  (I've heard classic rock all my life, so I'm looking for something new.)  I'll take suggestions: and remember, the Internet makes most radio stations within our reach.

I want to run faster.  I am not a snail, but I know I could be better.  I might not get back to my high school heyday of a 7-minute mile (hey, don't laugh! I won some exciting races with that speed!), but I'd like to take less time doing what I do.  I'm sure there are ways to do that, like just moving my feet faster, but we'll see.

These ideas will keep me busy for now.  Plus, if I actually achieve one or two of them, I have a chance of trying the whole "resolution" thing again.

A few people at Borders have announced their resolutions.  What are yours?


VioletRayne said...

Hi, some people make really weird resolutions. I saw some on As for me, I don't want to stress myself over them so I just make the simplest ones that are quite easily achievable with the least effort :)

Richard Goodman said...

Mine a simple- more of a mantra than resolutions. "sleep Socialize Write Exercise". So far in the last three days I've done three of the four. I went out for New Year's Eve, I got 8-10 hours of sleep (at odd hours but it was sleep) and I wrote a new blog post (about books ironically). Now I'm about to go for a walk so I can hit the fourth one. The idea is to try. Success is just the side effect.

Chris said...

Thanks for the pep talk. Simple is good advice, VioletRayne! Now I'm intrigued: must go check out 43things!

Richard, you walked indoors, right? It got up to a whopping 18 degrees today (not figuring in wind chill).