Resolutions for 2008

A year of continued change over and the new one needs more

2007 saw continued change in my life but much of it was a product of momentum. Now is the time to look at the changes needed ahead.

A year of continued change over and the new one needs more

2007 saw continued change in my life but much of it was more a product of momentum than any real actions on my part. In fact, as I look back it becomes clear that I was simply floating on a wave that was set in motion in 2006 thanks mainly to my intentional separation from the hell of the corporate world.

Now, on this the final day of the year, I feel the need to take control of what is to come. Fate and destiny are fascinating things, but not ones that I’ve ever found terribly reliable. However, while out for holiday drinks recently, my friend Mary said something to me that totally changed my outlook. She believes that our fate was set before we were even born.

Earlier in my life this would have filled me with despair. Like, why bother trying if the outcome is unchangeable? However now I am inspired simply to make any choices I feel are right. The outcome may already be determined in the ether, but will still be a surprise to me. Therefore no matter my next move–aside from inaction–I really have nothing to lose.

There are three areas in my life that have always needed serious improvement, and this year more than ever, these changes hold a deeper meaning. A meaning that symbolizes more than the usual simplistic promises that often fall by the wayside, never to be heard from again, with little to no remorse of any kind. However, without fear of being melodramatic, I can say these changes will honestly make it possible for me to go on living.

Time Management
Tempus Fugit. It’s a phenomenon that has plagued me all of my life. And for me, time does not only fly when I’m having fun. It seems to get away from me no matter what the situation. Combine this with a condition I’ve suffered from for as long as I can remember called Chronic Procrastination. My motto has always been, “Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow.”

While I know that I can’t control the speed in which time passes, I can learn to manage my place in it better. For starters, I need to stop thinking that I never have any time for anything. I have friends that work, go to school and still find time to meet me at the pub at night. I, on the other hand, will often cancel plans because I feel it will interfere with one activity or another.

I need to work on my scheduling so I can finally and consistently be on time for things. Although I’ve improved this part somewhat, I still tend to follow the rule that states ‘Fifteen minutes late in NYC is still early’. A major part of my problem has to do with distractions. A television show I feel the need to finish watching will often and sadly take priority over … well … actual priorities. It may be time to cancel the cable account once and for all.

Mutlitasking is also a killer. The modern workplace is a breeding ground for anxiety because workers rarely get to feel a sense of accomplishment as they bunny hop from task to task. I’ve made improvements in this area since my freelance career in 2007 consisted of mainly one client. While working with Hearst Communications, I would be given a task and a deadline. Once complete, I’d be given another task, another deadline … and so on.

Of course there were still times when a problem arose and I’d move on to another task before finishing the first. Then move back and forth between the two (or sometimes three or more) causing stress and dismay in my head. More often than not, the situations at hand would turn out to be less urgent than thought. I could have easily finished one task before moving on to the next. A lesson that I am trying desperately not to forget.

Health Management
This is one that I’m proud to say has seen major improvements in the latter part of 2007. After a four-week sabbatical from booze, I have finally kicked the cigarette habit. My Smoke-Free Count Up located at the top of every page on this site serves to both confirm this and keep me on the ball. It seemed the two activities of drinking and smoking were so closely related that stopping one for a time was needed to finally stop the other for good.

And while I am certainly proud of my smoke-free existence, far more aspects of my health need improvement. With each passing day I feel weaker and weaker. I’ve gained about 20 or so pounds in the past year, most of which is in my belly. My arthritic aches continue to plague me and my sleeping patterns are a joke. Either I go for days without any resemblance of a good night sleep, or I sleep for way too many hours until the pain in my bones wakes me.

I’m pretty sure the cause of this is my total lack of physical fitness. I work all day sitting in front of a computer. Then at night I either plop myself on a barstool to watch a band or have drinks with friends or I’m home in front of another computer, writing. There was a time in my life not too long ago that I walked two miles every morning before going to work. Then I’d walk another mile or so to the office and frequent brisk lunchtime strolls in Central Park.

The solutions here are simple. I need to exercise. Reinstituting my long morning walks is certainly a good start. I also plan to by a home gym since working out in public has never filled my heart with joy. My eating habits are good but could be better. While I’ve learned to eat healthier, more organic breads, meats, veggies and whatever, I’m pretty sure that shoving them into my mouth at 3:00 AM after a night of drinking is still bad.

Attitude Management
Those who know me will say that I’m always ‘on’ when I’m out. This is true. I’m a happy drunk and a fairly social guy when I’m at parties or wherever. What they don’t know is alone I’m, without exaggeration, a miserable prick. Always worrying about the future and not acting to change it. Anger consumes me when I’m alone during the day and depression rules me late at night.

On top of this, clueless people piss me off. For example, tourists who don’t realize that those of us not on vacation need to get to work. I don’t just find them annoying, but a rage builds in me. When I walk, I shove. I grunt under my breath until profanities erupt. When I drive, I yell and flip birds and throw tantrums. I’m the poster child for venting pent up road rage. The fact that this only happens when I’m alone gives me the confidence that I can change it.

As for the depression problem, I feel that it stems from my being unhappy with all the rest that I listed above. So my solution there is to simply allow myself to make the changes I need to better my life and I will be happier. The truth is that the happiness I show when I’m out with friends is not faked or forced. So to extend that to my private life should be–if not easily, then surely–doable.

There you have it. My resolutions for 2008 may be of a grander scale than most. This is because I would’ve needed to make these changes to my life no matter what time of year it happened to be. And whether by coincidence or by fate as my friend Mary would say, the time for these changes has come to me now.

So Happy New Year everyone, wish me luck.


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