Setting resolutions just because the numbers on a calendar (or the entire calendar) change was never my cup of tea. That's not to say I am against the commitment to self-improvement. In fact, I can see lots of ways that the people around me can improve themselves. But who am I to judge...publicly? I'll keep these thoughts to myself.
In all seriousness, I always looked to make changes in my life when change seemed necessary. Sometimes the need arises in the middle of the summer. I don't then continue to act inappropriately until the following January first. I make the change.
Over the last few years, however, I have come to understand the spirit of New Year's resolutions better. Perhaps it has come with fatherhood and home ownership. As task upon chore upon broken household item has piled up around me, I realize that New Year's resolutions aren't about changing something for the sake of saying you did. They are about motivation to finally catch up on some old things. As I become an older and older thing myself, attention to old, abandoned things is something that has hit close to home.
This year, I have made a resolution. Just one. I'm not going to go crazy and set myself up for failure. Society has done that fine on its own for me over the last thirty-some years.
In 2012, I vow to laugh more at myself.
By this, I mean the less egotistical interpretation of the phrase. Yes, I find my own jokes funny. That's why I tell them. But laughing at my own rapier wit is not part of my New Year's promise. What I hope to do is look at my own reaction (often overreaction) to things and laugh at how stupid I can sometimes be.
The reason for this is because I often find that the more upset I become over negative events and the more I let my mood turn south on me, the worse things become. While I am not Buddhist, I have begun to believe in karma. I wrote about it back in July of 2010 here in one of the more oddly named blog posts in TGD history (you're gonna have to click the link to see the name), but it has taken me a long time to change my ways. This year, I commit to doing it.
I hope it will stick and will have a positive influence on my life in 2012. Of course it might all backfire. Perhaps a ball of rage will end up festering inside of me instead until my fragile psyche snaps one day as I sit in traffic and I end up bursting from my car, tipping over others in my wake and leaving a path of destruction across the countryside that the military will attempt to use to find me and harness me into a weapon.
Here's to hoping for the best and finding purple pants on sale to prepare for the worst.