Tangent — The New Year’s Thang

January 3, 2011

[Note: For those new to this blog, my tangents usually have little or nothing to do with Richard Armitage. For the fans: I do like to post pictures of RA as often as I can, so maybe there will be one at the end. And for all of you: be sure to read the post script at the very end if your stamina holds out.]

I have this quirk in my nature which always wants to buck the system when I have even the slightest sense the system is all about form and not really about any meaningful function. The first time this obstinance manifested was in the first grade. One Friday the teacher asked me to go to the blackboard to write something so I could learn along with the others, and I said, “I don’t have to go to the blackboard.” She arched a brow and looked over her glasses at me, and said, “What do you mean?” I replied, “It’s Friday, and my mother says I don’t have to go to the blackboard on Fridays.” I was quickly reprimanded and taken to the hallway where she grabbed my chin and with her other hand, dug her fingernail into the top of my head while she told me how much trouble I was in. The following week she requested a conference with my parents (I still hate that word conference), and I got my backside blistered by dad when he got home from that meeting. I also got a lecture about how it was wrong to co-opt the idea from our Catholic neighbors who didn’t eat meat on Fridays. All I knew is there was no need for me to go to the board. I already knew what the teacher was talking about.

None of this is to say that I’m generally obstinate. I just don’t like doing things expected of me which don’t appear to have any benefit, to anyone. Yeah, it sounds arrogant and selfish, but how many of us hate doing things that are a waste but we do them anyway? C’mon, I know some of you do things like this, but you do them only because someone, somewhere expects it. And you hate it. We’ve all done it. But as I get older, I find I’m going back to my six year old self. I don’t want to squander time on things that really don’t count no matter how good they might make me look. So where am I going with this? Well, I felt a little bit of a pull to do the requisite New Year’s write-up/recap thang on the blog, and I was not excited about that at all. So I didn’t do one. I’m simply enjoying the wonderful pieces done by others.

But you’re not getting off the hook before I wax on about my objection to New Year’s resolutions, and yes, I know I’m not the first one to say this nor will I be the last. But people like me need to keep saying it until a few of you get it. New Year’s resolutions for most of us are a waste of time. I mean who keeps those things — if you even remember them after a couple of months? I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who kept a New Year’s resolution. No, that’s not true. I have known one person who did, and she talked about it incessantly, which was the result of being shocked that she kept it. But most and probably darn near all people don’t keep them. Or maybe I just run with a slothful crowd.

Obviously, I think my crowd is in the majority, which compels me to talk to you about something that is so unnecessary and usually just leads to guilt. Yep, it’s a setup for failure. I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t need any help with feeling like a failure, and several years ago I resolved to stop making resolutions because of that feeling. There are so many deadlines to meet in life, and I don’t need to create another one for myself especially when it only facilitates self-flagellation. Of course there is that minority who keeps resolutions, and if you are one of those people, and it makes you feel good, I’m sincerely happy for you. My lazy self will continue to refrain.

Yet I completely understand the need to make New Year’s resolutions, the need to wipe the slate clean and start over, the need to have another chance at making something right or attaining something we long for. That need is so great among us, that when a year comes to an end and a new ones starts, and we’re quite naturally taking stock of our lives, it seems fitting to cobble together something that sounds important for us to do, something that sounds like a great destiny. But I submit to you that you don’t have to start on January 1, and that may be the worst date to do it for some of us. So make up your own day for starting over, and hey, it really can be every morning. Frankly, if I didn’t start over at least once a week and sometimes daily, I would never want to talk to anyone or leave my house, and I’ve been there before. Not fun. So it’s Monday after the holiday, and the day didn’t get started all that well. I may need to start the year over on the 4th.

End of sermonette.

A picture of Richard Armitage as sort of promised. (Scroll beyond it for Post Script).

Yeah, I know you understand what I’m sayin’, Rich.

Screencap courtesy of my stash.

Post script: My mother just reminded me the first time my obstinate nature clashed with a teacher was actually in kindergarten. The class was learning to print their names. My name ends in an ‘A’, and I’ve always hated the look of a lower case ‘a’, and when it was on the end of my name, it didn’t look finished. So when I printed my name, I ended it with a small sized capital ‘A’, and I still print it that way today. (Yes, I know it’s harder to write.). When the teacher came by to check my work, she said, “No, honey, you must write it like this — ‘a’.” I just nodded and kept writing it with a capital ‘A’. The teacher got so flustered she screamed at me and ripped my paper into several pieces. Then she gave me another paper, but I still proceeded to write with an ‘A’ on the end of my name. She finally called my mother, who met with her that afternoon. The teacher told her I was developmentally delayed (or whatever pc language teachers used back then to say a kid was slow mentally). Mother was devastated and went home in tears. When my dad came home from work, he quizzed her about her upset, and she told him what the teacher had said and how she wasn’t sure what to think. To which good ol’ dad said, “Oh, that’s horseshit. The kid can write in cursive for cryin’ out loud.”


  1. My New Year’s Resolution is usually to no make any resolutions LOL but I have committed to the novel writing. Otherwise, I am already working on some things that need to get accomplished in my life–like going through the mass quantities of stuff I’ve accumulated at our house and lightening the pyschic load it takes on me and hubby.

    I need to lose weight and shape up, too, but as my husband reminded me this weekend, I have a tendency to get all “gung-ho” and try to be too ambitious and over-do physically, and then end up bed-ridden for a few days because my spirit is writing checks my flesh can’t cash.

    So I am taking baby steps. In addition to my always varied work schedule, a little cleaning and sorting every day, a little pondering and planning for the novel, cutting back on certain foods, and some stuff just purely for pleasure. Like looking at Mr. A. I LOVE that particular still by the way. *uhmmmmmmmmm*

  2. “Not” make. Slightly rattled at the moment. We’ve had several young people seriously injured in car accidents over the weekend and my dear friend’s mom died from an accidental choking, and our office manager and I were just discussing arrangements for her critically ill father, so–attention off-kilter.

  3. I’m so sorry, but certainly a good reason to take your attention.

    You and I are each in some kind of “business” that brings us up close to these tragedies on a regular basis, and that is just another reason for curtailing things that have no meaning.

  4. Yeah, I see wonderful things and terrible things. The best in humanity and the worst and sometimes you just have to cry with people. At least it looks like the kids are going to pull through their injuries. On a stupidity of youth note, three of our basketball players were arrested for shoplifting a pellet gun from Kmart at an out-of-town tourney. *shakes head*

  5. The only behavioral New Year’s resolutions (note correct placement of apostrophe, lol) that have ever worked for me were those that reflected a deeper change that was already underway or had been completed. Sounds fatalistic, I suppose, but if a change is going to happen there’s no point in trying to coordinate it with the beginning of the solar year. So I’ve changed my resolutions to the form of asking myself to think differently about things where my thought patterns are not helping me. More meditative, but less disappointing ultimately.

  6. Yeah, I don’t really see the point with making promises you’re never going to keep. I need to lose weight and get more into shape too, but to make it a New Year’s resolution when it’s something that needs to be an ongoing project, possibly for years to come? Doesn’t sound right. And if it’s a resolution, well, it makes it too … fancy, almost? I haven’t even finished the two reading challenges I started last year, and they were resolutions of sorts. So no, not going there. Thanks for the link, will have a closer look tomorrow.

    Love the bit about obstinacy (I’m very much the same way) and the way your dad reacted to the teacher. Darn straight! :D

    @Angieklong: My thoughts are with you and those around you! *hugs*

  7. Thank you, Traxy. To top it all off, I found out some poor fellow was struck by lightning over the weekend. He survived but he was not breathing for several minutes, so not sure how much damage he may have sustained. It’s been a tough start to the new year for the county!
    I am just going to take things one day at a time. Seems the best way . . .

  8. […] a few other things. Then again, I never have been a fan of New Year’s. I wax on about that here, so I’ll spare you a […]

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