Tuesday, January 01, 2019


Here’s last year’s list, amended with variations of CHECK! in front of things I actually accomplished and with updated/new things I have yet to accomplish:

CHECK! I will turn 50 in April (that’s not the actual resolution—it’s just the preamble to the resolution) and to celebrate I will run every race within 100 miles that’s been on my bucket list—plus any other races I discover that sound fun—all summer, culminating in a back-to-back three-day Disney 5K/10K/half marathon in November. [UPDATE: I was sidelined by injuries for two races and I opted not to run the 10K at Disney, but I’m still giving myself full credit for accomplishing all of this. And I can run faster than you if you try to chase me down and explain to me why I didn’t.]

I will finally run the Bix 7 in the Quad Cities this July.

And you should come with me, whether you want to run or cheer or celebrate together at the after-party.

I will continue making the gym and distance running an integral part of my life. Because I’m not getting any younger or less single.

PARTIAL CHECK! I will stop thinking PB&J and Diet Coke are an acceptable dinner.

I will continue enjoying PB&J at all opportunities and I will continue eliminating Diet Coke completely from my diet (14 days and counting!)

MOSTLY CHECK! I will stop launching scorched-earth social-media fights with cousin-curious Trump supporters to the point that I make myself angry every time I open my social media and discover that they still don’t know how to lose and shut up and go away like normal morons.

I will stop losing hours scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and use my newfound free time to pursue something—anything—more productive.

I will keep myself constantly updated on the current slang and the new small talk. And use it only in irony. Because I’m 50. And an adult. I think.

PARTIAL CHECK! I will figure out how to use the universal remote I bought for our TV. [UPDATE: I made multiple attempts last year, and I got it to do everything but change channels via the number keys. PLEASE COME OVER AND HELP IF YOU’RE FLUENT IN TECHNOLOGY.]

I will start (or finish) reading all the books I bought (or received as gifts) in 2018 (or 2017) (or 2016) (or before that).

I will continue to cultivate the wonderful friendships—and keep my distance from drama—that I’ve been abundantly fortunate to have found since I moved home four years ago.

I will quickly learn the names of people I meet, especially when we do shows together. But no promises—I’m mired in a lifetime habit of convincing myself I suck at names and therefore not even trying.

ONGOING CHECK! I will get the hint and cut my losses the first time someone shows me we don’t have much of a friendship and it’s never going to go anywhere.

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME PICK A COLOR BECAUSE I’M SERIOUSLY PARALYZED WITH INDECISION! I will bury my tinkle-colored bedroom walls in a deep, rich, handsome, masculine, adult color that I have yet to determine.

CHECK! I will nag and complain without shame or reservation until we replace our pinky-beige, mousy-blah, suburban-horror Formica countertops with something that doesn’t make me want to hide under the sink and slowly die of mousy-blah ennui hastened by poisoning from any store-brand Formica cleanser we have stored there.

I will continue to cull and integrate and sell and give away the two-bedroom-apartment contents of my storage unit ASAP so I can eliminate that $200+/month line item from my personal budget.

I will use my newfound storage-unit savings to pay for regular voice lessons [which I started in December!]

I will make practicing the piano a regular part of my weekly schedule to try and regain some of my long-dormant skills.

I will try to get a gig choreographing something smallish somewhere or finagling my way into playing in an orchestra pit somewhere. [YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. CALL ME. LET’S TALK.]

I will more regularly give myself private tap lessons from all the YouTube tap videos I’ve found.

I will stop wasting time winding up the vacuum cleaner cord.

I will scoop the cat box twice a week instead of once.

I will finally visit the local museums I’ve been woefully absent from seeing: The African-American Museum, The Czech and Slovak Library & Museum, The Masonic Library and Museums, and any others I discover.

I will work harder (notice that I’m not giving myself any form of schedules or deadlines here) to post more frequent #ArtThrob essays about my favorite works of art.

I will stop accepting Facebook friend requests from strangers just because they’re cute.

I will stop accepting Facebook friend requests from strangers just because they’re cute.

I will stop accepting Facebook friend requests from strangers just because they’re cute.

I will reduce forgetting my bipolar meds from once a month to zeroth a month.

I will avoid the New Year’s Day Rose Parade. And all other parades. Just like always. Because parades are stupid.

A few years ago I made a resolution to say or text or email something nice to somebody—longtime friend or random Internet stranger—every day. The resolution has slowly evolved to also include just texting or emailing a random hello to someone I haven’t talked to in a while and to check in almost daily with people I know are struggling with mental illnesses themselves or in their families. I’m sure I’ve missed a few days here and there, but overall it’s become a happy little daily habit that’s kept me in touch or even reconnected with people from every corner of my 50-year (ACK! How did that happen?) life (except for a handful of guys I’ve had longtime crushes on because I’d die inside whether they did or didn’t respond—and, sadly, at 50 years old (did I mention I’m 50?) I’m still kinda scared of guys I have high-school crushes on). Crippling insecurities aside, I’m renewing my daily-compliment/hello/check-in contract for yet another year. And I encourage all of you to consider trying something similar. Because it’s WAY cheaper than flowers. Or therapy. Happy 2019!

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