The Marfa Meanderthal: If at first you don’t succeed

New year, new decade, new start! Happy New Year, everyone! With the start of 2020, many people are making resolutions – or at least plans – for self-improvement, financial and/or physical fitness, or any of a vast number of other betterments. By February, many will be forgotten, abandoned, or at least regretted. Have you made YOUR self-promises, and will you really keep them?

Being somewhat of a cynic, I have a sort of dark philosophy regarding resolutions, preferring to avoid making any kind of commitment that I might not be able to carry through with. So for the past fifty or so years I have simply refused to make any new year resolutions at all. This year, however, I decided to make several that I’m sure I’ll be able to keep. They are sensible, easy to keep, and will very likely result in an improvement in my life as well as in the lives of many people around me.

To begin with, I will not, under any circumstances, in the coming year start any major riots. That should be a comfort to the local citizenry, as well as the law enforcement community, and should keep me out of that awful place with the dreadful bars and all that restriction and confinement. It should also be easy enough to maintain without thoughtless unintentional infractions, as I live in a peaceful enough rural community without too much civil controversy.

Most people expect a resolution regarding diet or weight control, and since the idea of a numerical goal regarding pounds or inches to lose is difficult to reach, I have decided that my personal statement for 2020 is that I will not eat unless I am hungry. After all, hunger is the primary reason for eating in the first place. The reverse also makes sense, so I will eat if and when I am hungry. WHAT I eat doesn’t appear anywhere in this equation, so I will give that little to no thought and consume whatever is available and appealing. With so many pecans and nopales around town, availability should be no problem, and I am fully aware that a human will not starve to death in a couple of days, so I have no reason to worry. (For those of you who may be thinking that I am making light of the hunger problem in the world today, I have been there and done that, and I do not regard it lightly. If anyone out there is truly unable to procure enough food, contact me and I will gladly share.)

Then there is the area of attitude and self-help. I resolve that I will readily show affection, as I have for some time been rather restrained regarding such displays. So just know that if I act cool or distant, it is probably because I don’t like you. Or that I didn’t see you, as my vision is deteriorating as I get older. And finally, beginning now, “because I don’t want to” is ample reason for refusing to do or become involved in anything I choose. Enough with people-pleasing and all that!

If you elect to make one or more resolutions for this new year and are worried about keeping them more than a few weeks, here are a few suggestions that may help:

1.  Write it down and post it somewhere visible. The refrigerator or bathroom mirror are excellent possibilities.
2.  Read it every day. And be aware that other people will also be able to read it. That will keep it prominent in your conscious and subconscious thoughts. It will probably also cause some worry, so we can address the issue of worrying at a later date.
3.  If you are unsuccessful, don’t beat yourself up over it. Remember: If at first you don’t succeed, lower your standards. Then try again. Once you have reached a lower goal, it is much easier to achieve the original higher one.

Finally, I’d like to share something my father told me when I was growing up: Live every day as if it were your last. One of them will be.

Smile. Laugh. Enjoy! 2020 will only last for a year.