Friday, January 02, 2015

Another Cross Post

I was really good over at my newspaper gig the last couple months, because I'm cross-posting another one here, too. 

Happy New Year! 2015. Here’s hoping your holiday season was both peaceful and joyous, and that the new year brings you the best of what you’re wishing for.

Over the years, I have earned a reputation – and rightfully so – for being notoriously anti New Year Resolution. I simply see no point in setting up artificial, and often unreasonable, expectations based on aspects of ourselves that we don’t like simply because we turned a new page in a calendar. It certainly doesn’t seem like a healthy, or happy way, to go into a new year.

If, however, you are determined to make New Year’s Resolutions, may I suggest these:

Get Healthy. This is not an admonition to quit smoking, lose weight, or eat more vegetables. If you want to do those things, great. Do them. But not because of a resolution. Instead, just think long-term, yet low maintenance. Women, do breast self-exams. Men, perform testicular self-exams. If you are “of a certain age” get mammograms and prostate exams. At some point this year, sit down with a doctor and get a physical.

Stay Focused. While anger may be a powerful motivator, it’s also a good way to become miserable, burned out, and, well, angry. The world is angry enough. Instead of being angry (although there is time for anger, and I will never say otherwise), concentrate on staying focused. The issue that makes you angry – police brutality, open season on black men, continued threats against members of the LGBTQ community, women’s issues, legal inequality, whatever it is – stay focused on it. As the news cycle moves on, stay involved. As people start discussing other things on social media, keep bringing it up. Refuse to back down, to become complacent, to sweep it under the rug. You may lose some Tumblr or Reddit followers, but you’ll learn who your real friends are.

Spread Peace. There is plenty of anger in the world. And there are times when it’s appropriate. But remember when it isn’t, as well. There is no need to snap at the homeless. Or yell at the person behind the register. Or be rude to your neighbor in the elevator. More and more, it seems like we as a society are moving to the extremes: doormats or aggressive assholes. There’s a huge middle ground between those 2 poles. Make a concerted effort to live in that middle ground. No one is perfect, but the effort itself will inherently make your life a more peaceful place, for you and those you encounter.

Buy the Leather Jacket. Listener was telling me a story about a friend of hers who wanted to be the kind of girl who wore a leather jacket – so the young woman went and bought one, because then she’d be the kind of girl who wore one. Whatever your “leather jacket” is, don’t wait for it. If you want to be the kind of person who adopts rescue cats, or drinks champagne, or reads The New Yorker, or eats off of china plates, or yes, wears leather jackets – don’t wait for whatever magical event will turn you into “that kind of a person.” You are that person. Right now. Without having to fix or change yourself in any way. The only thing missing is the jacket. So go buy the jacket!

2015 is upon us. And with every year before it, it will be exactly the kind of year we make it. So let’s make it a good one. 

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.