The Annual First Day of The Year List Of Things I Resolve To Do But Will Never Do

I used to make New Year’s Resolutions. For about ten years, the first thing on my list was “Quit Smoking.” It wasn’t until a year that I didn’t have it on my list that I finally quit smoking (which, incidentally, will be ten years ago this coming August).

I used to make a list of things I felt I needed to do in order to improve myself. Because, isn’t that part of the human experience, this notion that we’re constantly in need of being improved upon?

Every year I’d make a list, and, every year I’d accomplish very few of the resolutions. “Being neater and more organized” was on my list for at least twenty years, and I’ve made little to no progress in that particular arena. Same for things like “dust more often” and “vacuum more often.” I used to worry about the dusting and vacuuming, until I realized that we’re lucky if we have one visitor a month, so why bother? I mean, we only dust and vacuum because we don’t want others to think we’re slobs, right?

Working out, going to the gym more, getting into better shape has been on my list for more years than I can count. Every year, I feel good about it, but, after the second or third day at the gym, I’m all:

over it

I used to make a list — sometimes written, sometimes just a mental list — with good intentions to do as many of the things on the list as I could. It seemed that if I could do these things, I’d somehow be a better person.

Then one day it occurred to me, I don’t really care. I am who I am, and you’ll either like me, dusty house and all, or you won’t. I don’t need some list that usually, around June, would start making me feel guilty, because I’d yet to accomplish any of the things on it. So, I stopped with the lists, the resolutions. I’m more impulsive than lists allow — I’ll simply do, or stop doing, something because it just seems to be the time to do, or stop doing something. Besides, I usually lose the list.

This year, though, I thought I’d come up with a list of sorts.

I’ll leave you to decide which things I’m serious about, and which are simply added to make the list longer.

  • Write a blog post every day.
  • Write one scary story each month.
  • Write one poem each month.
  • Vacuum more often.
  • Dust more frequently.
  • Walk more.
  • Take more photos.
  • Comment on at least 10 blog posts each day (instead of only clicking on the like button).
  • Eat less cookies.
  • Smoke more weed. (It is legal here, after all).
  • Eat more fiber.
  • See a therapist.
  • Read a book a week.
  • Keep the surface of my desk clean for longer than one day.
  • Listen to one album every day.
  • Write more.
  • Sleep more during normal sleeping hours.
  • Buy more notebooks to add to my empty notebook collection.
  • Buy more pencils.
  • Shower every day.
  • Try to sound less self-centered.
  • Eat more fruit.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
  • Find a pair of glasses that make me look smart and sexy.
  • Curse more.
  • Try to be less bothered by fact mom watches Fox News.
  • Be more reclusive.
  • Try to like people more.
  • Eat less cheese.
  • After one month of eating less cheese, spend rest of year eating more cheese.
  • Pretend I have some sort of life.
  • Tell Julian more often how much I appreciate all he does to help make my life better.
  • Be more patient.
  • Dream more.

I think that’s a long-enough list of things to ignore, don’t you?

14 thoughts on “The Annual First Day of The Year List Of Things I Resolve To Do But Will Never Do

  1. Great post, John. Funny as always. Made me laugh. My 2 cents to help you with your long list of things to resolve. These are the things on your New Year Resolution list that I think you should do.

    1. Walk more – if you do this then you will be able to do #2.
    2. Take more pictures. See reason #1
    3. Eat more fiber – your intestines will thank you and you can accomplish this by doing #4
    4. Eat more fruit. See reason #3
    5. Tell Julian more often how much I appreciate all he does to help make my life better. No reason or excuses for this one. Just do it.
    6. Be more patient – maybe it will help you do # 7
    7. Try to be less bothered by fact mom watches Fox News. See #6
    8. Write more – if you do this then you can do #9
    9. Buy more pencils – see #7
    Other than that life is too short… live it however you want. Curse, damn it! :)

    1. I like unused notebooks … I am saving them up for the day that my brain goes berserk, and I become mentally ill with that sickness that makes you compulsively write … this way, I’ll be ahead of the game. :-)

  2. Your list made me laugh so hard! I was thinking yesterday that I need to be more organized too but then I think maybe I need to be LESS organized! Do you realize the entire time I’ve known you, you’ve been a non-smoker? That makes me happy. :-) How did 10+ years go by so fast? You knew me in my 30s! That seems so long ago!
    Showering every day is for sissies. We need to prepare for the apocalypse.
    Can I add something to your list? I’m going to regardless of your answer: Submit your collection of short stories (I think you should go for the scary ones) to an agent or publisher. Short story collections are in vogue right now; you need to strike while the iron is hot! To be honest, I’m itching to do this for you but I would never take such license without your permission (hint-hint).
    Have a wonderful New Year, John – it will have its ups and downs but together, we can all make it through each day. I look forward to your blog every day as it has replaced the insipid Facebook as my social media preferred site.

    1. Yes, perhaps a little less organization might be good for you … relax a bit, and enjoy a little clutter.

      I need to have more short stories to make a collection … I don’t have enough that I’d be willing to share … at least not yet. They need more polishing … and, some even need to make it from my brain to the paper first…

      Time does fly … as of Feb.1 (which, besides being my birthday) will mark our 9th anniversary of knowing each other. We were both in our 30s … though, I seem to have forgotten most of my 30s already. :-)

  3. This year I hope I will do things that make me feel better, less discomfort, like stretching every day and more engaged a TED talk a day but we know I won’t do those things. I’ll be distracted by other things until it’s time to drag my achy old carcass to bed and one day will slip into the next. Thankfully, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and I’m doing my part.
    Happy 2014!

    1. On the bright side — you and I can have fun on the road of good intentions, on our way to hell. We can see who knows the most cuss words, and the best dirty jokes. :-)

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