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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

3 Resolutions

I’m not going to say that it’s been a great year for New Years resolutions. Because while the fact that Three Things has survived this far into the year with more readers than we started with is a testament to a successful resolution, there were far more that didn’t quite survive to see the end of 2010. Because in addition to continuing to write, I also resolved to read more, eat better and curse less, and failed miserably on all three counts, dammit. I even seem to fail in threes these days. But, as happens every year, hope springs eternal, and the new year occasions the opportunity to look forward in the midst of looking back. Though they sometimes seem trite, I’ve always enjoyed the process of making resolutions for the coming year, and I try to make them realistic because I new a few extra failures in my life like I need a little extra car repair or a couple more dentist visits. So, to ring in the new year, and to celebrate the completion of at least one from last year, here are THREE THINGS‘ 3 Resolutions:

1. Something To Believe In. If you’ve read me for any length of time, you know I have more belief in Fairy Tales, comic books and cartoons than I do in the ability of the youngest generation to make anything of themselves aside from exceptionally capable consumers. Of all the apocalyptic events that appear to be happening around me with ever-greater frequency, perhaps none is more emotionally daunting than to see false confidence, entitlement and ignorance of today’s youth. As the cycle of each generation looking upon the next with terrible and silent wonder, fearing their ultimate incapability of ever actually maturing despite having to grow old nonetheless, reaches its penultimate stage, we are left with a choice - either stand by and play our intellectual fiddles as they burn it to the ground, or to jump in and do our part. So as I sit and laugh at they way they dress, dance, and what they call “music”, I will resolve also to teach and to find opportunities to do the same. Because while the time has not yet come for me to directly combat the downward-spiraling trend of ever-less enlightened parenting, that doesn’t mean I can’t make a difference in lives of young people. I once said that knowledge not shared is not knowledge not had - and it’s time I started taking my own advice. Mentorship (and some fully unsuspecting mentees) here I come.

2. The Holiday Road. Thirty six years and counting. Still no vacation, no time off without purpose, no non-business trips and my passport is as chaste and untouched as an ugly Amish teenager. Though I’m not a fan of recycling resolutions - because failing to accomplish them once usually means you’re not going to get them done during any other year - but this one has been on my list for so long, that I almost keep it there out of a sense of nostalgia (and that fact that giving up on it means that I’ll have resigned myself to a lifetime of all work and no play). I’ve even taken to keeping my passport in my briefcase - so that I can be reminded that I’ve never actually used it. Of the many things of which I am ashamed (including memorization of the Voltron opening, an addiction to vintage video games and a strong affinity for banjo music) the fact that I have never been on a vacation is at the top of the list. At least the other embarrassments are consistent with my personality - because those who know me know that I’m no workaholic. I mean, I love my job and I enjoy being productive, but if given the choice between work and play, I don’t choose work. There just always seems to be a great reason not to go - and yes, it usually has to do with work. It’s really more work-phobic (i.e. afraid of what will happen if I’m not there). But it’s time to face my fear, book a damned trip with no other purpose but to relax, and get over myself already. Besides, if any workplace relies on my constant presence for survival, it probably deserves to be put out of its misery anyway.

3. Needing Contacts. Every place I’ve lived since I left home at 18 has felt tremendously temporary. I’ve rented on short-term leases, lived on cheap used furniture and kept myself mostly detached from each city or town in which I’ve resided. I never even invested in a decent set of cookware. Though I’ve always said that if you’re not remembered at a place, you were never there - I’ve only really applied that standard to institutions (schools, the military, etc.) and never my own neighborhood or community. But against all odds, and as strange as it sounds, Las Vegas feels the most like home since, well, home. I’ve bought my first house, some furniture that I didn’t have to assemble myself, and I’ve got pots and pans that aren’t widely considered disposable. But the real measure of putting down a few roots is investing in some people here. Sure there’s a little bit of L.A. here in Vegas (including the famewhores, money-grubs and impossibly bad drivers) - and you’d have a better chance harvesting crops on the moon that putting down roots in that cesspool - but just beneath the surface beats the heart of a good ol’ western town, and the folks you put in the time to get know will likely return the favor. And so, with a healthy dose of caution, trepidation and downright skepticism, I’ve resolved this year to brave the sea of crazies in search of a few great friends here in the Vegas Valley - my new hometown.

* * *

In end, 2010 was a very good year - three things at a time. A new house, a new city and a new job. Three new tires for my car (dammit) and, as you know, my third (and most successful) blog project. And the best thing about good years is the promise of an even better year to follow. After all, if you don’t think things will look up in the year to come - what’s the point of going on? And to that end, I can’t wait to get started on 2011. Though I’m glad that put the holidays this close to the new year, because it is only that excitement of turning the calendar that sometimes gets me through this time of year (the cold, the drama, and the cost). So as the ball drops on the end of one year and the beginning of the other, I’ll finish this project the same way I started, by asking that you remember three things: (1) kissing strangers is never as good of an idea as it seems, (no matter what the occasion), if you want a New Year’s kiss, plan in advance; (2) unless you’re ringing it in in Hawaii, the Caribbean, or Australia, celebrate inside - a runny nose isn’t sexy on anyone, and (3) it is not what will come to you that makes the days and times of your new year, but rather what you go out there and get.

Thanks for a great year - and go get yourself a great 2011!

4 comments:

MANDY said...

Thumbs up & many many kudos to this blog :) I plan to take advantage of 2011, punch that refresh button & considering it my re-do year. I wish you luck :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful way to end the year. I hope you mentor 100 different kids this year, because all these kids suck.

-KEVIN

Anonymous said...

great one to close out the year Glenn...use that damn passport! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
-Jessie

Anonymous said...

Nice blog! I will try and be an "enlightened parent" to my son if you help some of the other kids out there. Lets both try to have some fun while we are at it too!

Don't feel bad about not traveling much (yet) - you have lived in many places around the country which is more than most people can say.

~RUBY

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