I spend most of my time here using the term “problematic” way too often. I see issues of varying significance in the world and pitch in my two cents and move on. It’s my tithe to the Church of Hater. Since this is my first post of the new year, it would seem obvious that I write about the New Year’s resolutions we’ve already broken, or at the very least hate on them today. I don’t want to do that though. Instead, I have another suggestion.

So much of our time the past week has been spent making goals for what we plan to do wit this annual warm re-boot, only to burrow ourselves further within weeks, going into full-on hibernation mode until winter ends. (At least that’s what many of us are doing here in the City of Wind as we try to dodge this ridiculous wind chill. Or we talk about all the stuff that needs to stay in the previous year. And that’s cool. Those lists and videos are hilarious.
Since I’m probably going to spend the rest of my year hating on the internet, how about I kick it off doing something different, like suggesting positivity? Yes, by all accounts lots of 2013 sucked. But we can say that about just about any year. Indeed, lots of things need to stay in the ‘013. You know what, though? There are some things I last year that I should keep doing now, and that stuff needs more shine than that which I’m leaving behind. I think it was great that I started swimming again, that I tweeted and “Facebooked” less, that I read about 3.5 books a month, that I wrote more consistently than I ever have. And I hope to bring along those habits with me to this year.
Although it is our wont to be amnesiacs about our society, there are some things that happened last year that should make more than a guest appearance this year. Though it was unfortunate that conditions required it, it was fantastic that fast food workers began striking for livable wages. I hope that spirit spreads and keep on. I’m not particularly religious, but it seems that the new Pope has said some things that make a lot more sense than any of his predecessors or many non-religious world leaders. I hope this and other moments foreshadows a time when people with influence will say and do things that recognizes where and who people are, and not where they think they should be. Although bankruptcy has threatened the very fiber of the city of Detroit, folks continue to take that as an opportunity to do amazing things there, including teaching people skills to help them rehab houses, for example, and then giving those homes away to artists. And at a time when I had notably little faith in humanity, the city of San Francisco turned itself into Gotham City to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation make a kid’s dream come true.
It’s incredibly easy to get bogged down in Miley twerking and Obamacare and one’s own personal “failures,” especially as we get further along in the year and that gym membership becomes dust on a bookshelf. The beginning of the year, and New Year’s Resoutions in particular, is often employed as a moment to theoretically leave a whole bunch of crap in last year to make room for a whole other round of crap. It can be different, though. We could use some of the good stuff we did as momentum for the future; it might help us not feel so discouraged by this time each year or saddened by what we did and did not do with our time. I propose we put the resolution on ice–or at least simmer it a little bit–so that we can give last year’s building blocks some shine. Life might seem a little less daunting and negative that way.
Stay warm.
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