Another year is coming to a close which means my mind has been preoccupied with formulating hapless promises that NEXT year will finally be the year I live up to my own expectations. 2015 has been such a strange year for me. Some major events occurred which will colour my kids’ lives forever, such as our epic summer camping trip to Ontario and back, an adventure that saw the kids and I away from the confines of our home for more than six weeks. I also marked a major milestone in my stay-at-home dad career as both my kids took to school for full days leaving me with a remarkable six and a half hours daily to focus entirely on myself.
Both these achievements were noteworthy and brought me joy in their own special way. I even joked that the latter represented the greatest day of my life and in doing so hid the fact that, in part, I wasn’t joking at all. Yet despite such a year of achievement, I struggled to finish the year in a jovial mood. The last couple months have been a bit heavy on my mind. It wasn’t due to any particular tragedy, mind, just an ambiguous weight settled upon my soul and it left me a little depressed I guess.
Sadly, this is not unique for me and, as is often the case, I set about hitting the New Year with a firm goal to snap out of my doldrums and focus on keeping them at bay for the upcoming year. Such promises are referred to as resolutions and I was dead set on committing to a handful of important, personal resolutions in hopes of making 2016 a grander year. Until, that is, I stumbled upon the resolutions I’d made LAST year in hopes of doing the very same.
It’s one thing to fail to achieve your resolutions but quite another to forget you’ve even made them altogether, which is exactly what I did. I don’t know how, but I did. Perhaps I should resolve to remember better but I fear Mother Nature has little interest in allowing such fantastical desires to be fulfilled. I’m more than welcome to lighten up on the fetish websites or quit the Chef Boyardee binges, but resolve to reverse the ravages of aging and you’re shit out of luck.
So before I go about establishing my resolutions for this New Year, it seems only appropriate to have a look back at the forgotten goals of only a year ago. It’s safe to say I achieved few of these but a good public shaming should hopefully steel my resolve for my next batch of resolutions. Either that or I need to admit I’m simply a lost cause and set my sites on hitting rock bottom as hard as possible. So without further ado, here’s my look back at a year in procrastination.
1 I Will Write More
Well I suppose I unwittingly achieved this one in a broad sense. I certainly posted more material to my blog this past year and in particular the latter third of the year once the kidlets scurried off to school fulltime. Still, I don’t feel my modest increase in production was much of a success nor fulfillment of a resolution. I could and should be doing far more if I truly wish to be a writer. As my old geological comrades in the oilpatch would say, this was a technical success.
2 I Will Eat Less Chocolate
This did NOT happen. Not even close. I could expose a blossoming man tit as proof but we’ll save that for potential upcoming rock bottom hitting. Suffice it to say, I have a problem when it comes to chocolate.
3 I Will Give Up Alcohol
This one kind of surprised me to see on this forgotten list of promises. Not that I’m particularly attached to drinking but I’ve recently become acutely aware as to the power of social conditioning. It’s very hard to resist the urge to have a few drinks when out to dinner or visiting friends/family. Even sitting around the campfire with others seems strange to me without a beer in hand. I don’t enjoy these casual drinks but am unable to stop, it seems. I don’t drink at home alone or with my wife and kids. I have not a care in the world for a beer after mowing the lawn or a glass of wine at dinner. But put me around other people who are drinking and I just have to play along. I even tried drinking carbonated water in hopes that the bubbles would trick my mind into forgetting the absent alcohol. Results were mixed; I mean, really, carbonate water? So no, I certainly did not give up alcohol.
4 I Will Be A Better Dad
To be fair, this goal was far too vague and subjective to realistically achieve. In my own mind I know what I meant but by putting no specifics to this resolution I was destined to fail. 365 days later I’m the same dad I was last January 1st 2015. I’m not ashamed of that dad; he’s a pretty good dad. I just want to be a better dad and by my own unspoken standards, this too I have failed at.
5 I Will Lose Weight
This too did NOT happen. See number 2.
6 I Will Learn To Play An Instrument
Yup, another outright failure here folks. And to be honest, I didn’t even attempt this one despite passive aggressive ranting about “what could have been” with regards to my father and his guitar. I was even gifted guitar picks this very Christmas and about all that has changed from a year ago is that I know they are guitar picks.
So there you have it; six forgotten resolutions culminating in five abject failures and one technical success. Not exactly the stuff of legend or inspiration. I suppose I should take some solace in the fact I don’t have a $2500 treadmill sitting in my den collecting dust as a monument to my failure. The expanded waistline and mental malaise of disappointment are quite reminder enough.
2016 will need to see major changes in my mental toughness and determination to improve or I will be sitting here once again writing a humourless blog post about my continued failings. I think more specific goals will be the key to my success in the coming year, as will pulling my self-pitying noggin out of my haemorrhoidal ass.