So this is the new year (almost). I’m normally not one for making resolutions and lately I’ve been reading numerous articles on other people telling us all the resolutions we should be making. I’m sorry to sound judgmental but here’s the thing: they all suck.
I’m bound to stick my foot in my mouth here because I’m sure there’s some good ones out there and I doubt mine will be much better but here’s my problems with the resolutions: 1) they’re all about me 2) they’re all about me 3) they’re all about me. I don’t mean they’re necessarily about improving me so that the world is a better place, I mean they’re about improving me so that I’m happier and everyone else jumps on that bandwagon and the world continues to evolve around my sphere.Thanks for the advice, but I already attended a public American university; I don’t need anymore of that baloney. Because while resolutions should be personal, the point of a resolution shouldn’t be solely one’s own happiness. Unless, of course, the goal is just narcissism. If that’s the case then save us all some time and just become a blogger.
So I decided to conjure up some resolutions of my own: a list of resolutions for fellow twenty-somethings. These are ones that I’ve made for myself and some that I’d like to pass along.
So here you have ’em: 7 Resolutions For Twenty-Somethings That (Hopefully I’m Pretty Sure) Don’t Suck:
1) Learn to slow down
We’re all so busy. We’re always rushing around from one meeting to another, one appointment to another, one job to another. But what’s the rush? Death will come soon enough, there’s no need to speed towards it.
Try not to be so busy. Cut something out of the schedule that doesn’t need to be there. Schedule leisure time. Don’t be afraid of free space. Don’t be afraid to be unimportant. And, by the way, Sabbath is a good thing. I read about it. Once. Somewhere. Can’t remember where….
2) Spend more money on books than you spend on alcohol
On that note: spend more time reading than you spend on Facebook, Netflix (since Arrested Development is over) recovering from hangovers and playing video games combined. Take it one step further and read more books from before the 1950’s than after it to avoid what C.S. Lewis called chronological snobbery.
Also be original and stop quoting C.S. Lewis.
3) Learn to listen to elderly people with your mouth shut
Maybe they don’t understand modern culture, know how to use and Iphone and, yes, okay, maybe at times they are a tinsy bit bigoted. But stick a sock in it for five minutes before you judge them. They still know much more than you do and, by the way, you’re much more offensive to their culture than they are to yours what with your inability to string a sentence together without “like”, “um” or profanity.
Oh, what’s that? You studied abroad in Paris for a semester? Cool. They were deployed there. And then lived there. And fell in love there. But you would never know it because you didn’t know how to shut up.
4) Learn how to apologize without the word “but”
I’m preaching to the mirror here but (ha, get it?) I think our generation is cursed with an inability to apologize. The one thing we don’t seem entitled to is responsibility; everything is always someone else’s fault. On the rare occasion that we are able to say the words “I’m sorry” we are able to shuffle the blame somewhere else by saying “but it’s really that person’s fault…so yes, I’m sorry they’re an imbecile”.
Learn to stop after “sorry”. Learn to take the blame. Learn to take the blame even if it’s not yours to take. Chances are it probably is anyway. Especially if you’re twenty years old, have a college education and happen to be a blogger. Plus it is always, always, better to be a humble person that takes the blame more often than they should as opposed to an arrogant person who is too proud to know when they’re wrong.
4) Learn how to exercise
Seriously. The words “five-kay” should not be synonymous with “impossible” and stairs shouldn’t leave you winded. It’s understandably difficult, especially if you’re working two-plus jobs or already a parent, but there are endless amounts of research that show how healthy it is not only in the long term but blah, blah, blah you’ve heard this all before.
So here’s a practical tip for you: find a local fun run every six months or so in your area to train for and make that your goal. Start small and work your way up. Find friends to run with, or a local gym that has a fitness regime you can enroll in- the point is: find a way to make it fun.
And don’t hear me wrong on this, there’s no need to be a complete snob or freak about it; if you complete the goal then celebrate the victory with a trip to the local burger joint. And a beer. No run is complete without a beer. For the pain of course.
5) Marry someone with at least one habit that drives you nuts
And not in a cute oh-my-gosh-totally-makes-me-fall-more-in-love-with-you-and-belongs-in-an-indie-film kinda way
…but actually annoys the crap out of you. Like she thinks its funny to burp when you’re making out or he always where’s the same pair of boxers when watching football and picks his nose when making pasta. Find that habit and marry the person anyway. Then learn to live with that habit. Wait at least three months before you try and change it. Why? It will make you a better, more sanctified, person.
And if you aren’t married, because, yes that can happen and yes it’s more than okay to be single, then find a friend with a habit that annoys the crap out of you. Again, don’t ignore it and don’t try and change it but instead embrace it. Spend time with them at least once a week. Eventually you’ll find the habit has disappeared even though they are probably still doing it. Amazingly, you’ll be a more sanctified individual too.
6) Find truth outside of yourself
My bad. I know this goes against every resolution and proclamation of our society. “The truth is within”, “look within yourself for the source of truth”…well, we’ve tried. We’ve tried relativism, we’ve tried “I just feel like this isn’t right” and how’s it working out for us? Well, what we’ve gotten is a century of bloodshed, numerous diseases, nuclear power struggles, global warming, mass holocausts and am I forgetting anything? Oh…shoot…of course:
The point is we’ve tried all that. So this year try accepting the objective truth outside of yourself. It doesn’t have to be Christianity but, look, for the record, from a converted cynic/agnostic/punkassteenager/atheist/idunnowtfiam I can tell you it’s a good place to start. Try sitting in a church sometime, try picking up a Bible, or Mere Christianity or finding a perception of religion that isn’t the media or your Intro to Philosophy college professor. See what happens. Just see.
7) Unsubscribe from All My Roads
Seriously. Doesn’t this list suck?
Self-deprecation and attempts at reverse psychology aside (please tell your friends about this blog?), I hope this new year finds you happy and surrounded by family and friends. Have fun, be safe and drive carefully.
I’ll see you tomorrow to take on this next year together.