Friday, January 1, 2016



I like making New Year's resolutions about as much as I like form Christmas letters. I'm framing goals instead, telling myself that's somehow different, preferable, more prone to success. Somewhere truth rings a marginal bell.

Here goes:

1) Figure out how to break my Facebook addiction, because my need to check in and click 'like' a few times to feel like I'm not evaporating from my social scene is out of control. I wake up at 4 a.m. every morning even though I have no desire to be awake at 4 a.m., and I am overcome with compulsion to check in. Notifications have too much bearing on the wellbeing of my soul. I have no conclusive plan for how to pull off the chains of social media oppression, but there's my big first goal of the year. One must declare a starting location.

2) Read books, not online articles. Books. I pulled Harding's Tinkers off the shelf a couple of days ago. I also pulled down my copy of Japanese Death Poems, Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking (again), and Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain. The stroke spared my husband and killed my attention span. That's what I tell myself. I read a chapter here, a few pages there, then I'm back to combing the internet for articles on passing fancies, or not so passing fancies. I miss books, but it's going to take work to get into and through them again. This requires ironing out my nerves and persistence. That's big goal numero dos.

3) Write. Not just blogging. Publishable material. I've got at least four ideas bubbling for personal essays, two for academic research papers, and an orphanage of lines that want enough skin grafting to count as children within poems. James Franco has a book of poems, for crying out loud. What is my excuse?

4) Get my three incomplete grades changed so that I can apply for scholarships and start classes (or class) again in the fall. This is a huge goal. Important. Necessary, since I have no business taking out more loans for school and a single 3-credit class runs $880 a semester. You know, when I started my bachelor's degree in 1994 a full load of classes cost about $1200. That was 12+ credits. Now a full load is $2700. Adjuncts don't have health insurance. I want you to think about that—for a while. 

5) Get over winter. This damned season does a number to my energy levels and sleep cycle every year. I'd like to manage sleeping, all night long, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Is that really too much to hope for? What gives with the sun and northern hemisphere November to March anyway? It's lame. You'd think that with how hard humans work at climate change we could manage to adjust winter light levels as well. 

6) I should have more goals. Five is a paltry aspiration. But I'm afraid for now I'm itching to check Facebook, and maybe after that, read some articles. I'll have to give my plans for the new year some more thought. I'm certain something will come to me, probably at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, or perhaps late spring. And then, I'll write that goal down too. 

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