Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Long-Term Resolutions (New Years 2014)

Long-Term Resolutions 

I have to confess that I’ve never made a New Years Resolution. Frankly, I could never think of anything when asked. I also feel that the idea of a New Years Resolution is really a self-fulfilling prophecy; one that is rarely fulfilled. So, I’ve never attempted any of the usual clich├ęs such as lose weight or quit smoking. I don’t smoke, and I figure that losing weight is a long-term commitment, and not a off the cuff gesture. I did attempt, and succeeded, at losing some excess weight I’d gained about three year ago. While I’d like to lose another five pounds, it’s not something that I’ll do overnight. Anytime someone wants to improve their life it’s always a series of steps, not giant leaps. 

So, with that said, I don’t see myself making resolutions for this year. However, I do see myself setting long-term goals for the near future. While these goals will not be accomplished anytime soon, they’ll at least give me something to strive for in the future. 

One of those goals is to finally complete a series of novels. Whether these novels are really part of a series, or just a sequential release of novels, I’ll be happy either way. Actually getting things published, and really being a writer instead of just saying I am is very important to me. I feel like I won’t be legitimized until something is published. 
Another goal is to go to England by the time I’m 42. Those of you who know me will understand the significance of that number, 42. While I’d rather go there sooner, it seems more likely that I won’t be able to afford going until my forties. I just hope I can get the time off work, whatever I may be doing by then. 
Still another important goal is to leave retail before my forties. While I like my job, I have to admit that I was never cut out for retail. It was the only industry where I was able to find work. However, it has never permitted me to live comfortably. I haven’t felt financially secure for a very long time. I know I can’t achieve that security by working in retail, no one can. Retail is a place where people either end up, or use as a springboard. The only exceptions to that are people who own their own business, or are genuinely into the day-to-day workings of retail. I never really fit into either camp. Though I’ve gotten good at retail over the years, it’s still an odd fit for me. I’m a bit like the scrawny kid that’s told he’s now commanding a Sherman tank. Though commanding an armored vehicle would be nice, it doesn’t likely for me. 
There are other, more personal long-term goals. One of those goals is: finding the right woman, maybe having a kid. I have no time table for this one, I’m taking my time.  I’d like to afford to buy a house. I’d also like to have more than one house; one on the east coast, and one on the west coast. But there’s also the minor goals; getting my drivers license, exercising more (I would like to workout three times a week, as opposed to once a week), rolling back my bedtime, and finally having the gumption to not give a fuck what anyone thinks about me, or what I say. This last one is held in check by fear of people’s reactions, and all fall prey to it at some point. But it would be nice to simply not give a fuck, ever. 

Speaking of fuck, a major long-term goal for me is to balance being sexual with being a good person. I was taught that the two were opposites when I was younger. I realized later on that one can have both. I don’t see sex as something naughty or vile, but it took a long time to dry out after the brainwashing I’d had. I guess that would mean that therapy is like using a dryer sheet, in a way. It’s meant to condition the fabric of one’s psyche. 
A final long-term goal is to truly become an adult…without sacrificing my identity in the process. I was raised with the false assumption that one must get rid of everything that defined them as a child, in order to progress to adulthood. That isn’t really true. Instead, it just makes one miserable. It’s like pretending you were never a child, and that your past never happened. That was something my parents would often try to do, but I never could. Every moment in your life has led up to where you are now. So, you can’t pretend that nothing happened before it. Also, the things of your past helped to define who you are now. Sure, we outgrow some things from time to time. But there’s always going to be something or other that you’ll hold onto. The reason you’ll hold onto it is that it is a part of you, and always will be. You can never go back to your childhood, but you don’t have to. You just have to take what you’ve learned from the years past, and then apply them to the future. While it’s not good to remain a child your entire life, it isn’t healthy to become austere either. Again, this is all about balance.    

So, while I have to resolutions this year, I instead I have long-term goals to be accomplished over a period of time; even if it takes me the rest of my life. 

As for my New Years plans…I’ll do what I usually do. I’m a sucker for all those “Year in Review” programs. I’ll watch a few of those, along with New Years Rockin’ Eve with Jenny McCarthy and that…um, what’s his face? That, um, Ryan something? Anyway, I’ll watch that, along with any live music on TV. I’ve then get in a re-watch of The Time Machine, the original George Pal film. I also like to revisit the Errol Morris documentary about Stephen Hawking, titled A Brief History of Time, after Hawking’s book. I’m sure I’ll drink something boozy as well. Vodka is my usual stand-by. In fact, I have some Absolute Citron I bought just for the occasion. And yes, I will mix it with all and sundry that is liquid. However, I will not be hung over, as I will be working the next day. 

While my New Years plans are not dynamic, they are at least my own. 

Happy New Year to you all. I’ll see you in 2014. 

Copyright Riley Joyce 2013 

Yes, time really does go by fast, like in this scene from The Time Machine. 
  A clip of the ball drop in Times Square from 1979, the year I was born.