After many years of short-lived resolutions, like the two days I decided I was a vegetarian in Grade 6, I think I’m due to make a few changes that stick. To reinforce this thought, I’ll try to explain the how and why these new rules are important to me. Maybe the rambling is as much for me as it is for you.
In my books, 2014 was the year of The To-Do List, who’s main feature is the mass of 1,447 unread e-mails waiting in my inbox, and pile of phone call reminders next to my laptop. My initial and main goal is to clear my desk and sort through the spam, to regroup and refocus my efforts.
In this new year, my first resolution is to not only make more time, but to make more use of the time I’ve got.
My mother has always old me that if procrastination was an Olympic sport, I’d get a medal - but after several years of video games and cold pizza at 2 a.m. I think the first step is to make midnight procrastination a little more useful. This means things like spending less time reading Buzzfeed’s ‘Top 10 Ways To Waste Your Time’ and more time reading Wikipedia articles, or putting my collection of computer parts back to work. Who knows, I may even log in to my LinkedIn account at some point in the next twelve months!
Even so, I think something valuable we can all pledge this year is to spend more time disconnected. While smart phones and laptops are powerful tools, it’s important to try and remember that they’re just that; tools.
During this season’s Christmas dinners (all six of them!), the best moments weren’t spent with the TV on or scrolling through Facebook - but sitting around the table playing cards with family, and giving my nieces piggy-back rides around the house. It’s all fun and games until someone knocks their head off the chandelier - that’s when it becomes a sport. That’s also when Uncle B spends the next two hours carying four little girls around the house, and getting his head used as a cup holder for those eternally sticky sippy cups.
Moving on, for my second resolution, I am endeavoring to work my way through my bed-side stack of ‘Books to be Read’ and get back into literature. Truth be told, I’m probably in the middle of about twelve novels - and I’ve run out of bookmarks.
With a collection of over 100 paperbacks and dusty tomes in the bookshelf, it’s clear that someone who looks a lot like me used to find the time to read. I actually tend to re-read books, and never get rid of them - something which has no doubt puzzled my girlfriend Jordie for the past few years.
Believe it or not, I even fancied myself a bit of a poet in high school - if ‘borrowing’ ideas from Jim Morrison lyrics and Tom Wolfe books could be called poetry.
My writing and art teachers seemed to enjoy it at least, and it’s a great feeling to find the perfect work or hard-hitting sentence. However, since college, the combination of relationships, work, and being constantly clawed by a cat who’s convinced she’s a dog has left little time to write or read, outside of my work here at The Standard.
Because books are the cause of many sleepless nights in the first place, finishing that Edgar Allen Poe anthology might be the perfect pairing for some useful procrastination this year.
In 2015, I hope to spend less of that precious time with my new time-burglarizing friend Netflix - and more of it getting reacquainted with books, friends, and that massive To Do List (I’m hoping it’s gone by 2016).
There you have it, a few musing thoughts on how I hope to affect a sea change on my new year - how do you, the reader, hope to change yours?
Wishing you and yours all the best in 2015.