mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New year's resolutions, again...

Every year, for the last few years, I make pretty much the same resolutions - save money, stay in shape, get organized, fall in love. And every year I'm pretty good about the first two and a complete failure on the last two. And that's true for this year as well. I'm in pretty decent shape, at least relative to what I used to be. I'm doing OK financially, thanks to reasonably conservative spending combined with a pretty good year on eBay and hamfests. And my house looks like a computer store exploded, thanks to a pretty good year of finding stuff to buy to sell on eBay and at hamfests. And I'm still single.

So obviously one of the things I want to do this year is clean the house, get organized, and try to find the right balance between buying things I can easily and quickly resell for a nice profit, and not buying large, low-valued, crappy items that sit around the house - and by getting rid of the stuff that currently is filling my house, preferably by selling it but by tossing it if necessary.

Which is difficult, but still easier than the whole finding love thing, which is probably why you find a lot more poems and music written about failing in love than you do about failing to clean out your basement.

It's occurred to me that one of the things that probably doesn't help me - in dating, but also in a broader sense in life - is my less-than-positive outlook. I find myself waking up every morning and thinking "I really don't want to get out of bed". And it's not just "I don't want to get out of bed and go to work", because I do it on weekends too. And when you think about it , it doesn't make much sense - I have a pretty decent job, surrounded by some pretty cool people, on a beautiful college campus, where I get to use some pretty nice technology. It's not like I'm working in a coal mine or something. But more importantly, I'm alive at pretty much the best time to be alive, in terms of technology and the standard of living and lifespan and a host of other things. And I'm doing that in one of the freest and most prosperous nations in the world. People today in our country complain about their lives being unfulfilling, yet the fact that we can even complain about being unfulfilled shows us how good we have it - that we have the time and money to worry about things bigger than finding food or a place to sleep or worrying if the tribe down the road is going to kill us.

So yes, this year, I'd like to hit all the usual goals - have a little less fat and a little more muscle. Keep the savings account funded, maybe buy a new car and finally redo my bathroom and install that fence in the backyard. Be able to walk from the basement to the top of my house without tripping over stray computers and boxes of phones.

But I'd also like to wake up each morning remembering how good I've got it, how lucky I am to be born in the right time and the right place, and to approach each day less like a burden that needs to be slogged through and more like an gift to be enjoyed. I know if I could truly do it, the other things I want in life - the friendships and the relationship and the career advancement - would probably come a lot easier - and the absence of them would probably be a lot less painful. And while I doubt I'll ever reach self-help guru levels of cheerfulness, I'd like to think I've got it in me to be at least a little more positive and a little more grateful for the things in my life that are due to luck, and not just to keeping resolutions.


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