I learned something last night. Despite my best efforts I'm getting older. I walked 1.5 miles, and couldn't smoke a cigarette at the end without coughing. My body just couldn't handle that kind of awesome anymore. When people get into bar fights I no longer think I should get in the middle of that because I've never been stabbed. Now I just want the fighters to shut the fuck up; go somewhere else to prove who's the bigger asshole. Sigh, I've been turning my stereo down because it feels too loud. Maybe someday when my first born has grown up to its full potential I can eat its heart to steal its youth, but for now I have to accept the fact that aging means, perhaps, the time has come to make some New Year's resolutions.
I've never been a fan of this process. Most people tend to make them either sarcastically or unrealistically. Plus, the whole concept is an admission of one's flaws. I'm not saying I have none, however, that's like having a -- I dunno -- giant space station with one obvious weak spot then crafting a map leading direct to said vulnerability. It's the little details which prevent galactic domination. Yet, I've come to realize this chink in the armor outlook is the wrong perspective. People make their resolutions public in order to increase the likelihood of their success. For instance, if one pledges to quit smoking, letting friends know about the resolution means certain support factors kick in when one is caught smoking again (i.e. shame).
The act of making resolutions has many origins. Ancient Babylonians promised their gods at the start of each new year to repay their debts and return borrowed objects. Medieval knights would take the peacock-vow at the end of Christmas to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry. And of course, Christians and Jews have their own holiday periods during which individuals are supposed to reflect on their shortcomings then make sacrifices and avow to be a better Jew or Christian in the days ahead. The point being it doesn't matter where the practice comes from since, according to a 2007 study conducted by Richard Wiseman at the University of Bristol, when it comes to New Year's resolutions 88% of people (in a sample of ground of 3,000) will fail.
So it would seem that there is a second benefit to making resolutions this year: the opportunity to be better than 2,640 people. Never mind the chance to say fuck you to my body for betraying me via the natural aging process, I've got odds to beat. BANZAI!
1. Health the Bacon Way
Shedding lard and eating right are the most common resolutions. I can't say I exactly have the healthiest diet in the world. In fact, what I tend to eat might be considered a subtle form of suicide. Yet, I try to keep in mind there worse ways to die. Murdering my liver with fast food, booze, and colas is better than, say, dying in fire. I don't suspect fire tastes very good. Still, the time has come to, at the very least, scale things back.
So this year I resolve to call a suicide hotline before indulging in any fast food; and to start running from my demons which compel me to delicious acts of self destruction. No more manhattans and bacon cheeseburgers with a side of Marlboros. Instead, it's jogging in a state of mild depression followed by big salads.
2. Explore Canada by fucking hookers
You heard me. Unlike most Americans, I don't have a problem with Canadia. I know they're just as fucked up as anyone else. The violent crime rate in Vancouver has been on a steady rise the past decade, and I can't be the only person who remembers when Vince Weiguang Li decapitated people on a Montreal Greyhound bus. Mayor Ford ring any bells? Canada is just as deranged as anywhere else, but like a small town, the country has a good habit of keeping the weird under wraps. I intend to explore the seamy underbelly of the Great White North, and bring back even more definite proof that Canada is wearing a veil to hide its twisted dark side. And if that means hop scotching from pay-snatch to pay-snatch, so be it because in Canada prostitution is very legal.
What I'm getting at is I don't travel enough.
And that should do it. No sense in going overboard the first time around. I've never really made, much less tried keeping New Year's resolutions, so it seems best to start with a small amount. Health, sex, and weirdness. What more does a person need to aspire towards?
Next year I can always go bigger. I'll resolve the usual simple stuff: feed the hungry, defeat evil, kill a celebrity, be more politically involved, save a baby from a baby with a knife (or perhaps a start a league of knife fighting babies), domesticate pine martens, and prove the existence of god... then kill god for all the dumb shit its pulled. But such demonstrations of my own epic stature will have to wait till 2015. This year is all about admitting there's a little room for improvement.