Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Another year come and gone or so they say.

I’m not big on New Year because it seems so artificial to celebrate a utilitarian delineation of time. Time exists naturally without our imposed perceptions of it. And our perceptions of time do little to change its natural course. Though I have changed rather a great deal since my birth, these changes did not miraculously occur on my birthday. Though my life has been different at ages two, ten and twenty, these changes were not made manifest, generally, on each tenth of June.

But I don’t suppose there’s anything inherently wrong or bad about New Year. I never question anything that gets me out school, for one thing. I’d celebrate Lee Harvey Oswald Day, or John Q. Public of Gary, Indiana Day, if it meant more vacation time. And there’s something praiseworthy about any holiday which seems implicitly to suggest reflection on life. And, perhaps best of all, there’s the happy fact that, all of us here have survived another utilitarian delineation of time, which is rather nice when you think about it.

Though neither serious reflection nor resolution has ever been practiced by my family on New Year, or really any other day either, this blog seems conducive towards it, so I’m going to give it a try.

Not a lot has changed over the last year of my life. In comparison with other years, it’s been monumentally unspectacular. There were no great leaps in independence, freedom, maturity or legal standing. There were no tragic setbacks to speak of. I’m in very much the same position that I was last year at this time. I’m okay, really, and quite generally alright. So, while contentment is, I realize, a bit of a danger, I can’t and won’t complain.

Insofar as I have always been a rather independent, idealistic and solitary sort, and insofar as I approve of those most basic traits, I’ve faltered. My resolutions should be read in that context.

My first resolution is to stop wasting so much time watching television. I don’t think television is inherently wicked or anything; and I’m not imposing a strict ban on it. But I don’t need to schedule my life around reruns of MASH. So I won’t. In general, the new guideline will be to abstain from most television; and to watch none at least on Fridays.

My second resolution, which is certainly hand-in-hand with the first, is to spend more time in meditation; solitary and social. I have so many useless pursuits, and draining conversations and friendships. I don’t know how many hours I’ve wasted yammering on in unmemorable, unedifying conversation about unimportant stuff. Not every conversation has to be about the meaning of life. But I need to seek out people who can contribute positively to my life, and whose lives I can contribute to positively. As a practical measure, I will reserve at least half an hour of each day to the completely impractical pursuit of philosophy.

My third and final resolution, is to devote more time to creative expression. I have talent in music and writing, however humble or great, and I need to develop it. Formal education has ruined much of my natural love for both, but I know better than to hate anything just because the people associated with the thing suck. So, as a practical measure, I’ll devote ten minutes of every day to playing music, and to writing something more creative than this blog.

It should only take a day to break all of my resolutions, but, I’ve never been one to sweat the details. Any improvement is good. And I’m really going to put some effort into the thing. I think.

Happy New Year everyone. May your next year be edifying in every way; and in hopes that you have the good sense to recognize it.