All right, this is about as simple as I can make it.
It’s a New Year and rather than rattle off a list of resolutions that will probably go belly-up before Presidents Day, I’m whittling my 2015 aspirations down to one single word.
Yep, that’s it. Better. Pretty hard to screw that up, right?
I want to eat better, work better, think better, and live better. I want to be a better friend, a better companion, a better worker, a better brother, uncle, nephew, and cousin.
Hell, I just want to be a better human being.
I’m not making any grand declarations of spectacular change; I’m not vowing to embark upon some brutal exercise regimen or undergo a massive spiritual conversion. I’m not ruling any of that stuff out, mind you; I’m just not making any promises.
Better keeps it simple.
My mother used to recite ditty to us about self-improvement that went, “good, better, best, never let it rest, until the good is better and the better best.” That should keep me busy for quite a while.
There are number things I want to do this year, but I’d much rather do them than bloviate about them. I want to tell the world what I’ve accomplished, rather than what I plan to do.
And I didn’t wait for January 1 to adopt this mindset. I got started a few weeks ago so I could beat the resolution rush.
I can change my way of thinking any day of the year and, in fact, I believe New Year’s Day can create a psychological burden that can be too great overcome.
I prefer easing into change. It’s…better.
I am forever in search of signs, symbols, and portents to guide me on my journey through life and this year is no different.
First, I taped photos of a chained Houdini to my refrigerator, the wall of my computer room, and my bulletin board at work to remind myself how important is for me to break free of the toxic emotions that have been weighing me down for far too long.
I’ve locked myself within the axis of misery formed by anger, fear, and worry and now it’s time break free.
The image of Houdini proved invaluable this very morning—New Year’s Day-while I was making breakfast and I let some reflex anger crawl through my mind.
As I closed the refrigerator door I suddenly locked eyeballs with the Great Man himself, handcuffed to hell and back, and ready to escape.
On New Year’s Eve I saw another sign—literally—during my morning commute. The city was eerily quite on this last day of 2014 as many people had decided to take their vacations this week.
As we came up Church Street, I looked at the signs in the window of a neighborhood shoe repair store. I’ve been going by the place for years now, but only yesterday did I find a message in the two words spelled out vertically in red neon.
The first word was “Repair” and the second was “Shine.” Talk about starting the New Year off on the right foot. (Ugh, sorry about that.) This is a time to repair the damage of the past so we can shine.
I spent New Year’s Eve joyfully doing nothing. Earlier in the day I was getting a little bummed about having no plans for the big night, but my recent health woes have put the whole holiday season in the background. And it was just too goddamn cold out.
Today I had a delicious Chinese dinner with my sister and auntie and now I’ll enjoy a nice long weekend.
I don’t think Houdini could do any better.