I’ve been pondering my New Years Resolutions to share with you all. On a parallel track, I’ve been collecting “jpegs” to share.
It suddenly occurred to me to put the two in the food processor of my brain and come out with my New Years Resolutions with some of the pithy little image files I’ve accumulated – and started to create.
These are not dreamy, wistful vows that are best depicted on ethereal sunsets.
Nor are these the apologies for the previous year. So many resolutions read like a repair list on a dilapidated home, as if who we were before needs a complete overhaul that can be managed in a year. Sometimes all you can do is all you can do. Self-improvement is wonderful, but I don’t believe a person can improve if they believe that who they are carried no redeeming qualities.
In fact, most of these are efforts that are already underway.
At the least, you might like the pics.
1. Be a badass in the face of wrong.
My regular readers know that I think fighting back the onslaught of wrong in the world is not an option, it’s a responsibility.
2. Write in the face of disaster.
I used to let crises stop me from writing. An associate says that’s a sign that bad forces in the Universe are stopping you from doing something important. I don’t know about that. I do know that from now on I will write. They can only stop me from writing when they pry that pen from my cold, dead hands.
3. Keep the mental space clean.
Somewhere – and I don’t know if it’s our society or what – I got it planted into my head a long time ago that if a person was only strong enough, s/he could fight back the spiritual and psychological toxicity of anyone. You just had to be strong enough, smart enough, blah, blah, blah. We also suffer from a myth that we can maintain our own mental health regardless of the outside influences and pressures. It’s simply not true. People with less than honorable intentions know that. We should, too.
4. Be unashamed of re-invention.
Calling it a “Mid-Life Crisis” implies a panicked response to a traumatic event. For some people that’s true – but not everyone who goes through a radical change in mid-life is seeking to recapture youth. Middle age can be a crucible in which false personas and commitment to the social expectations burn away, and the true self emerges.
5. Stop apologizing for ideas. Really. It’s a thing.
My writing style is brash, abrasive and controversial. That’s after a dozen rewrites, folks. However, when face-to-face with live human beings who lodge objections to opinions, even in vehement and vitriolic terms, it’s tempting to back down.
Studies have also found women tend to negotiate less for salary, and pepper their conversational style with qualifiers that weaken the conviction of their views.
6. Submit something.
Submit something for publication. Just. One. Thing.
(And the fountain pen thing? I do that. I am not ashamed.)
7. Don’t give up.
We always think of our demons as inner, as spiritual or psychological aspects that interfere with our happiness. Maybe sometimes they draw people and organizations that reflect those demons into our lives.
Other times, it’s just that random moment when you think God looked away that people with nothing but blackness in their hearts come into your life and napalm your happiness.
Either way, there comes a point in the fight when it’s the new normal.
8. Perfect the art of spreading my message.
I have no intention of changing my message, unless, of course, new data shows me the error of my ways. That said, I realize that the value of a message is not always tied to the enthusiasm in which it is received.
That said, I’ve come to ask myself if the call for protest and reform can be better tailored to be better received. I’m going to look into that.
In trying to round out these resolutions, I realized that, honestly, I started work on them in 2015. I write the blog, I’ve written a book, I’ve lost weight, I’ve put boundaries around the unhealthy people in my life. More like barbed wire pens, but you get the point.