wake up and fight

By now, you’ve seen Woody Guthrie’s “New Years Rulin’s.” The list lover in me is as tickled as the fan. Big surprise: Not much has changed in seventy years. We still want to “read lots good books.” We still want to “eat good.” We still don’t learn people very well.

So maybe we are not running out to the banks to deposit our extra money or shining our shoes. But we’re still fighting fascism (or should be, especially right here at home), and we’re still doing what it takes to crank up that ol’ hoping machine every day.

On our secret lists—yours and mine—we’re reminding ourselves to floss more this year, to love people, to make the bed every morning. And while we may tailor our out-loud resolutions to individual goals (“write a song a day”), the two-thirds of us who are overweight are hoping to eat better—or, in my case, less. I have a few more things I want to accomplish.

To Do in 2012

1. Read more books. Novels, short stories, poetry.

1. Blueprints for Building Better Girls, by Elissa Schappell
2. God Bless America, by Steve Almond
3. Black Elvis, by Geoffrey Becker
4. The Greatest Show, by Michael Downs.

2. Write more poetry.

My poetry mojo has been stuffed in a too-small pair of underpants, further constringed by a girdle, squeezed into black control-top hose, and packed into tight leather pants that nobody wears anymore. It’s itchy and lonely and hot and needs to go commando.

It’s been a long time since I wrote a poem without having to rely on single, unrelated words from Facebook friends. But as soon as I made the resolution, I wrote a poem in my head. It’s about buttons. It’s going to be good; I can feel it. I just need to squeeze it out.

3. Take more photographs.

I’m not talking about pointing at and shooting so many sunrises and sunsets, so much of the minutiae of my day, the birds, the rockstar kids I know, people, food, buildings.

I’m talking about sunrises and sunsets! The minutiae of my day! Oh, the birds! Those rockstar kids I know! People! Food! Buildings!

More, but better! I’m hoping for a series of self-portraits in the new year. Maybe superheroes. Maybe art recreations. Something weekly.

4. Concentrate on the concentrations of goodness wherever it’s found.

I find mine in Tuesday nights with friends, in a fancy Maudite glass, in the basement, on the dog bed. In fact, wherever there are good people and good food and good music, I’m usually pretty happy. There’s some of that for all of us every day. Yes?

5. Play guitar every day.

Even though I suck. Maybe I’ll suck less.

6. Lose weight. Move More.

There’s nothing worse than being old except being old and fat. I hurt myself in a pilates class at work, and now even my fat pants don’t fit. I’ve given myself permission to satisfy sadness and stress and pain with beer and pizza, even though it only feeds a pathetic fire. So after I ring in the new year with a roasted pig, I’ll stop being one. I’ll be on Medifast for a month—at least until I learn how to control myself.


7. Wake up and fight.

For far too many mornings since June, I have found myself in the company of those who wake up and surrender. Tonight, I burn the white flags.

My wish for you in 2012 is my wish for me and everyone else. Take more pictures—with your camera, your words, your mind. Love. Pleasure yourself while you pleasure others (doesn’t even require two hands). Listen to good music and drink good beverages and eat good food and keep good company.

Remember to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. It’s how you run the hoping machine.

What are your plans for 2012? Will you learn a new language? A new instrument? Will you take a leap of faith? Will you trust more, worry less?

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