JAN. 1, 2008
It’s 2008! Whatever. The Earth makes another lap around the sun; the odometer of life rolls up another digit. You don’t need numbers to remind you that your mortal coil is unraveling. Every time you look in the mirror you see more fat, more moles, more wrinkles. Yes, it’s time to get your shit together, but then again, it was time to get your shit together years ago. All those resolutions you made in 2003 are pretty much the same ones you’ll be making this year: Lose some weight, get a raise or a better paying job, find a soulmate, learn Spanish – at least well enough to order your breakfast tacos without sounding like a total honyak. Those are all noble undertakings to be sure, but given your record of irresolution, maybe you should set the bar a little lower. Aiming for the stars works OK as an empty platitude for motivational speakers, but most of us are equipped with a pair of Wyle E. Coyote spring shoes at best. We’re lucky to be able to even touch net, much less throw down a nasty Dwyane Wade tomahawk dunk. Still, just because you’re in the meat of the bell curve when it comes to human achievement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to tweak your performance every now and then, if only to make sure you’re not some sort of superhuman who accidentally got bogged down smoking pot, eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and watching Lost reruns all day. Maybe trapped inside you is a Nobel Prize winning nuclear physicist or a concert pianist or an angry little girl who can start fires with her mind. Point is, you’re never going to find out if you don’t occasionally mix it up a bit, and failing to meet the same lofty goals and standards every year isn’t helping your confidence any either. How about reining it in a bit? Maybe instead of losing weight you resolve to buy looser fitting clothing. That’s an achievable goal. You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe, just piecemeal it. Besides, what if you gain more weight? You need to be able to adjust on the fly. A raise or a better paying job takes a lot of effort, time, and energy. Instead, you might want to use those resources to examine your sick dependency on materialism. Hey, no one is going to nag you about that, are they? As for finding a soulmate, why not earn your training wheels by finding someone with a pulse who’s willing to look at you naked without strapping on a pair of welding goggles? Maybe the only thing that stands between you and a regular, thorough rogering is your impossibly high standards. Those standards are going to fall sooner or later, so why not get ahead of the game and let them slide right now? As for learning Spanish, you could start by resolving to hang out with more people who speak it. Before you overcommit and stake out a spot in the Home Depot parking lot, you might want to shell out 20 bucks and hang out at Esther’s Pool instead. This weekend they’re hosting ¡Loco Año Nuevo!, a compendium of sketch comedy performed by the talented members of the Latino Comedy Project. They don’t all hablo español. In fact, the show comes with just a smattering of Spanish, but that’s OK. You don’t want to overtax your resolve.