Sunday, January 09, 2011

You can't fail if you don't tell anyone

The war is on.

The new year is upon us and resolutions are whizzing around as if catapulted by slingshot. We're collectively going to exercise 24 hours a day and lose a few trillion pounds. We're going to stop smoking and start living healthier lives. We're going to be different. We're going to be better. We're going to be happy.

It's nothing, really. Just a moment in the wee hours when we promise to make changes, great and small, that we hope will stick.

Hope being the key word and preeminent weapon in this internal war on our interminable human shortcomings.

Of course, not everyone shares the desire to engage in the annual ritual.

Occasionally, however, one of these forward-thinking missiles ricochets off some soft object and hits a hard-boiled cynic, causing them to hoot and holler and dance around swearing a stream of obscenities that would make a sailor blush.

Resolutions, this kitten-hating group thinks, are for the romantic saps who, by January's close, will be outside freezing their fingers off in the designated smoking areas near the dumpsters, bumming cigarettes from their friends who didn't quit buying.

Cynicism, therefore, is for anyone whose ever bought a lottery ticket that didn't pay out. Why bother trying?

I shrug my shoulders. Who am I to judge?

From midnight to midnight on the cusp of any given year I have no idea on which side I'll be standing amid the skirmish.

Will I be taking my last bite of a white-flour-refined-sugar confection or swearing off striving for an iota of improvement?

The side of me that wants to eat more vegetables, get exercise and make choices that lead to fewer regrets is counter balanced by the side that wants to foster a greater acceptance for that which isn't perfect.

Acceptance of ourselves and others seems to be the thing in shortest supply.

Some folks think that's as it should be. Acceptance, after all, is just as easily defined as acquiescence rather than agreement. It is the tarnish instead of the silver. Silver can only be polished with hard work and caustic chemicals.

Who is right? Who is wrong? Who really cares?

Truth be told, I've found agreeing to disagree to be the utmost of challenges.

As I surf through my social network I see the difficulty isn't a growing problem so much as a lingering one. The same old slights and complaints rise in daily status reports. Thumbs Up for hating Mean People. Sure. That's easy. All Nice People hate Mean People. Deciding which is which, though, that's the trick isn't it?

I should stop reading status reports.

Maybe I'll vow to stop searching stat counters and worrying about how many people are following, unfollowing or unfriending me. I wish those terms and others (refutiated) never web crawled their way into my lexicon.

I've tried to be the righter of wrongs. I've repeated mistakes as much as I've learned from them. "Look before you leap," I tell myself. "Don't be so quick to judge." I've spoken in superlatives and jumped on bandwagons that have subsequently overturned.

Balance isn't as easy as it seems.

Maybe that's my mission as this new year opens to a host of possibilities: Whether I resolve or revolve, it matters not. So long as I keep it to myself, I can't fail.

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