Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Flapping in the breeze

It's been a bit more than 3 weeks since the start of the calendar New Year and I'm still just sort of hanging around in a perpetual limbo state. Word from on high is that my security clearance hasn't been approved yet, but then neither has it been denied. The good folks at Lockheed say that clearances are taking, on average 4-6 months or more to complete, and mine won't even hit the 4 month mark until the end of next week. Frankly it sucks, especially with the added problem of my current employer pressuring me to leave ever since they found out that I was trying to get a position at Lockheed way back in November.

To add insult to injury, my personal life isn't exactly moving out of neutral gear any time soon either. I've spent the 8 months since my divorce was finalized mostly alone, with a single noteworthy exception in the form of an ill-advised affair with a woman I didn't know (at the time) was using me to cheat on their significant other.

I did recently meet someone that I've found myself deeply infatuated with. The downside is that I'm not sure if it was really mutual or if she was just playing me. Only time will tell on that I suppose.

The ultimate point, I think, is that I'm pretty much left floating in perpetual limbo at this point. So what the hell am I supposed to do now?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year -- New What?

So the new year has come again. The eternal roll of ages adds another line, we all get older and if we're very, very lucky maybe just a bit wiser -- but that's probably just wishful thinking by and large.

It's at this time of year that humanity really bugs me. Everyone starts talking about new beginnings, about things getting better, about life improving. They make resolutions, little promises to themselves -- losing weight, exercising, living right, etc. It's a funny thing really, because most of the resolutions people make are all about one thing -- making themselves feel like they are trying to be a better person in the new year. They're going to do all those important little things that they never had time for before or were just too lazy for. Of course the vast majority of those resolutions will be completely forgotten before the first of February even rolls around.

People don't change. That's a simple, undeniable fact. If you were too weak willed to exercise and diet last year, what on earth makes you think that you'll find the willpower this year?? I mean come on people, let's be honest, if you're going to make a resolution, at least make one that you have some small chance of actually keeping. That whole idea of aiming high so that when you fail (because inevitably, you will if you aim really high like that) you still accomplish something is absolute horse-shit. All it does it acknowledge that "hey, I'm never gonna actually do this..." and that always leads to "well, why bother trying if I can't succeed..." and poof, you're as screwed this year as you were last.

Sound bitter? Overly cynical? Maybe. But I can honestly say, that I've never failed to follow through on a New Year's resolution since I started being realistic about them. And, in fact, this year I made several resolutions:

1. I will end this year with less credit debt than I started it.
2. I will start working on an original novel this year.
3. I will spend more time writing and less time playing games.

I would also have resolved that this year I will get a better job than the one I have, but since I'm just waiting on my clearance to come through so I can start a better job, that one seemed a little too much of a gimme. Generally, these are the kinds of resolutions I make, things that do require some effort on my part, I do have to change my habits to accomplish these things... but they're small changes. Changes I feel comfortable saying, "with a little effort, I can do this".

I'll be the first to admit that these aren't the only things in my life that I need to change. Hell, like most Americans I need to exercise more, lose a few pounds (10 or 15 in my case), and get out of debt altogether. But let's be real here, I'm not going to pay off my credit cards this year, let alone my student loans, no matter how many resolutions I make -- unless I luck up and win the lottery or something, but I'm really not liking the odds on that, especially since I very rarely buy lottery tickets... I will lose more weight this year, I dropped 10 pounds last year and I'm still losing weight -- so why would I make a resolution about it? I just need to continue on with the habits I've already formed there and everything will be fine in the long run. As for exercise, yes, I need to do more of it... but I know myself well enough to know that's a resolution I'll never manage to keep, so I won't make it.

So now, the real question for anybody who reads this: Did you make a new year's resolution you can keep? Or did you make an impossible resolution like most people?

Give it some thought... it's not too late go back and make a meaningful resolution.