My friend Linus and I sat in the Irish Pub the day after Christmas nursing beers and watching a soccer friendly when he brought up New Year's resolutions.
"You have any?"
I gave up making New Year's resolutions five years ago.
"I got three."
Lay them on me.
"One, I'm gonna lose 25 pounds and get down below three spins."
"On the scale, moron."
Do scales still spin?
"The point is that I wanna lose weight!"
Well, that is good. You are five feet seven inches. Your heart and your insoles will thank you for that.
"The second is to be nicer. Just, you know, nicer. To be a nicer guy."
"And third ... I want to learn how to salsa dance."
"Well, actually, I've already started that one. Had to take a break since the wife went home for the holidays. Hey, why'd you give up resolutions? You don't like change?"
On the contrary, I love change. I embrace change like my taste buds meeting a bacon-wrapped hunk of veal.
"It's 2012! You get a clean slate!"
You don't, really. You wake up with the same challenges you had the day before. Bills. Children. Illness. Regret. It's all still there plus a walloping hangover if you did New Year's Eve according to Madison Avenue rules.
"So you're saying I'm not gonna get below three hundred pounds?"
I'm saying you've got to be ready to do it. The thing with New Year's resolutions is the need to be, well, resolute. By its very definition, 'resolute' conjures up all sorts of problems around this time of year. It is difficult to be "admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering" while retailers, hucksters and every con artist with a racket scream for your money; food flies out of ovens faster than you can pack it down; and the niceness gallops like free zebras across the Serengeti. I think this is just a tough time of year to make it happen.
"Plus all those college bowl games and the party clean up and everything else. There's a lot to worry about."
Something like that.
"Hmm. So you're sayin' don't do it?"
I'm saying don't do it NOW. Smarter people than me have said you should wait so you can ensure you have the willpower, some concrete goals and, perhaps most importantly, the support mechanism, like a friend or two, to help you get there. And you've got some things, like that weight loss, that will probably require some encouragement and coaching from a friend. All you'd have to do is find the right person and ask.
"You're right about that because I really need to make that happen. That resolution will be great for my health, I'll feel better about myself, gain some confidence, and I'll see some long-term benefits. That said, umm, can I ask you something?"
"Would you mind being my salsa partner for a few days until my wife comes back?"
Jason Tudor is something of a multimedia alchemist who likes buying gadgets and shopping online, mostly because he has to. He's a three-time Department of Defense first-place winner for feature writing and has three published books of poetry. His illustration work appears on websites like the Zombie Dating Guide, and has commissioned work in anthologies "The Undead That Saved Christmas," volumes 1 and 2. Jason is currently working on three novels, including two science fiction books. As such, he the host and producer of "The Science Fiction Show," a weekly podcast on the topic available on iTunes. His website is www.jasontudor.com