It's that time of year again when we make those pesky resolutions. Lose weight, exercise more, become a movie star, find a boyfriend, and so on and on - and on. Most of us crash and burn and our resolutions usually fly out the window on the ghostly wings of the devil's food cake we ate in one sitting.
New Year's resolutions go back to the Babylonians. That's over 4,000 years of breaking resolutions, so we all come by the need to start anew naturally. I realize that ascribing this tradition to an ancient pantheon will have the extremists of monotheistic faiths howling at the thought that there was life before their own particular brand of fanaticism, and it's evil to carry on the tradition.
I for one like the idea of starting with a clean slate, and resolving to do better. I like that the Romans kissed and touched for Saturnalia, and that we still have that tradition (although I'd like it even better if I had someone to kiss). I appreciate the sentiment anyway.
So, without further ado, here are my realistic resolutions for 2016.
1) Stop yelling at the television! Whenever I see Donald Trump's face or hear of another Daesh atrocity, I scream at the news anchor. I admit I do not suffer fools gladly and there are situations that make my blood boil. Racism, misogyny, and intolerance gets my Greek up and I start to yell at whatever story irks me. I am usually quiet, but screaming at the television is neither cathartic nor healthy. Guess I'll stick to letter writing, scathing commentary, and boycotts of the groups and individuals I find reprehensible. (I have a list.)
2) Supporting intellectual achievements! For some reason, being intellectual has become repugnant. Instead of reaching for the heights of knowledge and understanding, we settle for the least common denominator. There seems to be a concerted effort to cater to the uneducated, frightened, and ignorant who don't actually understand complex issues and haven't read anything more than the directions on a shampoo bottle, and keep re-reading it because it says "repeat".
As such, we need to encourage critical thinking, wherein those with dormant intellects study themselves and use objective analysis and evaluation of issues. In short, learn. Read literature, history, differing philosophies, and even political agendas in order to understand the wide range of worldviews that exist. Argue cogently, logically, and coolly, not give into rampant emotionalism or stop learning because of some perceived discomfort. I could go on, but then I'd already be breaking my...sub-resolution. Stop Lecturing! I admit it, I have a tendency to lecture. I mean it's interesting and all that, but I do sort of tour guide, draw analogies, share historical tidbits, and allude to literary works, which can drive my cousin crazy at times.
3) Read More! In the past few years I've gotten way behind in my own reading. (Still have my own library, but don't delve as much) I've spent most of my spare time writing my own fiction and posts, watching films or just vegging. I have huge lists of books that I want to tackle from my own multi-genre interests to literary fiction, to biographies to history to, well, you get the picture. If it ever snows, I'll hit the library, ravage the shelves, pull out the Kindle Fire, and download a ton, wrap myself up in my snuggie, and read.
4) Get out and meet people! I have a tendency to live inside my head. I fully want to go out, meet people, talk to them, and re-engage with the world. If nothing else, it'll get me out of the house and not just to the swimming pool! I actually like people, and when I want, I can even be quite charming and friendly. So if you see me out and about, talk to me. Or write me, I'll answer. I love making new friends.
5) Write more for myself! I write grants, business plans, and tons of other documents for clients. Sometimes I'm too tired to work on my own writing (hence the vegging). I am currently working on books two and three of a multi-genre septet and I want to carve out more time to concentrate on getting these two done in the first quarter of the New Year. And of course, write more Huff Posts. Ambitious aren't I?
Then I want to lose weight, exercise more, get a boyfriend, win the lottery, and all the traditional resolutions, because New Year's wouldn't be the same without them.
Happy New Year to one and all. It's a great privilege to share with all of you on the Huff Post and I look forward to sharing more in 2016!