Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Years' Do T'ings..

Yes, it's that time of year when everyone staggers out of their inebriated state that was attained on the last day of the old year, and solemnly swears to undergo a series of life-changing goals, otherwise known as resolutions. Most of these resolutions will wither and die before the New Years Eve party food has negotiated its way through the person's digestive tract and has left the building (fact: that's three to five days).

That's why a lot of clever, savvy people like me (and, at the risk of starting a mutual back-patting fest) and most of the people I hang with, shrink at the idea of declaring resolutions. Usually they're a cliche for failure (the resolutions, not my friends!).

And yet, there's a certain logic, a certain order, a certain ease of accountability, in starting something on January 1st (or thereabouts). It certainly makes a convenient benchmark. Maybe it's the word "resolution" that's the problem.

I've tried coming up with some clever. I thought of "revolution", "devolution" (are we not men? We are DEVO!), "irresolution", "revelation", but alas, none of them make sense. That's why I have decided to incorporate a phrase that Carol and I use, called "do t'ings".

"Do t'ings" was culled from the hilarious video, "Pork Chop Sandwiches", a satire of a GI Joe cartoon. Soon, we started using "do t'ings" as a catch-all, plugging it in when we were unwilling or unable to come up with specifics. For instance, you could say, "At lunch time, we'll stop off at Wendy's, grab a bite, then for the rest of the lunch hour, I dunno, we'll do t'ings".

Clear now? Good. So, let's cover my New Years Do T'ings.

First of all, let's recap last year's Do T'ings. There was only one, and that was to reduce my body mass so that I would no longer be mistaken for a stunt double for the Hindenburg. False modesty aside, it was a raging success. Took a year, but I lost 60 lbs. Hooray for me!

Well, that was pretty much the only Do T'ings for 2010. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be), there's more for 2011. Read on:

Do T'ings #1. Let's Finish The Job!
OK, so my weight is down to around 160. Supposedly, I should be at 150. So I still have 10 lbs to go. Do T'ings number one, then, is to lose that last 10 pounds or so.

Do T'ings #2. We Are Here To Pump ::Clap:: You Up!
OK, so I lost 60lbs and my legs are gorgeously muscular to behold. You know what is NOT? Upper body. Sure, I'm wiry and can run fast and long, but when it comes to muscle mass, it's almost an embarrassment. Fortunately, there's that gym membership that I have, and have been availing myself of solely to use the treadmills so that I may continue running even when we get rogered by New England's ever-lovable winters. Time to work out, build up upper body strength, etc. So, that's Do T'ings number 2...building up muscle mass.

Do T'ings #3. The Removal Of An Altogether Different Kind Of Fat
The Department Of Statistics Designed To Make You Feel Bad reports that the average American has about $25,000 in non-mortgage debt. Well, this is the year that Carol and I decide that any debt, excluding said mortgage, must shrink if not go away altogether. So, Do T'ings number 3 is to reduce and shut down sources of credit.

Do T'ings #4. Spending More Time With My Kids
The problem with listing this as a Do T'ing is that it may imply that I have to force myself to spend time with my own kids. After all, whether you call it a resolution or a Do T'ing, it usually means that you're forcing yourself to do something that, while ultimately good for you, is something you'd rather not be doing. Well, that's not the case here. See, I see my kids just enough that it's not like they're not in my orbit at all, so it's easy to just sort of coast when they're around. I'm talking here about going out of my way to have more one-on-one time with each of them. I can get lazy and just take for granted that they'll always be around and able to do stuff whenever the mood strikes me. That's not the case. Nothing lasts forever, and the chances to, well, do t'ings diminishes over time. So, Do T'ings Number Four is to go out of my way to have more one-on-one time with each of my kids. I really don't get the chance to see them enough for my tastes.

Do T'ings #5. It's Blog, It's Blog, It's Big, It's Heavy, It's Wood.
I do enjoying writing like this, but a lot of times, I get too lazy and instead burn off time playing Bejeweled Blitz or some PC game. And I do think I have some good things to say sometimes. I should post more blogs. So, that's Do T'ings #5. Blog more.

Do T'ings #6. The Most Frightening Do T'ings Of All
I have three, count 'em, three novels in various stages of completion. At least two of them are over half done. But therein lies the problem. I work on one, everything's great, I'm humming along, then I stop because I have another great idea, so I start another novel, then that one comes along nicely, then I stop because I get yet another good idea, and so on, and so on.

Problem is, I know myself too well. I know what I'm doing here. And in true "pour your heart out because you're blogging" style, it's confession time.

I'm afraid of rejection.

Oh Hell, afraid nothing; I'm TERRIFIED.

See, if I'm working on a book, I can have that nice warm feeling of "Ooooo, this is GOOD!", and no one can refute that. But as the book gets closer to completion, I start to realize that inevitably, others will need to look at it. And they may not agree with my assessment. Do I really want that? Sending the book out to be judged may end up shattering my preconceived subjective notions as to its goodness!

Hell no! Let's start another book! Yeah! OOOO, this one is GOOD! Yeah baby!

I realize I'm being ridiculous. I understand that there's a lot of people that I know who think my writing is all that and a bag of chips. And there's some who think it's at least on par with a lot of other stuff out there. But...but...what if THIS particular thing sucks? What if all those people who like my stuff are wrong???

So, in essence, I need to grow a pair, finish one of the damned things, and start shopping around for an agent. Period. Fish or cut bait. Crap or get off the fence. Yes, I know I mangled that phrase. It was intentional.

So, New Years Do T'ings #6: Shop around ONE completed manuscript.

Will these Do T'ings get done? I have to admit that losing 60 lbs has done wonders for my feeling of "I can't fail". It'll be interesting to see if it holds up to a challenge. Stay tuned throughout the year!

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