Friday, December 30, 2005

On the passing of another year

Ostensibly, this is the seemingly defacto post that many bloggers make to mark the end of the year. I may make other posts before the ball drops tomorrow night, but in the meantime this ought to serve as my year-ender. I could simply repost Harry's quandary over what Auld Lang Syne means, but that's one of the more popular destinations in Google, so you could easily find it yourself.

But being an 'end of year' post is just part of the story... I am participating in a contest offered by E.Webscapes for a Blog Design makeover. I generally think the so-called reality TV shows on this theme are silly, but let's face it: if you've spent any time reading my Blog, you would agree its design needs work!

The contest is for the best New Year's Resolution, and so what better vehicle to offer that than a year end post?

Here's the tricky part: Read More... I don't have a resolution. Nope. Nada. Why? Because I have said in years past, they are useless. The idea that picking January 1 as the be-all and end-all day for resolving to change yourself/improve yourself/lose weight/gain weight/stop smoking/start exercising/start reading/stop wasting time/find love/get a divorce/write a book/read a book ... whatever... to pick one single day out of 365 to embark on such a change is an exercise in procrastination.

For example, a resolution to quit smoking is an excuse to wait until New Year's Eve to smoke a carton of cigarettes -- because, you know, tomorrow I will quit cold turkey ... no, really! -- only to find that by dinner time on the 1st you simply can't do it and that I simply have to have a cigarette and so you'll have to wait another 364 days before you have to worry about quitting again.

Same thing for dieting, exercising, whatever.

This doesn't mean I reject the idea of resolutions; far from it! I've made many each of the last several years. I am in favor of resolutions if you truly believe in what you resolve (and if you really knew me, you'd know I have a boat load of things I ought to resolve to change). But if you truly believe in this planned resolution, why on Earth would wait for this specific 1st day of the year to begin it?? Why can't you resolve to quit smoking on February 10th? Why not June 27th?

How about if you are serious about making a change in your life, you stop reading this post on whatever day it is -- presently it is Dec. 30th -- and just do it???? What are you waiting for? What is the point in starting a resolution to make yourself better, but only on the first day of the year?? Don't the rest of the days count for anything??

And you know what? If you start today, even if through no fault of your own you fail at your resolution, say in a week or two, you won't be tied to random date of Jan 1 to try again. You could start again on Jan 8th.

Or the 12th.

Or May 26th.

That being said, one of my recurring resolutions is to make more time to spend with my family. It's a task I work very hard at on a weekly basis. Some weeks, I am a winner. Other weeks I am not. But in the end I am hopeful I'll have more win than losses. So I make time for Cub Scouts and for Tae Kwon Do and even though I deplore the spectator sport that is grocery shopping I will go with my fam to buy whatever it is we need whenever I am called up. And if I could manage to get even less sleep, I would have more time to do things at home that need to be done, and that would benefit them all.

See? If I had picked Jan 1 to start, I would have to wait the balance of the year to try again... not so with my method.

So that's my resolution, and entry into the contest. On the face of it, I realize it's no competition with people who play the New Years Resolution game by the rules (whatever they may be), but it's my contribution to the discussion.

I look forward to the new year being better than the last. 2005 was pretty tame for me: no layoffs, no major medial issues, no personal tragedies. 2006 employment is looking equally positive for me, and I can only hope the other issues continue on their steady course as well. Still, there is a lot that could be better in the new year than the last one.

On a whole, the nation took it right between the eyes with the repetitive hurricanes (and poor aftermath planning and/or execution -- at all levels). As a nation we've mourned the dead and wounded in an important and all-too-often slandered war effort, but the progress made cannot and should not be ignored. The peaceful transfer of power was demonstrated again at the start of this year, and in spite of what many would have you think, that is a good thing even if your candidate didn't win.

Yet despite these hits, these wounds, the nation continues to grow and prosper, and that cannot be ignored.

New Years Eve may be a little different in my house this year. If the weather holds Saturday afternoon, we'll travel to NYC, but not in Manhattan. While I have always dreamed of ringing in the new year in Times Square, my much-better-half and kidlets wouldn't fare will in those crowds.
So if we make in Saturday, we'll spend New Years Eve with my sister-in-law, where I'll raise a toast of fine bourbon to ring in start of the year. Sunday will be at my parents home, where we'll have Christmas, Part II celebrations. If the weather fails us, I'll spend the evening of Saturday into Sunday watching either the Twilight Zone or Honeymooner marathons (and, of course, the aforementioned libation), and Sunday at the same family's homes.
Whatever your plans, whatever your resolutions, I bid you all
good luck and Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

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