I’ve never been a fan of New Year resolutions. In my view, the first of the year is a contrived benchmark where people take stock of what they didn’t like about the year that just ended, and feel compelled to do something about it. After all, a lot of us are so disgusted with the poundage we packed on between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that we have to do something about it.
I suspect however that a small percentage of these pledges are still going strong by the end of January, and less than one percent of all the resolutions made world-wide actually come to fruition. So what’s the point?
Having said that, it’s the end of the holiday season, and I’ve been busy. I haven’t had much time to write, let alone ponder what I might write about this week. So, as the deep freeze settles into New England and I’m already fantasizing about Spring, I’ve decided to take the easy way out and quickly jot down a brief to-do list for 2018.
Call these resolutions if you want, but I prefer to think of them as things I would really like to see happen. Most of them are reasonably attainable, and the list is small enough to be manageable. After all, if you’re going to strive for something, what’s the point in being unrealistic in your goals or the number of things you want to accomplish?
#1. Get my book published: The draft of the manuscript was completed last year, and the bulk of 2017 was spent editing and revising the text so many times that I wanted to puke. It is finally where it needs to be, and I have just completed a check-list of items my agent said she needed to take to prospective publishers next month. The feedback I have received from everyone who has read it had been overwhelmingly positive, so 2018 should be shit or get off the pot time as far as getting it in print is concerned. And, I would really prefer not to self-publish.
#2. By the end of the year, either ground will have been broken on a new house, a remodeling job on an existing house will be underway, or a financial commitment will have been made on something that will soon commence. The bottom line is that by the end of 2018, I will know what my new address will be in 2019.
#3. I will be ten pounds lighter than I am now. Yeah, I know. A weight loss pledge. How typical. The thing is, I really don’t like where I am now, but I do like to eat. All I have to do is lose less than one pound a month for an entire year to achieve this goal. Sounds reasonable, don’t you think?
#4. My symptoms will remain confined to one limb, and will not progress to the point where I need more than a cane to get around. Admittedly, I won’t have a lot of input into this one, although maybe the weight loss will help.
#4a. Would asking for improved mobility and functionality be asking for the impossible? Probably.
#5. Continue weekly posts to this blog. I started the MSich Chronicles 21 weeks ago and have posted 21 pieces, which has been a surprise. I thought coming up with something different every week was going to be difficult, or some kind of illness might get in the way. None of this has happened. Can it continue for the next 52 weeks?
#6. Finish the draft on the manuscript for novel #2. This might be the toughest one of all. When I started novel #1, I was super motivated and worked on it religiously. I started the second novel earlier this year and to say it has progressed at a snail’s pace would be an insult to snails. Part of reason why it hasn’t taken off is because of the work I’ve done to get the first one ready, and part of it is this blog. Plus I have a full time job, so it isn’t as if I have boatloads of free time. But the truth is this one has been harder to write, and my focus isn’t as sharp. The first one was fun. I’m not saying this one isn’t, but it definitely feels more like work. My attitude definitely needs to change because if book #1 gets published, I suspect there will need to be a second one.
So there you have it, my official list of goals for 2018. Now that these are committed to paper, I’m going to do my damnedest to make these come to fruition, because my last blog of 2018 will be a retrospective review of this list to see how I did. That way, one of next year’s 52 blog topics is already accounted for.
Okay, we have dispensed with the boring stuff. What follows are the more juicy things that might ordinarily make a list of New Year’s resolutions, and perhaps should, but I’m realistic enough to know that they have a snowball’s chance in hell of seeing the light of day.
Number one: Get more sleep. As someone with a chronic health condition, I know that getting sufficient rest is very important. Hell, even if you don’t have a health condition, all the health experts say eight hours per night is essential. I typically get between five to six hours during the week, and maybe eight on weekends. This isn’t a case where I’m not tired, because when my head hits the pillow I am usually asleep in less than ten minutes, and if I’m on the recliner, I tend to nod off. So why do I do this? My only excuse I like to go to work early, but don’t want to go to sleep at 8:30 in the evening, which is when I would need to for eight hours of shut-eye. Besides, my body tells me when I’m sleep deprived. There have been times where I fall into a walking coma after dinner, can literally not function, feel sick, and immediately climb into bed. I get scolded a lot about my sleeping habits, but what can I say? My father was a stubborn man, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree on that front.
Number two: Drink less. Don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t drink a lot, but I do like my wine, an occasional martini or something on the rocks. With all the meds I am taking, one could argue it would be a good thing not to overtax my liver unnecessarily, and it would certainly help me achieve the weight loss goal because booze puts weight on me faster than anything. My wife certainly thinks I should take it down a notch, but she doesn’t drink. The truth is, I have enough deprivation in my life dealing with MS, and I like the feeling of having a glass and mellowing out. So fuck it! Which leads me to wish number three.
Number three : Use the word “fuck” less. I don’t this use word a lot when I write, but real life is a different story. Fuck is such a descriptive and versatile word. It can be a noun, verb or an adjective. I admit however that it is uncouth, and shows a certain laziness on my part because there are many words I could use that might be more appropriate and descriptive for the point I’m trying to make. But it rolls off the tongue so easily, and let’s be honest. It’s often a fun word to use. So as long as I’m not insulting anyone directly or hurting someone’s feeling, that word isn’t going anywhere.
Last but not least: Eat better. Notice I used the word “better” and not healthier. That’s because my diet includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, so it isn’t what I eat. It’s when. Typically, my breakfast consists of one or two cups of coffee, followed one hundred ounces of water before I eat lunch. Lunch time consists of a huge raw veggie salad, with some cheese and a few sunflower seeds, and dinner consists of whatever is served. On weekends, substitute the lunch I just mentioned to hardly anything at all, and subtract water from the equation. Nighttime is snack time, which usually consists of something crunchy and salty, but once I get started it can often progress to something sweet and/or deli meats. And once I get rolling, the taste buds want more. So you can see why dropping pounds can be a challenge. I know that spreading the food over the course of an entire day is probably healthier, is better for my metabolism, and would probably make me less hungry at night. Unfortunately, putting it into practice is a different story, especially if I’m bored.
Of course, going to bed at eight-thirty would kill two birds with one stone. I certainly can’t be bored, or eat if I am asleep, plus it would help me achieve the eight hours I know I should get every night. I’m sure it would improve my general health as well. That’s a win-win-win in anyone’s book, and would be the smart move, but I’ve never claimed to be Einstein.
Happy New Year everyone!