Trackball's first annual snapshot

Resolutions are for the somewhat deluded. They at least are cognizant of the need to change, but are deluded enough to make a half-hearted attempt. If you need/want to make a change, you shouldn't wait for the calendar to flip to get started. Anything that has to be resolved will likely not take root, much like posting a mission statement on the wall: if it's not ingrained and omnipresent, a one-time declaration isn't going to make it happen.

Growing up in My Shire, the new year was always greeted with rounds of well meaning and ambitious toasts and promises and plans, none of which ever happened. It was ultimately depressing to hear the same fantasies from the same people year after year without any execution. It was almost like stating that some personal problem would be addressed was sufficient. Now I know that lots of people feel that the new year is the time to make a fresh start and they make an effort, but all that happens is they all clog up my gym for the next six to eight weeks. By March they will be back to where they were in December - on their couch watching Survivor.

However, at least they try. Some people have either given up on self-change or they no longer feel any pressure to do what is right in their lives. The idea of self-improvement has lost a lot of its luster recently, despite the ever increasing sales of self-help books and paraphernalia. (Maybe people believe that reading a self-help book constitutes all they need to do to self-improve.) People in their 20s and 30s, especially those with helicopter parents, aspire to be the same as their parents rather than to do or be something better. They just don't want others to expect much from them.

I hate that.

There is a growing feeling that one's shortcomings shouldn't be dealt with, not even ignored, but should be proudly displayed as means of self-identification. Obese, racist, misogynist, illiterate, mediocre, homophobic, mean, bankrupt, etc. have somehow morphed into integral parts of personality rather than hangnails to be dealt with. People use the victimhood culture to blame their problems on others, or the ceaseless parade of 'flawed' characters in popular entertainment --Jack Bauer-- or their increasingly placating religious beliefs to justify behavior they know is wrong ('everyone has to have a vice').

I hate that even more.

There's a dark and deep line between giving up on changing parts of oneself that are not changeable and eschewing any improvements as impossible just to let oneself off the hook. I realize that there are several parts of my personality and presence that need work. That work has been ongoing, and some of it may be ultimately unsuccessful as things that seemed changeable are really unchangeable.

Some have said that my intolerance of other's foibles (and my own) is a big failing of mine. As a humanist who believes that humans can improve themselves and their world, this is a religious belief not a failing. High expectations are not a sin in any moral code I subscribe to. Go ahead and try to ding me for thinking that you and I can be better and do better than we are now. I dare you.

With that resolution crap resolved, I do think New Year's is a good time to set down a time capsule of sorts on where one is and what is going on. Forget trying to leap the moon today, just reflect on where you are. Could be interesting to collect them over the course of years and see how things change. Here is where ToT is at right now:

  • Been using the Dvorak keyboard layout for a year now and feel comfortable enough with it that I am back up to my old typing speed but without the carpal problems.
  • Going to get laser eye correction surgery and dump the eyeglasses that have been on my face since the mid 1980s.
  • The HDTV has been procured and the beginning pieces of the Lair are ready to be assembled. (It will have a retro gaming center with TV, VCR, Nintendo and Super Nintendo.) Someday the Lair will have HD.
  • The first novel is in it's second draft and is awaiting feedback from its first readers.
  • The Mac experiment has produced some mixed results, but so far more good than bad.
  • Tried Aikido but it just wasn't for me.
  • Still manage to play: with the little Trackballs, with video games and with Legos

1 comment:

orangepips said...

Congratulations in your continuing nerd ascendancy. Where's my copy of the manuscript?

- MJL