Sunday, December 22, 2013

Resolutions for 2014

I have been too occupied to blog during the past month or so.  Early on, I was working through psychology books by Karen Horney to discover the psychological origins of my various failings (regarding money, romance, prestige, etc.)  This dreary pastime, producing no more than some sad insights ('To thine own self be true' makes a classy bumper sticker but a lousy organizing principle for living), was soon pushed aside by my year-end responsibilities to write performance reviews for about fifty people at work.  More dreariness.

To brighten my mood today, I am looking ahead to 2014 and setting down my New Year's resolutions. Now I recognize that making resolutions can sometimes be a troublesome and disappointing exercise, as indicated by Ashley Sterne's rococo observations from Pan Magazine (January 1920):

"To-night (New Year’s Eve), over the wassail-bowl flowing with milk and honey, whisky punch, copying-ink, or whatever our favorite inebriating fluid may be, we shall go through the annual formula of making our Good Resolutions.  To-morrow we shall put our hands to the plough and start a clean sheet.  But, Hei mihi!  Eheu jugaces!   Hic, Hoec, hoc!  (For further suitable ejaculations see “Lamentations of Jeremiah.”)  The same evening or, in extreme cases, the following morning, back to the fold will come those good resolutions, their feathers ruffled, their tails between their legs, their ties behind their ears, their native hue sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.  Gone is our “glad morning face” (Stevenson); hushed “the late lark singing in our hearts” (Henley).  Instead, a sad, morning face (myself), “and no birds sing” (Keats, The Lovely Lady who never said ‘Thank You’”)  Thus shall we realize that history is made up of revolutions, not resolutions."

Nevertheless, despite the usual danger of making a fool of myself, here I go resolving!

My first resolution is a bit of unfinished business from 2013.  Back then I resolved to climb four Colorado fourteeners.  In fact, in 2013 I only attempted one fourteener, Quandry Peak.  I did not distinguish myself in this attempt.  Shameful to admit, I threw in the towel at about 13,000 feet and wobbled back down the mountain exhausted.

For six months I have nursed a grudge against this mountain for mistreating me so badly.  Therefore, for 2014 I have resolved to conquer Quandry, do or die.  (Preferably do)

My second resolution is to rehabilitate my general physical fitness. This will involve regaining my college weight, plus ten pounds.  (Some concession to my mature years seems fair and reasonable.)  Also, I am setting exercise targets of performing 40 pushups and 40 situps.  I expect that the achievement of this second resolution will invigorate me greatly and will also have the salutary side effect of easing my blood pressure into a healthy range.


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