Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Shattered Resolutions and Broken Dreams

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Dec• 31•17

I’ve got something in my eye.

This time last year, some madman was running around my apartment doing push-ups and jumping jacks, insistent that he was going to get his life right and tackle the world in 2017. Yes, that madman was me. But now that I’m barely clawing my way across the 2017 finish line with my life support machine dragging behind me, I am realizing that maybe I overdid it with those things I was just so sure I would tackle by the end of the year.

Apparently, I knew better than to document my resolutions for 2017. I looked back at my blog posts from the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 and found that I opted to skip declaring any resolutions publicly. It’s like New Year’s didn’t even happen. I wrote about failing the Military Diet in November 2016 and then skipped all the way to April 2017 where I wrote about Spanx for your neck. I guess if I had succeeded with the Military Diet, I wouldn’t have needed the Spanx.

Well, since there is no written evidence of any alleged resolutions, I guess I technically didn’t fall short of anything. Impressive. That’s certainly worth raising a glass or two in acknowledgement of my accomplishment. And if you happen to live in one of those areas where something a little stronger than alcohol is legal, who am I to judge if you partake on my behalf? Look at me being so open-minded. That should have been one of my resolutions.

I guess my 2016 self would tell my 2017 self that it would be good to skip any talks of setting resolutions for 2018 as well. After all, who wants to have tens of readers trying to hold you accountable for all the things you claimed you’d accomplish but didn’t. By the way, while we are on the subject of accountability, I would like to vote that word off the island or at least leave it behind in 2017. I heard that word entirely too many times this year, mostly from my landlord when my rent was late. In any case, that word is dead to me. Its name must never be spoken. Like Lord Volde—umm, you know.

Much like last year, I am not going to make any big proclamations about what I’m going to do in 2018. I know my limitations, and change is one of them. And I absolutely won’t look back at 2017 to review my successes and failures. There would literally be no point in revisiting all the stumbles or the one success and a half that I may or may not have experienced. So, I won’t do it. Nope. Not me. Not now. Now ever!

But if I did look back on 2017, I would say that I did finally put more effort into my health. For the record, I got on a treadmill at least twice, which made me super excited to share the news with my doctor during my physical exam. Her response that she didn’t see a change was a bit troubling. It’s OK though. I knew she was a hater when I saw her name on the list of doctors in my area. Some things you can just tell.

2017 was surprising!!!

Matter of fact, before sitting down to write this, I went to the gym just so that I could pat myself on the back and end the year on a good note. Instead of me spending the whole time on the elliptical like I typically do, I even went to the area that I consider foreign and forbidden where the strength training equipment resides. I had long ago decided that strength training just wasn’t my ministry. I mean, even though the machines have instructions, I always feel like I’m doing the exercises wrong. In my head, everyone else stops their workouts to laugh at me doing leg lifts on the bicep curl machine. No one should have to endure that sort of judgment.

Although I didn’t document any resolutions for 2017, everywhere I turned seemed to be a constant reminder that I needed to be more productive in order to live my best life. I couldn’t even use the restroom in peace without hearing the voice of Oprah telling me that I needed to find my purpose and reignite that fire. At first, I found Oprah’s visits intrusive, but I guess she’s seen worse in her life than me in the shower. Because of her random pop-ins, I’ve learned to always shower in my boxers.

Throughout the year I began to think about my legacy—not in that morbid way as if I could kick the bucket at any moment, but I guess that, too, is a realistic possibility. There are rogue buses and planes everywhere. One breaking news tweet received at the wrong moment and you can cancel Christmas whether your book or blog post is finished or not. Let’s not even mention all the office workers who lost their lives this past year due to unfortunate incidents involving a stapler. We should probably hold a moment of silence.

Anyway, if a Kardashian announces a pregnancy right while I’m in the middle of the road and a bus driver lets go of the wheel to retweet it, what would I be leaving behind? What would be viewed as my life’s purpose? What would be the mark I would leave on the world? Although, technically, if you’re hit by a bus, I guess that could leave a mark or two. But I digress. That’s not what I want to be known for. Imagine having people drive past, pointing to that spot and saying, “Oh, look! There goes Michael’s spot. His spleen was right there. You see it, honey?” Nope, I would like to leave a very different mark.

Honestly, I didn’t exactly finish the eight novels I had planned to write in 2017, and Julia Roberts has not yet returned any of my phone calls regarding her starring in the screenplay I haven’t written yet. It’s OK. I won’t hold it against her. I’m sure Ms. Roberts gets hundreds of calls a day. At least eighty of them are from me. Perhaps that’s why I received a cease and desist letter a few hours ago. At this point I receive so many of them that I consider them spam and drop them in the trash unread. If it’s really serious, I figure the sheriff will come like he did in 2015…and 2014…and those few other times last month.

I promise it’s just a hat.

Towards the end of 2017, I began to make time for reading. Stephen King told me to. Indirectly. He wrote, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Ironically, I was reading when I read that so I quickly checked reading off my to-do list. That’s half the battle. In addition to Mr. King’s advice, I realized it had been a long time since I read just for the fun of it. I loved reading as a child, so I did what any normal person would do. I ran out and grabbed Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m not ashamed. After all, my grandma highly recommended it.

All of that noted, what I absolutely won’t do is make a whole lot of New Year’s resolutions for 2018. I won’t be one of those people who sets all these unrealistic goals like to stop drinking or to go vegan and then fail miserably before midnight on January 1st when you cave in and have a steak with a nice red wine. I won’t even consider resolutions. It would be a complete waste of time. I won’t be doing it.

But if I did make a resolution for 2018, it would be to focus on the things that actually matter. Why should I simply watch the shows on Netflix when I could possibly write the shows on Netflix? Why should I go to a bookstore and peruse other people’s books, when I could write one of my own? Imagine me with a novel sitting right there between the latest works of Nora Roberts and Judy Blume. Maybe my book could be titled “Are You There God? It’s Me, Michael.” Or maybe it could be “The Michael in the Rye.” Hmmm. But what I absolutely won’t do is set a whole bunch of unrealistic goals for 2018. I won’t do it. Not me. Absolutely not.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1
Instagram and Twitter handles: @mikeyllo

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