Open Mouth, Insert...

Resolutions, Making Resolutions, and Peer Pressure

I'm generally not one to make New Year's resolutions. At least not publicly. I have a nasty tendency to ignore or let fizzle things or projects that I publicly announce, even if I only tell one person. Does anyone remember my NaNo 2002 story? No? Exactly my point. So, making statements about what I'm going to attempt to do this new year usually means doom to the resolutions I make rather than using them as mandates for the coming year, which is how they're supposed to be used.

However, I started seeing and reading the inevitable lists of resolutions and predictions on the web, which got me thinking. What did I want to do this year, so I can look back at this time in 2005 and think "damn, that was a good year." I think it's because 2003 was pretty much a waste of a year for me. Thinking back, all I really got accomplished was:

» Writing roughly twice as much in NaNo 2003 than I did in 2002.

» Meeting close to a dozen new people in this year's NaNo.

Sad, isn't it? I thought so too. I'll even go as far as to say that 2003 was my Year of Existing; not much happened to me, and I didn't do much to make things happen either. It just was, and as a result it's making me restless to do something about it, and to do it now.

This self-induced malaise (the best kind!) led to my heightened interest in looking at other people's resolutions and predictions, which in turn heightened my own interest in making my own resolutions. I'd try predictions, if I didn't think of them as the cosmic equivalent of Bullwinkle's rabbit-out-of-a-hat trick ("Again?") and thus pointless if not amusing. But resolutions? These I could do, could control (which is why you will never see resolutions out of me like "fall in love"), and therefore sounded much more interesting. So, I cobbled together a list of four resolutions that I could either accomplish or make great strides towards accomplishing. They are (with notations and appropriate comments):

» Become healthy and fit.

I could have said "lose x pounds" or something like that. But I seriously believe than you can be healthy without being anywhere close to in shape, and look extremely fit and have {insert name-brand disease here} rolling around inside threatening to ruin everything. I want to be both healthy and in good shape, so that why the semantics are that they are.

» Purchase a house.

I like the apartment complex that I live in (it's not inertia alone that's kept me there for 5+ years), but it's high time that I start looking for a house, likely of the townhouse or condominium varieties. It'll probably be the most difficult, and thus the most thought-out, purchase I have ever made or will make, particularly since I'm leery of the hidden costs that are out there. And to be honest, I'm a little scared; I know the apartment routine and am comfortable enough with where I am. Of course, being comfortable is probably what got me into a year like last year. So, off I go.

» Find a source of income based on what I like to do.

This sounds nebulous, doesn't it, like I'm going to pack up and move to some post-modern California and squat on a piece of land, prospecting for gold. It's nothing like that. I just figure that, just like everyone else I know, I could use a little extra money coming in to make life a little less worrisome when the bills roll around. So, if I'm going to do that, it might as well be doing something I like to do. What, do you ask? I don't know yet. I do know that this is the most nebulous resolution, and thus the one most likely to fail.

» Create and release something substantial that I can take pride in.

This covers so many things that I want to create, but have never done for whatever reason. Finally putting together Writing a piece of IF. Finishing a NaNo story. Putting together and playing those role-playing ideas that have rolling around in the back of my mind for ages. Getting back to Fourth Point, for that matter. You get the idea. There is too much rolling around in this skull of mine not to do something with.

So there they are, my resolutions for the coming year. I would like to say at this time next year that I did all of these but to be honest , if I get half of them done, I'll be happy. Also, I know that I won't get any of them done without some sort of prodding to keep me focused on these tasks. Can I get you, the humble reader to help, so supply the pressure I need to get going and to keep going? Cause I feel like I'm going to need it.

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