New Year’s Resolutions: 2019

Mauna Lani New Year's Eve

Better late than never.

New Year’s resolutions have never been my forté. Every year, I fall into the trap of banality that leads to broken pledges. Working out feverishly turns into a nightly jog. Blogging every week becomes a monthly haiku. Being more financially prudent begets more credit card debt.

Life interrupts my well-intended attempts at self-improvement. Maybe the trick, then, is to out-do the abruptness of life, to mix in a couple of unexpected ultimatums with the cliché commitments and make life say, “WTF? What does that even mean? That’s so extra?”

So, in that vein, I offer three categories of resolutions for 2019. If I can keep one promise from each, then I will consider myself upgraded.

The Mundane

  1. Take a vacation. I’ve been working for three years straight on campaigns, public policy, victim rescue and restoration, and more. I love my work. I love to work. It’s time to take a break (or two or three), however, to resuscitate my work-life balance. San Francisco? Seattle? Seville? Sydney? Someplace far, far away, for sure.
  2. Save more money. Easier said than done, living in the state with then highest cost of living, but that’s all the more reason to be a smarter money manager. I’ve never lived off a strict(ish) budget before. I’m going to try. The future isn’t getting any cheaper, a social revolution notwithstanding. I’m down for that, too, if that’s on anyone’s list.
  3. Work out six days per week. At the end of 2019, I don’t want to feel fabulous. I want to feel abulous.

The Optimistic 

  1. Finish my book. As you may or may not be aware, I’m writing a book. Actually, I’ve written 90 percent of a book. Only the introduction remains unfinished. All good writers compose the first part last. It’s been three years since I began the project. It’s time to end it.
  2. Finish 52 books. Reading them, that is. One per week, at least, beginning with the long list of canonical literature I’ve shamefully missed. Never stop learning about the world around you, so you can build a better one.

  3. Learn a new language. Language acquisition breaks down cultural barriers. Or, rather, 私はハワイに住んでいます、私は自分の言語で私の日本の隣人とコミュニケーションしなければなりません。新しい言語を学ぶことは文化的障壁を打破するでしょう。また、いつか東京と京都を訪問したいと思います。Is that even close to accurate? No? Blame Googs.

The Aspirational 

  1. Swim in every waterfall I encounter. Have to be a little careful about falling rocks, but the Instagram possibilities are endless.
  2. Win a disc golf tournament. That’s right. I play frisbee golf. I’m actually quite badass at frisbee golf. And disc golf is the new sport of kings. Leisurely kings. Kings who stroll through the park on Sunday and give butterfly kisses to all the Doge lookalikes. That kind of king. (If you don’t remember Doge, see here. Doge is a strong supporter of enthusiastic consent. Alternate resolution: be more like Doge on the daily.)
  3. Pass a living wage for Hawaiʻi’s working families. This should be on every local political activist’s wish list for 2019. $10.10 is not enough. One job should be enough. It can be, if we marshal the strength and courage to make it happen.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that 2019 can’t be worse than 2018, even as the federal government remains in shutdown mode. I don’t accept that cynicism. Let’s make 2019 a banner year for love, joy, and hope for those who need it most.