Day 365: Starting Over

I love New Years’ Resolutions. Or Resolutions, period. Birthdays, spring, fall, you name it. I love a good overly-ambitious goal. Unfortunately, I also tend to be out of touch with my own feelings, which means I tend to miss the boat. Like the worst kind of stereotype, I tend to fail on the follow-through.

Saying things publicly is supposed to help, so I’ll tell all of you. Not that I think anyone reads me here. While the dog blog gets a reasonable number of visitors, I don’t even check the stats over here. I kind of like it that way.

I have a couple of resolutions for the dog, which I’ll post in his own space, and two of my own.

First, the easy one: Get back on the bike. Literally–three years ago I biked something like 1500 miles. Last week 20 minutes on the bike trainer almost killed me. My muscles can’t support real bike posture anymore, after I put most of my fitness efforts into jogging this year. And, in the spirit of confessing and starting over, that mostly in the first half of the year, too.

More broadly: be a more conscious consumer. I mean something larger than just “trading up” for more “eco-friendly” versions of things we already buy. (Can I confess that after years, I finally gave up on “green” toothpaste, and I have never been happier while brushing my teeth?) Greenwashing a generally extravagant lifestyle is something that I hate, like people who idle their SUVs in the parking lot of Whole Foods. At a certain point, you are supposed to know better. I mean, instead, really thinking hard about need/want, radically reformulating the way we eat, and paying more attention to my passive consumption of media. Do things and buy things because they need to be done or bought, or are worth the doing and the buying, not because they’re handy. I’ve never consciously shopped to fill an emotional void (I feel bad; a new blouse will make me feel better), but at a somewhat larger level, I was a poor rural kid and buying pretty little things makes me feel well-off and sophisticated. And, I don’t know, is that bad? Am I fighting the good fight against consumerism, or am I trying too hard to toe the line of American Puritanical virtues? Maybe that’s what I should be asking in the checkout line, rather than the too-easy “need/want.” On the other, more understood, hand, killing time I excel at because with the utter failure of my career ambitions I became kind of uncomfortable in my own head. That I am totally level with, and need to work around. I suspect it will take filling up my life with better things.

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