Monday, January 2, 2017

Resolutions For 2017

New Year's resolutions get a bum rap.  Everyone makes fun of them.  Yeah, some of them, OK most of them, fall by the wayside in a matter of days, certainly weeks.  The rationale is that we are all "fully-formed adults" and any change of lifestyle is tougher than a quick slogan on January 1st.  Bison shit.*  It is precisely because we are fully formed that we can make alterations, U-turns,  modifications and outright meaningful changes to how we operate on a daily basis.  Dickens understood.  

Not only that but as fully-formed adults we need to reflect on what we are doing - what is working, what doesn't and make the necessary changes.  We should also rebalance things that give us pain and alter them so we gain more pleasure.  What better time to do this rebalancing than on the 1st of a new year.  So, with all that, here are my resolutions for 2017.  Some are carry overs from last year, some new.  Whether I follow them all throughout the year remains moderately questionable, but it never hurts to give it a good old fashioned fully-formed try.  We, at the least, must put ourselves in a position to be aware of the possibilities.  Try it yourself, you may find it gives you a bit of a roadmap for your near future.  In every long journey one must check the compass occasionally to find your North.  

1.  I'm going to start going to a barber shop.  Not all the time and not the chains like Supercuts or a salon.  But a real barber shop.  These places know how to cut a man's hair - not Chad at JC Penny.  Barber shops are the last refuge for men and manly conversations.  Most chain hair cutters are cosmetologists instead of barbers.  They clip whatever comes through the door; barbers cut men's hair.  Also, a barber shops ambiance is all guy.  No Pantene or Redken banners; no House Beautiful or Redbook magazines scattered about.  Yeah, this is one I'm looking forward to.

2.  I'm going to take a lesson from the Lady in Purple in last months Thursday-prior-to-Christmas post and give to others whenever I have the chance and the extra funds.  Not to the rich bums who panhandle and ask for it, but to those who don't.  And I will continue my monthly contribution to the Timberline Stitchers over in Wataga in Northlandia who create quilts for vets and sick kids.  Wish I could give more.   

3.  Now that I have the Pathfinder I'm going to take off and find untrod paths around here.  Of course nothing is untrod in this crowded petri dish of a state but there are certainly places I heave yet to trod.  

4.  Kayaking

There is a place that rents them for the half or all day.  SIL Drew and I had seriously considered buying kayaks down here as some kind of diversion to the usual weekend programming.  But wisely we are going to try it out first. Sounds like a golf sport - even an old guy can do it.

5.  I'm getting a dog this year and manage the inconveniences, mad spouses, and the hurtle of two homes the best I can.  I know others who manage and, dammit, I can too.

6.  Try to remember not to get swept away by the everyone's-a-hero train.  Not everyone who does their job is a hero.  We sure have a lot of them these days.  It seems anyone who helps someone else is a hero on the news.  I'm going to try to remember that real heroes are ordinary people put in extraordinary circumstances and who excel in an extraordinary way.  Let others do the hyperbole thing.  When everyone is a hero, you don't have any.

7.   Gloves are off.  I was reasonably pleased the Cubs did what they did last year for all their fans, but this year I will be hoping they start a new run of futility.  The greatest thing the Cubs ever did for me was turn me into a Met's fan.

8.  As always, paint more.  My goal last year was so overly optimistic I'm revising it this year.  This year's plan is 6-8 finished paintings.  And at least a couple en plein air ones, too.

9.  Decide whether to continue my Facebook account or terminate.    I have a love-hate relationship with it: I like things like some of the cool videos, communing with and seeing what my friends are up to.  Don't like the exponential nature of my posts, cat videos, fake news, endless political crap, advertisements, religious inanity, and the vague feeling of being left out of things and having a boring life.  Besides,  someone posted a wad of money and said if people typed "amen" they would receive money the next week.  Under a long line of amen responses, I posted they were idiots.  I think after that someone has a hit out on me.

(Type "yes" or "amen" if you agree.)


I was extremely impressed by a homemade Christmas card I received from the Stages.  Carrie is the artist and I hope it is OK to post this.  That and the fact that my mother made her own, and I am going to make my own next holiday season.

11.  Whenever possible or prudent I'm going to buy American.

12.   I will attempt, as best I can, to continue my personal 2-state solution: half an apartment in Floriduh and a Cabin in the Woods in Northlandia.  It makes the budget tight but enriches my soul like you wouldn't believe.  

13.  Since October 3rd I have been arising every morning at 3:50 am or before.  I like going to bed early and getting up early.  A treadmill walk/jog for 4 to 5 miles and then back home for coffee. Best start to a day.  I resolve to continue.  

14.  Pictures - pictures - pictures.  Continue snapping, only more.  Eventually I might just create a good one.  Never forget to bring my camera wherever I go and that a phone is seldom worth using.

15.  Friends don't remain friends in a vacuum.  I resolve to do my best to nurture my friendships.  

16.  I resolve never to pass up an opportunity for adventure.  On the bike, in the Jeep, or a car, great adventures are only a couple gallons of gas away.  (I lost my balls somewhere last year, and I'm going in search for them in 2017.)

17.  I resolve to continue to be ignorant as to what a Kardashian, a Kanye, a Rousey or a Blac Chyna are.  I further pledge to never watch any Reality TV show except maybe Survivor.  When bored with TV, West Wing and Breaking Bad episodes are only a Netflix click away.

18.  Search for the Truth.  Every news outlet has an agenda: Fox is right, CNN is mushy middle, MSNBC is left, Facebook is fake.  I do not wish to be molded, I want to find the single best source for unbiased news.  

19.  I resolve to continue Existing In BFE another year.   

*Best joke I hear all year was this gem from Mrs. Wombie:  What did the buffalo mother say to her son as he was going to college?  

"Bye son". 

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