I’m Not Making A Single Resolution

2015I don’t believe in resolutions. I’d like to say I don’t believe in New Year’s at all, since the calendar is a human construct, but that’s not really true (the earth does revolve around the sun after all and we’re just measuring that passage) and I’m not remotely that cool. As humans we need milestones, we need reminders about the passage of time, and because we are complex, we need to celebrate them, and because we are social, we need to celebrate them together. So here we are. On the cusp of another calendar year. Thinking about things. We always do.

Personally, I think each of us should make resolutions around our birthdays. Our birthdays are not arbitrary at all, they are facts on a calendar, facts written on our bodies, hardwired into our brains, facts to be celebrated, we’ve stayed alive another year, made new friends, accomplished new things, discovered a new bourbon, tasted a new and deeper umami. (Or, here’s someone saying make resolutions monthly, which is, like, literally a 12-step program.)

Of course, December in general, but the holiday season in particular, is as much about looking back as looking forward. I don’t like that either. I’m not into nostalgia. I used to accuse my son, when he was much younger, of “instant nostalgia” – that is, he seemed to be in a constant state of nostalgia and could wax poetic about something that had just happened. Literally a second ago. I don’t like looking back. The view behind is full of building blocks, granted, the past is what makes us, the present makes no sense without the past, but history is all about context while nostalgia is context free on purpose and is presented as something outside of time.

Here’s the thing: nothing exists outside of time. Not even Elvis.

I don’t make resolutions. But if you do, and if you stick to them, and if those resolutions point you in the direction you want to go, and if that direction makes you a better you and in so doing makes the world a better place, well, I’m with you. I most certainly am. I promise this. Just don’t use the word “abs.” I don’t want to hear how great your abs are, or your workout, or, I don’t know, do people still say “burn” as if it’s a good thing? Because you shouldn’t say that around me. Don’t tell me about your workout. Either you are still high on endorphins or you’re a member of a cult but either way you’re being unreasonable. Otherwise, I got your back. I promise.


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