In case you didn’t notice, it’s 2021. We’ve taken down the Christmas trees, finished burning the Kwanza candles, opened our swimsuit calendars, and entered a new year with a fresh and hopeful perspective. Some of us, anyway.
January has been a troubling month, following a troubling year, but I can’t change this crazy world anymore than I can bypass a customer service line and talk to a real person. I’d like to get some writing published in literary journals this year. My wacky summer camp adventures in the seventh grade have yet to grace the pages of any journal thus far, and I’m outraged. I would also like to finish my novel manuscript, complete a screenplay draft or two, make some real headway on my comics, read a thousand books, and burn through a dozen video editing projects. It’s usually the same story every year, but this time I’m serious.
I want to stop going to bed so late and wake up early enough to write for an hour before the work day has even started. We’ll see how that goes. I want to start a new YouTube channel, using the new microphone I got for Christmas. There’s a bunch of songs I’d like to record, and while we’re at it, I might as well launch my campaign for President in 2024. I’m sure I could fit it in. Good time management and a strong work ethic are the key. At my age, I’m just stating the obvious. Life is as short as they say, so drop that bran muffin, and get out there and do something.
My resolutions this year are numerous. There are countless things I can improve on. My posture, for instance. I could stop mailing checks to that Nigerian prince, who’s probably not an exiled millionaire after all. I could open that dance studio I always wanted. And it’s about time to start canning all my food for the pending societal collapse. With such possibilities ahead, it’s equally important to keep your expectations grounded and your head up. I’ve been house searching for months, to no avail. The current inflated market seems impossible to navigate. I never expected that it would be such a pain and that my dreams of the ultimate man cave would go unfulfilled.
The promise of a new year brings with it opportunity to reexamine our personal decisions. We can stop drinking, smoking, or eating fatty foods. We can read more, learn to cook, take up boxing lessons, or pen that steamy erotic thriller that’s been occupying our minds. We can take a break from the garbage on the news to keep our blood pressure down. We can gradually begin to divest ourselves from the Big Tech monopolies who have so entrenched themselves into our lives to silence and control us. We can be more thoughtful toward each other and grateful for what we have before it all slips away. It’s a dangerous, corrupt world out there, and we’re all just pawns of the elite; people whose only resolutions are how much more they can screw us. Hold on to your wallets!
I’ve devised a comprehensive list of resolutions in no particular order. Perhaps mine are no different than the rest. One thing is certain, if I don’t shake this gypsy’s curse, I could be a full-grown lizard man by February (it’s a long story).
- Implement de-aging CGI techniques to all my current photos
- Preemptively boycott random companies before they piss me off
- Complete my own journey of self-discovery on the Pacific Crest Trail
- Meet that one friend for lunch that’s been pending for two years
- Comprise shorter resolutions
- Build own house
- Do more reading and writing
- Learn bigger words
- Sell hubcap collection
- Use hubcap money for more retro video game purchases
- Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
- Play the stock market
- Gamble away stock winnings in Vegas
- Volunteer for FIFA 2022
- Join more Facebook groups
- Delete Facebook
- Learn ham radio
- Find bicycling groups via ham radio
- Purchase better bike with stimulus check
- Go on a canoe
- Learn all tree types for writing purposes
- Complete secret underground lair
- Stop wasting time
- Order new checks
- Ignore the laughter of others for still using checks
- Cut about ten pounds
- Piano duet with Mom
- Support small businesses
- Get on “The Price is Right”
- BBQ Chicken
It all eventually turns into a grocery list, with specified amounts of fruits and vegetables. There’s a long road ahead this year and the next, and plenty of truths await. Drawing, for instance, cannot just be a weekly hobby if I ever plan to advance in it. I’ve plenty of friends whose artistic talents greatly surpass my own. They work at it and don’t cut corners. Looney Tunes legend Chuck Jones once remarked about the thousands of unused drawings he and his animators went through for a single cartoon. It takes a million times to get anything right and plenty of commitment, patience, and focus. Winston Churchill said, “Never give in–in nothing, great or small, large or petty.” And while he was referring to the fight against global fascism in WWII, such determination is universal wherever it’s applied.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year as we cautiously trudge through 2021 with hopes for brighter days ahead. May we meet in the bunkers when the bombs start dropping. People say, “Shawn, what are you talking about? Everything’s fine.” I don’t dispute that. Things could always be worse, and we’re fortunate to wake up each and every day. But you probably know that already. I’m just preaching to the choir from my soapbox inside the bully pulpit of the blogosphere, keeping the faith.
There’s this story about a man stopped at the gates of Heaven. He’s asked what he accomplished. The man goes into details about his job, raising a family, and all the things he did to live a clean, honest life. He’s told that his entry is pending while they look over his records. He waits and soon realizes that he had forgotten one of his children in his will through a clerical error. He asks if he can return to fix the oversight. His request is denied, as he’s told that he was given all the time necessary to accomplish what he needed to. There’s no going back, and he knows that the slighted child will always think he was a jerk. The clock is ticking, and we’ve got to make our difference every year, regardless. There’s nothing wrong with a nap though. I’m far more successful in my dreams.