Generic resolutions and January self improvement…

Ah, resolutions…the time to create the new you.

I feel like bringing in the New Year is just another marketing tool for diet companies and gyms and nothing more.  If anything, it’s a ploy to make you feel worthless, as though you have let yourself down yet another year, and hey, champ, let’s try harder this year.   Another year, another chance at making yourself a better person…right?  If not a daily quest, fuck it, make a go of it once a year and the world is better off, no?  I think it’s a bunch of bullshit, but I’m always in a frenzy, trying to come up with a great, new resolution that’ll save the soul….ah, another lost cause. 

Let’s go over the typical resolutions and my thoughts on them:

1. The “To be a better person” resolution:  What the hell does this mean?  Jesus.  Could there be any more generic of a resolution?  Unless you’re a pedophile, a prostitute, serial killer, Yankees fan or Bible pusher, I think we can all do better.  This is so unoriginal. 

2.  To lose X pounds.  Look, I’ve fallen prey to this very sneaky resolution.  But let’s be honest.  It’s January.  You just pigged the shit out of the holidays and you napped more than babies do in their first three months of life in two weeks.  (I do not know this baby, btw) You’re either fit or you’re husky and no amount of resolutions is really going to change that in the month of January.  Running and greens, running and greens.  That’s the rule, January or come July.  Don’t give Planet Fitness/Gold’s Gym/Balley’s or any other such evil establishment the satisfaction of selling another going to-be-used membership.  Fight the man, fight the gym.  Just stop swallowing lard.  Now that’s a resolution.

3.  To stop drinking.  It’s called AA and unless your resolution is to stop being a drunk, just slow down.  I’m an expert on this.  How about something more original like, stop blacking out in public and saying inappropriate things at work functions? Or stop getting drunk and flashing strangers or stop spending more money on liver failure than rent?  Those are at least slightly more honest.

4. Quit smoking.  Who cares?  You’re probably more likely to get hit by a bus or attacked by a homeless person or assaulted by a DC squirrel.  We all have limited time here.  Enjoy your vices and smoke ’em if you got ’em.  Errr.  Maybe that’s a whole other resolution.

5.  Stop procrastinating.  Good one.  And that is why I’m posting about resolutions on the 8th, not the 1st.  Procrastination just means you’re thoughtful and thorough and cautious.  Not lazy.   Feel free to use my definition if it fits.

6.  Spend more time with my children/parents/family/friends/cats/dog/lover/partner/whatever.   Fine.  And spend more on a therapist too and we’ll call it even. 

7.  Be more spontaneous.   I don’t understand this.  Are people living under rocks?  Is no one making an unpopular decision?  Cut your hair, wear lime green, try a new beer, get crazy.  I don’t understand people who are afraid of life in the first place.  I am afraid of strippers, snakes, clowns and little people.  Surprises in life?  Oooh, spooky.  

8.  Get out of debt.  Fine.  Ok, this is good.  Good for adults and good for people wanting to retire.  But this is boring.  This isn’t fun and if you’re actually trying to live life to the fullest, well, credit cards come in handy. 

9.   Get organized.  Jesus, just clean your house and throw away the pile of papers on your desk.  And there’s a new profession called “personal organizers”.  They’ll do it for you.  Pay them.   They need money for food and you need your life less chaotic.  Or, stop being a pack rat.  Stop being a knick-nack queen.  Dust.  Learn to recycle.  Contribute more to landfills.  Those are better resolutions, though not all popular, I’m sure.

10.  Help others more.  Ok, Mother Theresa in training, go for it.  But at least pick something you care about.  PETA and the homeless and anything Angelina endorses are all causes that from what I can tell are doing ok, or at least they have more manpower than some other causes.   Don’t be generic here.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and those that spend more that have less, I love you.  You are great.   But really, if you want to help someone, help someone in a practical and helpful way.  There was once a time when I felt the need to help the homeless, primarily because there was a bad ass homeless man that lived on my block that was great for car washing, security and random, useless street gossip.  When I asked him what he needed, he gave me this list: socks, sandwiches, a blanket and Jim Beam.  And that is what he got, with an emphasis on the Beam.  Look, if that’s what’s going to make his nights happier, than so be it. I’m no expert on being homeless.  I can’t judge and  I’m not going to save the world, but I sure as hell am going to help the cause of a homeless man that makes me smile. 

Now, what am I going to do, now that I’ve had weeks to think about it?  Nothing earth shattering. 
1. Read 50 books this year.  That’s one for every week…give or take a few.  Last year I read 37.  I think I can read 50. 

2.   Be able to communicate with my fellow Germans with ease.  I don’t have to be fluent and I don’t want that accent, really, but I’d love to be able to know what the hell they’re saying behind my back.  And I know they are.

3.  Hit a new continent.  I’m shooting for a little Asia and I have no idea where yet….

4.  And ideally, I’d like to win a photography contest.  I don’t even care if it’s third place at Deerfield state fair next October.  There’s no shortage of great shots over here and I take about 100 a week.  It’d be nice to see something hanging in a frame, with a ribbon on it.

And so a week late, but better late, than never.  Happy, happy January.

2 thoughts on “Generic resolutions and January self improvement…

  1. Justin says:

    So, boiled down it’s; there is no improving, you are what you are, but I want to take pretty pictures in Asia.

    Got it. Happy New Year ya fuckin’ pessimist.


    • abroadabroadhrsmith says:

      I’m just going to be proud of who I am and yes, take more pretty pictures. 🙂 If that makes me lame, so be it.

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