I don’t go in for big showy resolutions because I don’t believe a year can be evaluated in light of an aspiration born out of cheerful optimism. No one really cures cancer by publishing their first book on building abs of steel in forty days. Unless, of course, that person features in infomercials for the teeth whitening properties of acacia berry and lowering one’s car insurance with one ridiculously easy old trick originally used to make dermatologists everywhere hate you. Wow. That guy in the infomercials is like Superman.
The other problem with New Years resolutions is that even if I can keep them, they are an insufficient meter stick for the rest of the year. “So yeah, I dropped out of college to have more time to train for a marathon. I won the scholarship prize on the marathon, but, you know, then I wasn’t in college.” Or maybe the reverse. “I graduated from college with honors but I never worked up the courage to donate blood.” (Eventually I’ll get up the guts to do that.)
Yet another problem with resolutions is the unpredictable ways in which people change during the year. I’m braver and more responsible than I was last year. (Take my word on this.) Sometimes it’s a sign of growth to be unable to fulfill one’s goals. This time last year, I could fill up two pages with vague idealistic garbage on what I was going to do with my life. Now I’m smart enough to know that specifics are better, even if I have no idea of how I’m going to get there or what exactly these rogue interests in magnetism, quantum mechanics, florescence, crystallography, and optics have to do with curing cancer.
Sometimes, even though the year feels like a defeat, you’ve got to remember that even victorious soldiers stumble back to their camp and fall asleep. We’re not beaten yet, only exhausted. (And we defeated the first half of basic physics. Yay!) The great thing about college? You get to start over every six months.
(Another problem with resolutions is that sometimes success is hard to gauge. You got fit, but how fit? I’m going to join the club. This year, I will be more positive.)