Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year

party hats1 2009 was a very good year for me (if you aren't nauseated by some serious horn-tooting, you can check out my recap, writing-wise, here). But it's human nature to try to do better.

That's why I'm big into New Year's Resolutions. There are usually plenty of areas in my life than can use some good resolving, so every year I draw up a list. Diligently. Thoughtfully. Some years I even write them down. (I resolve to write more stuff down, rather than rely on my spotty memory.)

To be honest, most of them, like my InkSpot pal G.M.'s, are somewhat vague. And a lot involve incremental language. I'll eat a little better, I'll exercise a tad more, I won't yell at my kids quite as much. Hard to quantify, thus hard to fail at. (I resolve to be somewhat more concrete when I make my resolutions.)

I guess if I wanted more quantifiable yardsticks, I would compile a list of goals. But "New Year's Goals" doesn't have the same ring to it, and I suppose that goals are really a whole 'nother kettle of fish when you get down to brass tacks (I resolve to use fewer clich├ęs.)

During the course of my resolution-crafting, I sometimes get philosophical. Why do we (humans) have to wait until some arbitrarily appointed time to make resolutions to better ourselves? Why can't we address our shortcomings as they crop up instead of putting it off? (I resolve to procrastinate less. One of these days, I'm sure I'll get around to doing that.)

My quest for self-improvement is not a solitary one. I'm always amused by all the ads for exercise equipment, gym memberships, and weight-loss programs that proliferate in January. Ditto for the storage containers and home organizing products. Then I'm doubly amused come February--or March for the slightly more dedicated--when the pages of eBay and Craigslist swell with treadmills (hardly used!) and unopened crates of Jenny Craig lasagnas (hardly used!). (I resolve to spend less time reading ads for stuff I don't want or need.)

Don't get me wrong--I'm all for bettering myself. Like I said, I compile a list of resolutions every year, and (pat on the back) I think I do a pretty good job of sticking to them. But during those last few weeks of the year, when my exercising has waned and I get a glimpse of the overflowing file cabinets in the basement I had resolved to go through eleven months earlier, I always question my, uh, resolve. (I resolve to stick to my resolutions better.)

Here are a few additional ones:

  • Read more.

  • Maintain my exercise regimen (I've been a little lax on the stretching component).

  • Spend my time more wisely, and its corollary, don't waste so much time surfing the Internet and cruising the blogosphere (some version of this one ends up on the list every year).

  • Take Vitamin D.

  • Reduce clutter. Simplify.

  • Eat a new food (Every year I resolve to add a new (healthy) food to my repertoire. Some winners: beans, avocados, hummus. Still can't do Brussels sprouts. And don't get me started on cheese. This year's candidates: edamame or fennel.)

How about you? Any "unusual" resolutions this year?

Have a very happy and healthy 2010!



JournoMich said...

Hey, it's the year of your book! Congratulations!


Mason Canyon said...

Sound like great resolutions. I just can't seem to keep any I make.
Congratulations on your book deals.

Elspeth Futcher said...

I admit I was surprised when the news was doing their usual 'what to look forward to this year' and your book wasn't mentioned.

Maybe they haven't received your snazzy bookmark.

Seriously, congrats on what will be an exciting year for you.


Alan Orloff said...

Michele - Thanks! That's a good book title: The Year of My Book.

Mason - Make easier resolutions!

Elspeth - Canadian news, no doubt. I've peppered every available news outlet in the US with my snazzy bookmarks. (not really, but I did get a lot printed! They're sitting in my basement right now.)

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I noted the line about your spotty memory. Seems like you were looking at a new PDA/cell phone gadget to help you keep track of your swirling world...congrats on your many great 2009 accomplishments by the way. How did that turn out? Did you buy something neat,or still thinking about it?

Best Regards, Galen.
My very cool verification word: foomer. Love that.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I gave up on resolutions years ago, but I like yours. Good luck with them.

I agree with you on Brussel Sprouts!

Alan Orloff said...

Galen - Nope. My son and my wife both got fancy new phones. Me? I got a new pen to write with in my paper planner. BTW, I've always said you were a foomer.

Jane - Finally, someone else who doesn't like Brussels sprouts. Maybe we should start a Facebook club or something.