Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

In Alain Botton's essay "Making Resolutions" he states: "We don’t tend to make resolutions about things we completely believe in. It just comes naturally. But we do resolve all the time to be kinder or more hardworking, because a sizeable part of us loves being cruel and sitting around. A resolution always hovers over a grave inner conflict and constitutes a vow by one part of ourselves against another. Which is why – according to some - we should never be so foolish as to make a resolution. And yet we need resolutions - even if we don’t actually manage to carry them through or rather, precisely because we rarely manage to do so."

I always hated this action and spent many years avoiding it (because it ended in failure every time), preferring to assess the next year on my birthday, looking not only into the next 12 months but 24, 60 and beyond. It makes more sense particularly since that date coincides with the start of the academic year.

Last year, two things happened. I only saw one movie in the theater in 2012 and vowed to change that. I reinstated the end of the year resolution with something that would be easy to achieve: see one good movie a month that was not viewed on my laptop but in public on a big screen. It started off well but along came the summer blockbuster rut and in early November, there were seven weeks left to see six films. Fortunately, there was a plethora and the cramming began.

I should have realized how impossible it was to see one a month (with the good stipulation) and accepted the fact that twelve over the course of the year was sufficient (hell, it beats one). Needless to say, mission partially accomplished. A new goal is set for 2014 featuring an activity that I have grown to love out of the necessity of living in a small town: cooking. Here's to improving the quality of life outside breathing art and school every hour of each day.

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