Well, I completely struck out on my 2016 resolutions. Upon further review
1) Try one thing new each month. Yeah, honestly 2016 just got away from me. I made t 7/12 months, but more often than not, I would just realize it was the end of the month and not have time to think about it. For a couple months, I tried to fool myself by saying, “Well, technically I have never worn red running shoes, so this counts” but when you get down to it, that is just weak.
2) Give a random gift each month. Eight for 12. Made it until June then just got lazy. Made myself feel slightly better by sneaking one in at the end of December but let’s be honest. That’s kind of the same as suddenly flossing like crazy the week before your dentist appointment and thinking it makes things better.
3) Get a third and final tattoo. Just didn’t find the inspiration and I’m not putting a unicorn, dolphin or the Noid on my body. Was close on a couple ideas, but they fell through.
I rarely fail at resolutions so 2016 was as disappointing as a Star Wars prequel. As a result, I’ve simplified my 2017 resolutions. I have lowered my levels of expectations to line up more with what I would expect form a 2018 Mariah Carey New Year’s special. Here we go.
First, I’m gonna lose five pounds. I have no desire to get back down to my multiple-marathon, insomniac, stressed out weight. Just want to take off a couple little extra lbs I added. As a sub-resolution that is going to require a slight dietary change that I fear.
Second. I’ve already committed to getting together with a good friend a set number of times this year. It is easy to let time and distance drift friendships apart, but I going to make sure I put my time into people who have always been there for me. Those are the relationships that matter and deserve my attention. No more begging from Erik.
I want to get back to learning the guitar. I am a pretty quiet guy and what people don’t realize is that if I am interested in something, I devote myself pretty intensely to it. I have zero natural musical ability and was learning to play guitar. For about a year, I was extremely consistent with my practice but then I hit a particularly rough patch in my life (read this for more details https://theaccidentalselfie.com/2016/04/03/one-year-crazy/) and went on Lexapro for a year. It helped immensely but killed the crazy competitive drive I had. It was actually kind of liberating but I was no longer as compulsive about anything, including guitar practice. I got my stuff together and have been off the Lexapro for about nine months now. I have lightened up so much and look at things differently and as a result, that drive has not really come back. That is fine with many things, but my guitar has not been touched in probably 16 months. I am back at ground zero. I would like to change that this year.
My final resolution was inspired by a recent interaction I had on January 1. I ran into someone I had not seen in a while who, without a hint of sarcasm, thanked me for being “such an inspiration” to her. She then told my wife some very flattering things about me and ended with, “Seriously, you inspire me.” I had been feeling a little down the previous few days and this completely changed my day. Granted, if this person is looking to me as a source of inspiration, she probably needs to start setting the bar a little higher but being told that something I have said or done matters to someone, shifted my entire mood.
I now resolve to do my best to make as many people as I can smile each day. That may be only one person some days, hopefully many more on others. It sounds cheesy and stupid, but I am going to make a serious effort into trying to get at least one smile each day. I have no desire to be some hyped-up optimist running around blowing fake sunshine at people while telling everyone how wonderful life is. I am just going to try to make sure I say, or do, a minimum of one little thing to make someone smile.
As I get older, I am becoming more and more aware of how powerful tiny moments are. Our lives are filled with work-stress, relationship issues, fear, failures, politics, schedules, hatred, and general stress that I think we sometimes stumble through our days in a haze. Some of my worst days have been changed by the simplest gestures or words that I bet were immediately forgotten by everyone but me. A 3-5 second exchange can completely change the next 23 hours, 58 minutes, and 57 seconds…. or more.
I want to do that this year. I want to be very intentional about making sure that I have made at least one person smile each day. Ninety-nine percent of the smiles will be quickly forgotten. Ninety-nine percent of the people will not need that smile. Someone will need it though. I know I have. Maybe I can be the person to change someone’s day. Accuracy by volume. Butterfly effect. All those cliches. It will not take much time or energy and I really do not see a down side.
I think these are attainable. I think they are reasonable. I think they are good.
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