Sunday, January 3, 2016

Stop me if you've heard this one...

...but New Year's resolutions are bunk. What, other than the turning of the calendar and the end of the holiday season, makes this a better time than any other to undertake self-improvement?

Then there's the resolutions themselves. For all the fuss about making them, it seems it's taken as a fait accompli that they will come up short, as though a New Year's resolution carries all the weight of your average political campaign promise.

Given all this, Mark Twain perhaps best summed up the occasion in his 1863 New Year's Day editorial in the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise:
Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. To-day, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient short comings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.
Happy 2016 to everyone. If you're not already living the life you want to live, here's hoping this is the year you start.

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