Now What? New Year's Goals, Predictions, and Semi-Resolutions
Congratulations. If you're reading this, you've survived the unwelcome boil and ambitious killing spree that was 2016. I know, I know, it wasn't all bad; it only seems like it thanks to the plethora of public-figure and closer-to-home death and the election of a narcissistic marshmallow turd. But there were moments of good here and there sprinkled among the nightmares.
But all that's over now and it's time to engage in that cultural ritual of promising to be better at X, Y, and Z—the "New Year's Resolution"—and to show off our awesome precognitive powers and predict events of the coming Solar orbit, knowing full well that we will most likely not succeed in either resolving or predicting.
I've already blown one semi-resolution, which was to avoid "lost days" in 2017. I know revise the goal to be "keep lost days to less than 5%." A "lost day" is a manifestation of the screwed-up brain chemistry that prompts me to be gloomy and lethargic and generally wallowy (better known as clinical depression and colloquially referred to in these parts as The Black Hole), one that results in literally staying in bed all day rather than get up and engage in some facet of actual life. I've had a number of these lost days in the weeks since the election, both for the macro reasons of the impending Trumpification of America and micro reasons of personal discontent (of course, ascribing reasons to them so casually is a gross oversimplification, but I think one has to be "one of us" to really get that). Once in a while I suppose they can be helpful in riding out a Black Hole episode, but they can also be self-feeding parasites if too frequent.
Other goals for the year may include:
- Put more effort into strengthening/maintaining my social circle. It's taken some pretty big hits over the last several years and I prefer it doesn't take any more; the kind of efforts I'm thinking of wouldn't necessarily have made a lick of difference in those hits, but that's no reason not to try solidifying some other areas.
- Spend more money. I don't mean spend recklessly or frivolously, I just mean override my well-honed instinct for thrift every now and again. It's (somewhat) less necessary than it used to be, and though it still pays to be smart about it, indulge in a dinner out and don't worry about making up for it later...occasionally.
- Enjoy where I live more. I'm in this spectacular city/region and I don't get out in it often enough.(Related to "lost days.")
- Blog more frequently — say, weekly on average. There's certainly enough going on in the world that warrants attention, and I consume tons of pop-culture to opine on. Like, this week I read the first volume of the Brian K. Vaughan/Cliff Chiang comic Paper Girls, which is fantastic. Also the first volume of They're Not Like Us, which I didn't really care for.
- Keep up with the sketching. Fill, let's say, two sketchbooks this year.
- Build the cabinets I spoke of last month. Four modular units of three drawers each, and if those go smoothly and relatively quickly and don't run into unforeseen expense, make two or four more for expansion.
- Assuming the estate issues I've been dealing with for the last 15 months proceed at a reasonable pace and the means thus become available, upgrade my housing security. Market permitting, of course.
- Go somewhere that isn't southern California. For fun. Vancouver, maybe, or DC if the stink of orange marshmallow turd is out of town. (I'd say Tokyo, but I'm not affording that this year.)
As for my powers of prognostication, let's see...
- Fully half of the Trump cabinet will get confirmed even though they're completely unqualified, and before the end of the year Republican congressional leaders will be criticizing them for ineptitude and/or corruption without irony.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming will be terrific. Justice League will suck. Wonder Woman and Star Wars will both be OK.
- The Seattle Mariners will cruise to a division title on the strength of Rookie of the Year Mitch Haniger and slugging 1B Dan Vogelbach.
- OR The Seattle Mariners will wallow in mediocrity for another season thanks to the inexperience and poor showing from their entire outfield.
I'm afraid to make more political prognostications except to say it's gonna be a shitstorm full of lawsuits, corruption charges, and diplomatic damage-control.
How about everyone else? Goals? Predictions?