Thursday, January 01, 2015

Never Let It Rest

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.

Sole Man

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.


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year my friend! I look forward to enjoying 2015 with you! And I will take that journey with you. Better sounds like a great resolution and something I can certainly stick to!

Rob K said...

Happy New Year, Shae! I'm looking forward to sharing this New Year with you as well! I'm sure we can do this! Take care!

Bijoux said...

Better is a fine aspiration! And I like your mom's ditty!

Rob K said...

Hey, Bijoux! Happy New Year!

I love that ditty. My mom said it so often, but it took a long time for those words to get through my thick skull. Now I'm going to let them guide my way.

Take care!

Ron said...

"Better keeps it simple."

Amen, Rob! And I admire your attitude and perception on this. Too many times we make resolutions; creating a psychological burden for ourselves, which in turn makes changing more frustrating. Sometimes change comes slowly, so we can't always be sure when and how it happens.

And btw, I love your mother's ditty!

I also love how you noticed the "repair" and "shine" sign and took it as a message. Isn't it something how the Universe works by sometimes giving us "signs?"

Happy New Year, buddy! And enjoy your long weekend!

Cheers to 2015!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, Happy New Year!

I'm just trying to be realistic about this resolution business. I know what's better for me and what isn't. All I have to do is be aware and mindful to any harmful behavior or thought patterns.

Mom's ditty is the best, isn't it? And those signs just jumped right out at me, after all this time.

Take care, buddy, and have a great 2015! All the best!!

Jay said...

'Getting the New Year off on the right foot' - Ahahahahahaha! Well, you're getting pretty good at puns, anyway!

Seriously, it's a laudable aim. And even better, you're not putting any pressure on yourself. I have a feeling that you'll do well with this one.

Rob K said...

Oh, thanks so much, Jay! You'll notice I didn't make a resolution to lay off the lame puns--I know I'd break that one before sundown!

Stephanie Faris said...

"Better!" That is a great, entirely reachable goal. I think we all could stand to make that resolution.

Rob K said...

Thanks, Stephanie, let's hope so! Happy New Year!