Friday, December 31

A Very Short List of Things I'll Try Not to Do in 2022

I know. 'Tis the season for writing resolutions, but, why must we talk about resolutions? Sure it's a new year and we have a fresh new calendar or a fresh new journal for the year. Clean page and all that jazz. But, come on. How many of us keep any resolutions longer than a few hours?

In 2010 I wrote a compendium post for New Year's. It was weird to revisit that post. A few of my resolutions included getting a tattoo (never did that and probably won't), going to 5 Guys (check), and some other things I managed to accomplish in my usual erratic and desultory fashion.

I wrote about a commentary Steve Chapman published in The Chicago Tribune about airlines and travel and how I hoped seat belts wouldn't fall into the category of added fees amenities. That seems less funny and far-fetched now. A lot of things about travel seem less funny now.

I included a book review. Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series was fairly new at that time and kids of all ages seemed more interested in reading. Kids being interested in reading has changed dramatically in the last 11 years. Social media probably has a lot to do with that, but I'm not willing to place all of the blame on social media. I know some people like to say that kids have really short attention spans today because of social media, but I disagree. They can focus for hours on something that interests them.

Kids like to think they're really good at multitasking, which they're not. No one is. But then kids don't really understand what multitasking is so they think that because they can listen to music and do something else, they can multitask. Except when you catch them chair dancing because they're grooving so much to the music and they forget to work on the task they're supposed to be doing. More on attention spans and multitasking in a different blog post.

So, I'm not really a fan of resolutions because I know I will not keep them. It's easier to try to list some of the things I will try not to do in 2022. Herewith are some random thoughts:

  • I will try not to yell at the news. I expect to fail at this one almost immediately unless I decide to devote more time to watching TikTok videos and reading silly stories on reddit, which is a distinct possibility.
  • I will try not to get frustrated with myself when I fall short of my own expectations. For example, I will not berate myself the first time I yell at the news after New Year's Day, so, like on January 2.
That's it. Basically I'm going to try to be more patient with everyone.

If I had to make a couple of proposals for 2022, I might propose to write more. That is something I've wanted to do for a while. Not just blog posts, but short stories and maybe longer stories. I'd like to do more interviews for my podcast. I've been drawing up a list of possible interviewees to talk with me about writing.

I think I need to be less inclined to be a hermit. I know I'm an introvert by nature and sometimes teaching just wrings me out so I want to retreat to a quiet place. But sometimes retreating gets too comfortable and too easy and coming out of that emotional and intellectual hibernation seems too hard. Maybe I should add that to my list: that I will try not to retreat too much when the world is too much with us.

And so I trepidatiously welcome 2022, with all of the mayhaps we have yet to imagine. And may we imagine well and patiently and kindly.

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