As always, I made no serious attempt at making any resolutions this year. I have historically tended to view this as right, proper, and fitting, because while in my experience January is always abuzz with activity, it’s also typically the one month of the twelve where nothing ever actually gets resolved.
My apartment, currently, is a disaster. I just loaded the dishwasher and I’m not sure I have any more free counter space available than I did before. The potential deposit return on the cascade of empty soda bottles spilling out of the front hall closet is likely sufficient to pay my wife’s bus fare for the next three semesters. The wardrobe has become a floordrobe, and the floordrobe has been rapidly advancing from its home base in the bedroom like a collective of Borg drones, assimilating the chair, the couch, the dining room table.
I’m exaggerating for our mutual amusement. But not much.
My wife and I are slogging through particularly packed portions of our respective calendars. She’s just starting her second semester of grad school (she’s working toward becoming an occupational therapist), the amount of homework she has to complete been ratcheted up, and she’s just started her field work. Said field work entails a weekly sojourn to Lansing for 9 hours on her feet in a hospital setting. She likes it, but it makes for a very long week with one very long day—a Wednesday, no less—in which very little else can be accomplished.
In addition to my regular job, I’ve been picking up a few freelance gigs recently (and pursuing a few more). I’ve got a bunch of new music to learn (I joined a second choir this semester, so I’m up to two rehearsals per week). I just got back from a meeting of one of the two committees I agreed to serve on, and I’m just about to start work on the church newsletter I help edit and put together.
I’m not complaining. I genuinely enjoy pretty much all of this stuff, at least all of it individually, and I’m genuinely excited about where a lot of it is going in the coming months. Life is good. Well, except for this cold and snow, which is finally, finally starting to get to me.
But right now, tonight, still not quite at the end of a month of furious activity and hard work and with the finish line for most of my projects still well in the distance, I am worn out. And I’m pretty bummed about the state of the living space, which actually was pretty clean a few weeks ago but slowly fell into its current state while its primary occupants prioritized other tasks.
I’m pretty sure I’m about to fall asleep and I’m not even close to finished with what I have to do this evening. Clearly Bruce Hornsby isn’t cutting it. Not sure Zappa is going to keep me awake either, unless I take the time to weed out any song with a 6+ minute guitar solo on it—which is like half his catalog. I think I’ll switch to Joe Jackson and see if that helps. It seems like this whole “all-nighter” thing was a lot easier in college, but I could be misremembering.
I have a theory that more people would keep their New Year’s resolutions if we all agreed to make them in, say, May. January is hard enough to get through as it is without also worrying about how self-actualized you really ought to be.
But January is a necessary step. Just about anything worth doing requires resolve without immediate resolution. Often it requires withstanding a run of cold, gray days. You might even have to dig your car out of a snowbank once or twice.
No resolutions for January. Just like always. Plain old resolve will do for now.
Stephen Mulder (’10) is a copywriter, editor, account manager, husband, and member of two semi-professional choirs in West Michigan. He spent the majority of his college days inside the Chimes office, eventually serving as editor, web manager, and delivery-boy-in-chief in 2009–2010. He graduated with a degree in history.