Let’s all write our New Year’s resolutions together this year, shall we? “This year, I won’t be the weak, flawed, ungrateful, disorganized, fault-finding, lazy, self-serving, incompetent, scattered, resentful, inconsiderate, neurotic, negative, recalcitrant, sluggish, disturbed, thoughtless, pushy, intrusive, hair-trigger, gossiping, selfish, shallow, distracted, inexpressive, restless, confrontational, overdramatic, narrow-minded, unsympathetic, disheveled, slouchy, grumpy, disgusted, superior, self-righteous, impatient, sloppy, obnoxious, nitpicking, eye-rolling, unhelpful, smug, drunk, smelly, flabby, unhygienic, rambling, repetitive, tedious, unoriginal, self-involved, self-pitying, self-destructive, self-congratulatory bore that I’ve been for my entire life.
“This year I will be different. I’ll try harder, work longer, eat healthier, exercise more, read more, sleep better at night, be nicer, hold my tongue, help others, spend more time with my kids, vacuum more often, keep my desk straight, answer the phone more often, act like I’m happy to hear from the bloviating mouth-breather on the other end of the line, improve my attitude, breathe more deeply, learn to cook better, lavish praise on my lovers, mow my lawn, spend less money on pointless things, write thousands of brilliant words a day, exceed expectations, stay focused, live in the present, be open and vulnerable, work hard to effect change in the world, embrace the universe and all its creatures, and feck more often.
“In 2008, I will be a joy to be around. People will no longer say, ‘There goes that weak, flawed, ungrateful, self-congratulatory bore.’ They’ll smile and feel inspired by my open, helpful attitude and my stylish, fit appearance. I’ll ride on a wave of easy laughter, I’ll listen with true focus and deep understanding. My hair will shine in the sun and my teeth will have the colour and density of polished ivory, but I’ll be too busy finishing my literary masterpiece to notice.”
You see, by writing down all of our divergent, overreaching goals for the new year, we arrive at the true aim of our resolutions: rededicating ourselves to maintaining the status quo for another year. We begin the process with hope and inspiration, and end it with the self-loathing and malaise that leads us right back to being the weak, flawed, ungrateful, self-congratulatory bores we’ve been for our entire lives.
Yes, just as it’s not possible to be a good, smart, uncompromising, idealistic human being in a nation of thieving whores, so, too, is it impossible to spend more time with my kids or hold my tongue. There is no one on the face of the Earth who writes works of literary genius and has teeth like ivory. Intensely creative geniuses do not answer the phone with a happy voice, listen with focus or even feck regularly.
And even if it were possible to be good and brilliant and healthy and full of high-minded principles, I still wouldn’t get very far in this Zimbabwe, populated as it is by self-serving thugs and charismatic charlatans and oily tricksters and uninspired, beaten-down drones who experience talent and originality and bold, new ideas as at best an inconvenience and at worst a direct threat.
Here’s to more of the same!
NB:- You can thank Salon Magazine for putting it in my head that it’s okay to accept the truth, and not lie to yourself with “resolutions”