Not to be overambitious, but I have resolutions for 2012. This could be a first. I can’t remember making resolutions about anything other than the number of books to read and my intended faithfulness in journal writing. (I’ve never been so foolish as to pledge a daily blog post.) Resolutions just have self-defeat built right in, like the sulphur stink at a hot springs. Why put the goat horns on my own head?
With 2012 looming, there’s a difference, a practicality about my resolutions. To be specific, I don’t have to give up anything. Beer, chocolate, swearing, berating individual laggards and institutional laxity, laying rubber in school zones, switching candidates and parties at the last minute, slicing prints out of volumes in the Rare Books Room–hallelujah, I can keep it up!
I expect to keep my resolutions because each is a positive step, an incremental gain and not an excremental pain. If I fail one day, the next will bring me ahead. And in fact, in one case, all that’s needed is cash.
- Get an iPad. It’s either this or pro lenses for my Canon EOS 50D. A hardware upgrade every year is a good idea. But I can probably get by with the current lenses, one of which, it just occurred to me, will celebrate its twentieth birthday in 2012. This last year was the designee for a smart phone, and my iPhone, purchased right after my move to California in May, is a delight and a wonder. So even though it’s impossible to see why it’s really needed, I want an iPad. And buying something is never a hard resolution to keep.
- Take pics of my contacts. For instance, my landlord was here today. While he got a vacant unit ready to show, wearing his alma mater Stanford’s T-shirt and a pair of shorts on Dec. 26, it never occurred to me to take his picture. All that’s needed is a mug shot. On the other hand, the guy who set up my account at Comerica Bank’s Pasadena branch got all squirmy when I took his picture, so it was deleted. He’s originally from Bolivia; maybe that makes him believe a photo captures his soul. Or he doesn’t want to be associated with the paltry interest he’s paying.
- Stop blurting out “I read that such and such” or “I read about that in” as a preface to my remarks. What am I, a walking bibliography? It’s probably irritating to hang out with someone so precious.
As you can see, success is built into the program. Even if a year from now I’m only five percent better, I’m still five percent better.
In fact, I might start thinking in broader terms for 2013, and grander yet for 2014 and 2015, because it could lead to my publishing a self-help book: How to Stop Smoking, Lose Weight, and Quit Giving Blow Jobs in Public Toilets. This would be the first of a series.
Then I hit the road as a motivational speaker.
Is that overambitious?