Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom: New Year’s Resolutions

Well, 2014 has arrived.  You have to admit, if you really think about it, it’s surreal.  When I was a kid in the 80s, the idea of the year 2000 was mind-blowing.  It was unfathomable.  Movies had us believing cars would fly, skateboards would hover, and phones would be hand-held (one out of three isn’t bad).  And now, here we are, beginning our 14th year of the 21st century.  Pardon my French, but that’s some crazy shit.

I’ll be 39 this year.  That’s another uppercut to the jaw.  How on God’s Green Earth did I make it this far?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased with this (though my crow’s feet and love handles might disagree with me).  I’m alive.  I have a great relationship.  I’m striving for better things.  I’m an intelligent human being!

So why, in retrospect, have I managed to not achieve or do the things I’ve set out to do so many times before?

I know why.  It’s because, in being human, I’m riddled with faults.  More than I care to count.  I’m like the Bonnie and Clyde car after their final shoot-out.  How, then, to go about fixing it?

First of all, I will accept the understanding that their is simply nothing to “fix.”  To perpetuate the idea that I’m broken…well, that is nothing but a set-up for failure.  What I will do is make an honest and genuine attempt at making decisions that will better my present and my future.  This means – you guessed it – making resolutions.  And what’s so wrong with that?  I see some of you rolling your eyes. The idea of resolutions give us pleasure, even if short-lived.  It gives us a sense of purpose.  Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

I’m sure the list will grow as time marches on, but I’ll share a simple few here.

1. Writing.  I love to write, this is not a surprise to many of you.  My output of said writing, though, hasn’t been up to par.  In fact, it’s been lousy.  In the past, I’ve put pressure on myself.  Quantity over quality.  Style over substance.  I shoved myself into a little box: “Get Published!”  I refuse to do that to myself in 2014.  Would getting something – anything – published make me over-the-moon happy?  DUH!  But what I’d like to achieve, more than anything, is to produce quality work I’m happy with.

2. Health.  In the past, I’d have easily written ‘exercise’ over ‘health.’  I used to work out to get thin – that is, after all, the socially acceptable goal, isn’t it?  It’s tenfold in the gay world.  I’m by no means out of shape, but instead of a golden vision of six pack abs, I’m now seeing that ’39’ blinking at me like a red light warning.  Translation: You’re not getting any younger.  At my age, exercise and diet are to maintain my health, not to see how big my biceps can get.  Granted, I am pleased with how regular exercise can change my physique, but that’s really just gravy.

3. Friends & Socializing.  There are two main functions to this particular resolution: to be a better friend, and to make new ones.  I’ll admit it, I’m an awful friend.  I don’t answer my phone.  I don’t return calls.  I flake on social gatherings.  And for what reason?  I could go into a lengthy, psychoanalytical description about why I am the way I am, but what purpose would that serve?  To be a better friend…well, that will take some fine-tuning and I will blog about that accordingly.  To make new ones?  That will mean getting out there in the world, and I’m not quite sure how yet, but it’s becoming imperative.  My intellect needs stimulating.

I like to think these are favorable resolutions.  

Of course I could have more grandiose ideas: Buy a new car!  Save $10,000!  Adopt a baby!  Save the world!  These, however, are the resolutions of a pure optimist, something of which I’m still working on.

I will say, that is one aspect of my life that has improved with aging: despite all things, no matter how difficult or eye-gougingly frustrating, my optimism has definitely begun to outweigh my pessimism.  Ah, the fine ingredient of any practical resolution!                


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