Does anyone make resolutions anymore? Seems so old-fashioned and quaint. School begins again on Monday, and I was thinking of asking students about their resolutions, but I suspect they would eye me strangely, which is not that different than most days.
My resolutions? Quaint for me as well. I do recall giving this some thought at one time and soon forgetting each resolution a week or two later: to exercise more, to write more, always more, as if there’s not enough of each of us at any given moment. Maybe this year I should do less. Less judging, less complaining (especially behind the wheel), less worrying. But this is merely an inverse version of more. Maybe I can be more—no, not more—maybe I can be merely satisfied with what is.
I don’t know if writers can survive such a resolution. To be satisfied? There’s always a striving to improve the sentence. Every sentence. Not one comes easy. And to be satisfied with rejection wouldn’t work either. Seems that success in writing is often more about persistence than talent, depending on how you define success. Or, in other words, doing more.
I just finished George Carlin’s last book, which centers on his striving to become famous. He finds this ironic because he sees hypocrisy and greed and callousness, and to be successful, on his terms, means he will need to be embraced by the very people he despises. I suppose he came to terms with this because his success was so overwhelming. To him, they became one amorphous laugh, roaring their approval.
On this New Year’s Day, I vow not to make a single resolution. I don’t have time to think of one. I have too much to do.