After almost five decades of making New Year's resolutions, I have decided to take a different approach this year. I am going to make some "New Year's Capitulations." A "capitulation" is the opposite of a "resolution." These are the goals that I am going to officially give up, surrender, and cease worrying about/hating myself for not achieving. This might sound like a depressing exercise, but it isn't. My theory here is if there are fewer things to worry about, I might actually worry less. Hey, it's worth a try...
So here we go:
- Stop trying to lose that last 10 pounds of excess weight: My body likes that little blanket of fat. No matter what I do, it sticks to me. The only time I lost it was when I prepped for my colonoscopy. I am just going to learn to love my chub.
- Forget about becoming fluent in a foreign language: I lost my chance to gain this skill in a natural way when I failed to pursue the goal in my school days days or during my time living overseas. It takes work, focus and determination. Hell, I am 58 years old! Those are limited resources at this stage in my life. Punt.
- No hit records for you, buddy: I used to think that my silly song-writing and blues band shenanigans could actually lead to a song that broke into the public consciousness and made money! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! What a delusion! So I will just goof around with music for my own amusement. Let other, more talented people strive for musical fame; I am giving up.
- No sub-4 hour marathon; in fact, no more marathons, period: I managed to stumble through the Chicago marathon in 4 hours 20 minutes back in 1992. I thought I was the next Alberto Salazar. I set the goal for breaking 4 hours, then gradually improving my performance until I was at the front of the pack in my age group. Well, I never ran another marathon and my knees scream at me if I run more than 2 miles. Time to officially stop thinking about this unimportant, unattainable goal.
- No CEO job: I was the CEO of a small company for a short time and it was the worst experience of my working life. In spite of that, I kept thinking that being the top banana is a worthy goal. It ain't gonna happen, and that's a good thing, because I am a lousy CEO.
- Give up on the idea of having a successful marriage: I have spent most of my adult life married, to two different women. It seemed like these marriages started out pretty well, but after a while my spouses started to detest me. I am currently unraveling my second marriage. I am still in favor of marriage, but I don't seem to be cut out for it. I will stick to friendships from now on.
- Inner peace? Fuhgedabowdit!!: I have no idea what "inner peace" means, exactly, but my interior life is a bubbling pot of weirdness. Meditation or cups of tea or large quantities of adult beverages have no impact on this. Time to face it - turmoil will be in my heart forever.
Dropping these seven items still leaves me plenty of stuff to pursue. I hope that I will move a little more nimbly by dropping some baggage.
Happy New Year!!