Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A Year is a Day Away

Today is now the 1st of January, and having lived in 2013 for almost an hour, I've been looking back on some of the odd traditions of New Year's Eve. With our new plans and goals and business expenses to look forward to, I am thinking about those curious promises we tend to make every year.
The Word of the Day is 'RESOLUTION'.

The word alone is curious. For one thing, most holidays call their goals 'wishes'. We wish you a Merry Christmas and tell you to make a wish as you blow out your candle. Sure, Americans give thanks, and some days are about remembrance and mourning. But it has four syllables for goodness sake! Why do we need a New Year's Resolution? Dictionary Says:

Resolution /’rezə'lūshən/ n. 1. firmness of purpose or determination. 2. the act of settling on or determining, as to action, etcetera 3. a solution or explanation, especially of a problem.

Do you see the difference between a resolution, compared to thanksgivings, wishes and remembrances? It's simple, but important. A resolution is the end, the action, the decision. Wishes are all passive. They require nothing but thought. And more than that, resolution comes from the word 'resolve'. It's a solution, "especially of a problem" as Dictionary says. It's not just a plan of action, but a plan to fix something which is broken. A problem with your life. And you are not hoping or wishing or desiring, you are making a promise to yourself to change for the better.

It's a bit like what I was saying about the apocalypse, in that when we come to these ends, we look back and try to think how we can be better. But there's one problem with that.
People suck at change.
You can talk about change and turning your life on it's head, losing that weight and getting a job, but we suck at it. Because we don't like doing things that are hard. That's why I've decided, this year, that I am not going to change my life, because I am just as bad as everyone else. Sure, my life probably is going to change a little, but rather than adding things to my life, I will resolve the little things that need fixing, make them better. Just as things can always get worse, they can also always get better. And my goal is to better my life with the following little resolutions:

- I am going to write more (stories)
I am already writing my own stories, and I am pretty sure I can get it done by the end of the year. But I am not going to plan to end. Why? Because endings can be stressful. If I go 'OH I GOTTA FINISH THIS STORY, COME ON LET'S DO THIS' then I start worrying about it and struggling. And worry and struggle are not conducive to good writing.
Unlike tasks such as 'walking the dog' or 'losing weight', writing stories isn't just about finding the time. It's also about finding the idea and the frame of mind for good story-telling. So, while I wish I would finish that big damn novel, I will resolve only to work on it more, and hopefully get it finished that much sooner

- I am going to write better (blog posts)
I have probably already mentioned this, but I will no longer be writing every day. That was blatantly obvious when I went on holidays, but moreso I will be hoping to do about 10 posts a month. My maths says that's about one every three days. Why so few? Well, first, as I said, I will be writing more. I need to write every day to keep my words flowing, but if I am writing stories, I don't really have to practice so much do I? The second reason is that I want these posts to be of higher quality. My plan is that my second post of this year will be another fun piece of fiction. Look forward to that in my next post

- I will try to find a partner (girlfriend)
A lot of fellas will be wishing on that New Years Star for a girlfriend, wife or female housemaid of their own. And I too, hope to find a love one day, to love me back. But I don't want to just FIND one. I don't want to run into her on the street one day, because it loses all the magic. If I wanted to come across a partner, I would use an internet dating site. But as a storyteller, I would hate to see the day when my kid says: "Dad, how did you meet mommy?" and I say "The internet."
No, I want to earn a partner. She doesn't have to be some damsel in distress that I rescue from a broken home. But I want it to have more narrative and meaning than a simple fetch-quest. So I will actually endeavour to find a partner. Look better when I leave the house, act kinder to strangers, live healthier and generally be more respectable. Will this mean I will GET a girlfriend? Not necessarily. But either way, I will enjoy the process of becoming a better man.

And that's it. Is it everything that I want to happen in my life? No, there's a lot I wish would happen. If someone could mail me a winning lottery ticket one day, it would be greatly appreciated. But in the real world, these are the things I not only CAN do, but will ACTUALLY do; unlike Dictionary, whose resolution is to get leetspeak removed from the world's vocabulary.
So, if you're actually a dedicated enough reader to check out this post after my semi-hiatus, let me know. What is YOUR new year's resolution?

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