From the Blog

Anti Resolutions and the Gaping Void

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So wow, hey, it’s a new year! Yay! I’d like to assume that I’m a thoughtful and reflective person. And it feels like I should have spent some time thinking back on 2010 and everything I’ve done this year, like oh, say, lowering my cholesterol and dropping 25 pounds. Or realizing we have too much crap and deciding to downsize. Or starting a business. Or seeing my little sister get married. Or getting married myself.

Or thinking further back, remembering that ten years ago I graduated college and departed from the east coast, the land of my childhood, for sunny Santa Barbara. Ten years ago, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Portland weren’t even a twinkle in my eye.

I understand that some people “plan” things. When I say they plan “things,” I mean they plan their “life.” Like, they have a one year plan, a five year plan, and a ten year plan. This sounds like a good idea. I’ve dabbled in this “planning” concept. I believe it sometimes is related to having “goals.”

I’ve had mixed results. Now that it’s a new year, I’m supposed to have resolutions. I’m supposed to lose weight. I’m supposed to join a gym. I should spend some time reassessing my values and make the new year better somehow. Like all other holidays, New Year’s is another date on the calendar for marketers to sell you something. This time, they are telling you to go to the gym to work off all that candy they’ve been selling to your fat ass on Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter and St Patrick’s Day.

So like most instances of when I’m feeling like I’m being told to do something, I find myself resistant. I have a deep, old, visceral reaction when someone tells me I should be doing something. That reaction is: “Fuck you.” It’s a reaction that reverberates to my bones. It is as old as grade school when I was first sent home with homework and told I needed to get good grades. If you tell me I should evacuate my house because it’s on fire, I’ll agree with you. But if you tell me to do something only because I should, or because you say so, or because it’s good for me, or because it’s the new year and it’s time to commit to spending monthly dues at a gym because my ass is too big: Fuck you.

I think you can gather that I have no new year resolutions for 2011.

However, I do have some vague plans, and a few goals. With any sort of planning in my life, thinking of the future is a work in progress. At the beginning of 2010, I didn’t know I would be getting married. Within six months, I had a ring on my finger and a unicorn horn on my head. For me, one year feels like a lifetime. Five years is an eternity.

In 2011, we have some rather daring challenges ahead. The conventional and expected route for us as newlyweds, would be to settle down, save money, maybe buy a house, maybe have a kid. Probably get a puppy. We would get many nods of approval if these were our choices. Not that any of those are particularly “easy” choices, but it is a path that has been blazed many, many times.

Our coming year is more like a series of “If, Then, Else” statements. “Plan A is in process. Then proceed to Point B. If Plan A does not occur, else proceed to Plan C. If A seems like it will occur in the near future, then proceed to Point B, but be ready to enact Plan C. Keep door open on Plan D, and watch out for Plan X.” Plan X = Beaten Path.

We have lots to look forward to this year. As we plan our routes and hack off the path, we have destinations I wouldn’t have dared to dream just a few years ago. It makes me wonder about the usefulness of a Five Year Plan. Where would I be going if I’d had a such a plan and stuck to it? Nope! Can’t go there, it’s not in The Plan. Can’t try that, it’s not in The Plan. I don’t want to do things even if it’s my own damn self telling me I should do it.

Ahead is the unknown. We have our goals, and we have some “super awesome” hopeful things that will happen in 2011. But we’re creating it ourselves, with no real path to get there. I’m aware of the work ahead of us, and in my more enlightened moments, I am fully confident of our ability to get to where we want to be.

However, fretting is a recreational activity for me. I’m not entirely comfortable if I’m not worried about something. Thankfully, by eschewing the conventional routes, I have a lot I can fret over this year. Not enough to return to Plan X, but enough to wonder if there are nice, soft pillows at the bottom of the gaping void.


  1. Where’s the gaping pit with the warm sun at the end? Or dollar signs?

  2. We feel the same way about plans. I like goals. Things like: finally enter something in the State Fair (yes! accomplished that last year!) This year one of my goals is to enter a boat in the soap box derby show boat category. I hope you and Dave will be there to watch with us! xo

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