January 16th, 2014

This year, rather than making resolutions, I’ve decided to take a couple of actions. That is, I’ve made a couple of changes to bring with me into the new year. Doing this feels better than making the standard long-term promise to myself that’s inevitably based on some kind of guilty comfort that I wish I were big enough to give up. Every January becomes some kind of exercise in self-torture, impatiently waiting until enough time has passed for me to believe that whatever this uncomfortable new behavior, I could keep it if I wanted to. This time around I decided that I was not going in for all that. Still, it’s a new year and it does feel like an opportunity, so I decided to add a couple of fun new things into my life. It feels like I’m enriching rather than starving myself and I feel excited, actually.

I’m telling you all about this because, I’m sorry to say, I’m assuming that a lot of you are following the old model. I’m guessing that you’re now just about two weeks into some unpleasant diet. Maybe you haven’t had a drink since your New Year’s toast. I don’t even want to keep imagining into all the iterations of self-deprivation you’re going through, and I apologize again for this pessimism, but I suppose that some of you will be falling off the wagon kind of soon-ish. Maybe you’ll feel some disappointment, with the comfy old habits waiting there to suck you just a little bit deeper. If this is happening to you, I have a solution! Chinese New Year is just around the corner, which means you can have a do-over. Take my advice and bring some new thing, or things, into the new new year. I think it’s really the way to go.

And, just in case anyone’s curious, the two new objects in my life are a landline and an alarm clock that’s not attached to my iPhone. Unbundling my technology, a friend said. I’m looking forward to a return to long, soul searching phone calls and not checking my email the moment I open my eyes in 2014.

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