We did it. Another year under our belts.
So how’d you fare? Did you thrive? Maintain? Or was this unfortunately a year of challenges and setbacks? Well, no matter. We’re all just hours away to a clean slate. Toss aside those triumphs and disappointments because no matter what your situation has been over the last 12 months, you have no choice now but to start all over again. All you laurel resters out there, stop looking so damn smug; the closer that clock ticks towards midnight, you’re no better than the rest of us.
I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to pass on this annual post dealing with New Year resolutions and promises. We do worry about become a blogging cliche.
But the more I thought about it, the more I also realized that I really do like New Year’s Eve. Even during earlier, lonely periods of my life, I thankfully never really found myself having any moments of self-pity on what is looked upon by some as a massively over-hyped night. If nothing else, I saw it as an excuse to set up the TV tray in front of the couch and sit in sanctimonious judgment while counting wrinkles on Dick Clark’s forehead. You take the opportunities where you find them.
New Years Eve was also my parents’ anniversary. So it marks a happy memory for me. In addition to seeing the rare bottle of champagne in the family fridge, there were also snacks for us kids that we only ever saw on that one night of the year. No Ann Page potato chips, baby. It was name brand all the way.
So forget those blogging clichés. Who doesn’t like a fresh start?
Before we can get to that, though, it’s probably a good idea to reflect a wee bit on 2018 first.
This past year was one in which moderation and restraint became an implied mantra for me. When an overuse of OTC anti-inflammatory medication started a months-long “filibuster” inside my digestive chamber, it took a dose of radioactive bipartisanship on the part of my gastroenterologist to remedy the situation. I was immediately relegated to the relative safer confines of low dosage Tylenol. Along with that, they counseled me to eat smaller portions rather than the heaping plates I’ve been enjoying since my teens. Legislative regular order returned immediately, and my bicameral organs are now properly digesting food again.
Restraint also helped mend a broken relationship I’ve had with a sibling of mine. An earlier version of me would have donned a suit of armor and filled my quiver with inflammatory incriminations. Instead, I patiently waited her out till she was ready to meet in the middle. This took almost three years. I am now, however, grateful for a two hour phone call that took place between us in the early fall. It resulted in a restoration of our relationship along with expressions of remorse and affection. We will get together this coming March along with a second sibling for a mini-reunion.
A glance at the resolutions I made a year ago at this time show a mix of success:
While I did become more politically involved, the end result here in Florida ended up with a resounding victory for the other party. Nonetheless, we will press on and fight the good fight for the next election in 2020.
My desire to increase the output to this blog did not materialize. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence appears to show that I may have finally conquered my mental block on “affect” and “effect” usage. Wherever she is, Mrs. Gearhart, my high school grammar teacher, is no doubt rolling her eyes in abject exhaustion.
We unhappily only made it to one concert all year in spite of my hope of seeing more. Jacksonville and St. Augustine are popular stops for lots of bands, so we really have no excuse. Hopefully we can improve on that in the coming year.
Which brings us to the present. And so…
For 2019, I hereby resolve to…
… Reach out more to nieces, nephews, and cousins. Now that I’ve checked off all the siblings boxes, I need to work on the rest of my extended family. Relationships won’t maintain and grow when the only communication happening is by virtue of pressing alpha character buttons on a cell phone. Verbal thoughts need be exchanged now and then by actually speaking to one another. Use your God-given voice boxes and stop texting so much!
… Get to Amelia Island, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, and Tallahassee. These are all Florida locales within driving distance of where we live, yet we have yet to visit any of them so far. SHAME ON US. By this time next year, I want to report back that we drove to at least two of them.
… Volunteer at a local organization or charity. Up to now I’ve been supporting such organizations via financial donations only. It’s time I invest a little more of myself with one.
… Dress better. Jerry Seinfeld recently commented that older men tend dress in the style which represents the “last good year of their life.” In particular, he recommends that men of a certain age just stop wearing jeans because trying to look cool is never going to happen ever again. He’s right.
Our big New Year’s Eve plan this year is to visit a favorite local British pub for dinner. They’re offering a full celebration with party hats and noisemakers to mark the stroke of midnight in London, which will be at 7:00pm our time. Brilliant! I bet we’re safely back home by 8:00. Moderation, after all.
Wherever you may be, I do wish you and yours a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year. May your actions be restrained but all of your dreams wild.
Until next time…