Despite my neighbors still having their wreath on the door and a creepy stand-up Santa Claus in the hallway, the holidays are over. So this must mean that we're yet again closing in on another stellar year of life. Pat yourself on the back for life. And what a year it was! You did that thing that you've always wanted to do? Oh, and you finally finished that screenplay you were working on, right? Also... didn't you volunteer at a shelter? YOU KILLED 2014!
Okay so maybe not. Maybe you're a little beaten, sure. Your checking account is emaciated and keeps asking you, "Are you sure you want to do this?" You've also gained twelve pounds between Thanksgiving and the new year thanks to trays of cannolis. Pffff... BFD, man. 2015 IS JUST DAYS AWAY! A NEW ME AWAITS, DAMMIT!
Will you sneak away from whatever New Year's Eve party you're at and just before the ball drops, say around 11:55 PM, wander in front of a mirror for a little "self-reflection" time? Will you say out loud, "This is my year. THIS. IS. MY. YEAR." Maybe point, too. If this sounds like you, then I'm sorry, I really can't offer you any guidance or advice on how to become a better "you," because apparently you already recognize your endless faults, but are wanting to change them. Good for you. I can toast to that. I'll also wish you luck in your self-fulfulling endeavor to improve your otherwise uneventful and sub-par existence.
If you're not the "talk in the mirror" type of person, you're probably going to go the route of making up some bullshit resolutions about how 2015 is YOUR YEAR. It won't be. Just trust me. You say it will be and it never happens. Actually, if we're getting technical about it, it's the year of the sheep. Sheep, by the way, are followers. It's true. When one sheep moves, the rest follow, even if it's the worst fucking idea in the history of sheeps. According to the Wiki, "following instinct of sheep is so strong that it caused the death of 400 sheep in 2006 in eastern Turkey. The sheep plunged to their death after one of the sheep tried to cross a 15-meter deep ravine, and the rest of the flock followed." That's awful. Close your eyes for a second and picture a bunch of cute and cuddly sheep just falling off of a cliff. Got it? Now... do you want to be a follower in 2015 and fall off the face of a cliff (metaphorically speaking)?
Of course you don't. You don't want to be a follower in 2015. You want want to LEEEAAAADDD, man. So then take the lead and make the first step and unfollow Justin Bieber on Twitter and Instagram. There's no reason not to, really. Nothing good comes of it. Unless you do something in the media and need to follow him for the inevitable social media train wreck like the one we got from Amanda Bynes (I know. She's ill. Relax.).
If you truly want be a better you in 2015, don't tweet The Biebs that the day he follows you is the day you're finally happy. Christ. Someone give that girl a hug. Or a Labradoodle, at least. I'll pay for the vaccinations.
I will, however, continue to allow you the right to fight with other people in the comment section of Instagram. Because I could read that shit all day. And it will entertain me.
General rule of thumb for self-improvement in 2015: Cut ties with The Biebs.
That done, some other half-ass resolutions that you're probably thinking of are that you'll want to read more books this year (not listening to them in your car). And that's great. You should. Everybody should. But you won't. You'll get fifteen pages into All The Light We Cannot See but lose interest when you realize, "THERE ARE TOO MANY CHARACTERS TO FOLLOW," and go back to watching VSauce on YouTube (which would actually be fine by me).
You've always wanted to take Yogilates and get rock-hard abs for beach weather and have inner-thighs that feel like granite countertops. But you won't. After two weeks and a sore ass, you'll revert to doing pushups in your living room while watching Mob Wives until the number of pushups completed dwindles from a hundred, to forty, to eleven, and finally, "This is my rest day, babe. Leave me alone."
Resolutions are dumb -- beyond dumb. If we put so much emphasis on improving ourselves, why waste an entire year not doing any of the things we say we're going to do? Just once I'd like to hear somebody say, "I'm going to make a resolution to start working out in September. That way, I'll end the year healthier. And who knows, it might carry on into the new year." Now that's a plan. That's something I can respect. What I can't respect is that come March, those yogilates pants are still in the GAP Body bag. (Because I could have returned that shit already.)
Back at the party, Prince's "1999" is playing because why not? He wrote it with every New Year's Eve party in mind. Someone walks up to you and asks what your resolution is. Sadly, you can no longer tell people, "My resolution is to not have a resolution," because that is so 2005. If you really don't want a resolution but you don't want to sound like that guy at the party, just tell the next person who asks you that it's "to make sure your hypertension gets under control." If only to see the look on their face when you say that will make the sixty seconds between 11:59 PM and 12:00 AM somewhat bearable. (Are these not the worst seconds in the whole year?)
Sticking to a resolution is like finding an ATM that spits out fives. Close to where I live is an ATM that gives out fives. I KNOW! The ATM isn't in my network so taking out a $5 bill results in a $3 fee. That's 60 percent interest, BIG BANK! But the point is, following through on a resolution is rare -- really rare. Perhaps rarer than a gas-filled Peggy Noonan op-ed about old-world American nostalgia and going to a fair.
Everyone different, everyone getting along, everyone feeling free to be who they are but everyone also-you could just kind of see it-feeling free to be different from who they are, too. Everyone selling their wares, not just material ones but spiritual ones. There was a really loud kind of rap group, and I asked who it was because I didn't get its composition-young black and Hispanic men, a middle-aged white woman. Singers from a local church, I was told.
I GOT IT... My resolution. I know what it is!
Read less Peggy Noonan.
Also... I want to catch all of my typos before publishing. (Probalnby never happen, though.)
Chris is a freelance writer and musician from Boston. Follow him @chrishpeak or visit him at chrispeak.com
Image credit | Deborah Deras