New Year, Old Tricks

Well 2013 is gone and 2014 is here. As depicted in the comics sections of newspapers everywhere, we’ve reached the point where we can officially have a wake for the frail, bearded, stoop-backed old year that has slid into the dustbin of history. In its place, we welcome cherub-like and fresh-faced 2014, born with promise and hope. And with this year dawning so young and naïve, now is the time to resolve to Kick It’s Ass and take its lunch money. DO IT NOW. Don’t wait until May or June, the year will be far too strong and wily at that point; at best, you might be able to fight it to a draw.

PostcardHappyNewYearOldManKidScytheHourglass1910

So what will the New Year hold for me?

Well first off, I think it’s going to be a year of living frugally. No more impulse purchases, no more tiny luxuries, and no more $1.40 workday coffees bleeding my coffers dry. It’s time to save, save, save. I’m going to redirect the fruits of my thriftiness into high-value investments: equities, fixed-income vehicles, and commemorative coin pressings. The battle against an indigent retirement starts NOW.

At the same time though, I’m not going to deny myself. Life is just too short, and I’ve never heard of a happy miser (in the works of Charles Dickens or otherwise). If I see something and I want it, why shouldn’t I buy it? If I’m always forcing myself to go without, I’ll breed resentment and push myself ever closer to launching a pyramid scheme or living a life of crime to get the things I want. I look terrible in orange; I don’t care if it is the new black. I can’t let this downward spiral happen, so I’m going to have to strike a balance.

Another area where I want to improve is my physique. It is going to be a year of getting in crazy-good shape here in 2014. It’s going to be about eating clean, exercising like a fiend, and looking like a dream. There’s still only 168 hours in a given week, so it’s not going to be easy. I’m going to have to go to bed later and wake up earlier, all while getting more sleep in between. I’ll have to shed fat and build muscle at the same time, and I’ll have to work at simultaneously building up strength and endurance. It’s going to take a lot of sweat and sacrifice day-in and day-out, but I know that this year I’m primed to make it happen.

That being said, I’m not going to be afraid to indulge occasionally either. What’s the sense of living if you can’t relax enough to eat a piece of fudge cake every now and again? And if on occasion at my appointed workout times I find myself worn and tired, or I have more fulfilling things to do, you’re not going to find me at the gym. Deep-down, there’s something pathetic about these endorphin-addicts who claim they “never miss a workout.” What really keeps them going: love of fitness or their own simple vanity? Some of them need to take a long look in the mirror…and then step away from it. No sir, you’re not going to find me snared in that trap of narcissism.

Lastly, this is going to be a year where I give more of myself to others. It will be a time of personal growth for me, one that will see me become more patient, tolerant, self-reflective, and understanding. I’m going to keep marching forward in the battle to be more selfless, giving a greater share of my time and energy for the betterment of my family, community, and the broader world.

However, I’m also going to have to carve out more “me-time.” The work of becoming self-actualized is a solitary endeavour, and it’s going to require shutting out the world for a substantial portion of each day so I can develop my own interests, talents, and perspectives. It can be hard to do this, because there are always other people looking to intrude, trying to have their needs and demands given primacy. I’m going to have to find the strength to turn them away, and risk catcalls and accusations of being “selfish” and “aloof.”

Where I live, we’re buried in the depths of winter right now and locked in a frigid cold snap, but my being is kept warm with the inner fire of excitement and new purpose. As the calendar page flips over, I don’t see mere boxes, numbers, and dental appointments that need to be rescheduled; rather, I see the future—and an unbroken vista of limitless possibilities.

Just like I did last year.

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One thought on “New Year, Old Tricks

  1. I make sure that I don’t exercise and stay overweight, hence there’s more of me to give to others, as if they deserve it. I fully agree with more “me-time.” What’s the rest of the world done for me so far this year? Jack squat, that’s what.

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