Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Resolution revolution

This morning I looked back at the post I made one year ago tomorrow, which was all about how many of my 2010 pop-culture-oriented resolutions I kept and how many I whiffed on, as well as which whiffs would become 2011 resolutions alongside new ones, and which would more likely just be indefinitely delayed. Of course it seemed like a good time to do so because I’m on the verge of doing the same thing again, and I have to admit it’s times like this that I’m actually grateful just for the mechanism of the blog which gives me a window into my own thought process fifty-two Wednesdays ago, because pantheons know I can’t be relied upon to actually remember such things myself.

One thing that struck me was the way that I shifted a lot of responsibility onto the lack of certain physical resources. Every year I say I’m going to sell a bunch of stuff on eBay, and I never do. Last January it was because first I didn’t have a scanner with which to create electronic copies of physical items before putting them up for bids, then I had the scanner but the computer itself was dying. I’ve had that whole situation rectified for months now, but of course not a single online auction going as of yet. And I swear this is not some kind of passive-aggressive self-undermining, where I say I’m going to part with old comics and unopened toys because I know that’s what everyone expects me to say as a responsible adult, despite secretly wanting to hoard every relic of my childhood until I die. Seriously, no. I do not want to be a hoarder, I want to get rid of some stuff and it seems silly to shove everything in trash bags and leave it on the curb when arguably a lot of it has value I could potentially recoup (even as I’ve never denied I would probably channel a lot of said recouping right into other bits of self-indulgent junk). So the main obstacle to actually making scans or taking digital pictures and setting up eBay auctions and whatnot is just my own laziness.

That’s the other thing that jumps out at me when I look at my year-end resolution scorecard: I tend to do a lot better at the things which by their nature require me to work on them more or less constantly, and I tend to fail miserably at the things which are smaller and more self-contained. That may seem fundamentally counterintuitive, but that’s just the way I roll. If I’m going to read X number of books over the course of the year, or watch Y Netflix movies, or whatever, then I calculate up front what my overall pace needs to be and I get started on it because I hate feeling like I’m falling behind. So I dive into that first book right away, or make sure I set aside an evening (or a couple of train-rides) for a certain flick before the end of January, and I get into a groove and build momentum and maybe stumble a little along the way but either hit my goal or come pretty close when all is said and done. But if I just say “I’m gonna sell some stuff on eBay” and give myself all year to do it, there’s no reason to do anything at all in January or even February if I can just put it off until April or May (or June or November …)

So, I’m still grappling with that one. For 2012, should I resolve to “Sell one thing every month on eBay”? Or “Sell a bunch of stuff in March (or whatever month I think will give me a lot of free time and few distractions)”? Or just be aware of my own tendencies and leap over the pitfalls of the past in whatever way seems appropriate at the time? When (and if) I figure it out, I will undoubtedly let you know.

But other than hopefully finally overcoming my anti-eBay inertia, 2012’s pop consumption looks to be a lot like 2011. I did, in the past year, go to the movies a handful of times, and I consumed a subscription-justifying number of Netflix DVDs (because, I note ruefully as I look back at last year’s installment, I never was able to take advantage of Netflix streaming video after I got my computer situation settled, due to Netflix raising their prices if you wanted both and me opting to stick with physical DVDs only) and those were never intended to be starting points for building somewhere, so if I can hold steady at similar levels I will be utterly satisfied. I’m probably not going to be playing more video games any time soon, but after the fun I had making my Christmas iTunes playlist, maybe I’ll be downloading more new music in the new year.

The biggest resolution change from one year to the next has always been my reading habit, going for sheer quantity one year and more quality the next (I only ended up reading 9 classics of literature last year, not 12, but still felt good about the experience) and in 2012 I will be going at it from an entirely different angle – but that of course is fodder for another post, coming soon! Because I have to admit, yet another resolution this year is likely to be an endeavor to break the 250-post mark I set back in 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment