Sunday, January 13, 2013

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Yes yes, it's two Latin titles in a row. You can blame Netflix for this one, having ruined my life by putting The West Wing up on instant streaming. This one is a logical fallacy, meaning "after this, therefore because of this". It seems befitting of a New Year's post. I'm making resolutions (or at the very least, new decisions) and planning my year due to the things that happened last year. I'm not sure that 2012 is in of itself responsible for how I will approach 2013, but I'm sure it did have some influence.

Here is how I signed off at the end of 2011:

I have high expectations for this year, some things I'll be verbal about and others which are too precious to be spoken aloud lest I jinx it.

Things I Hope Come To Pass In '12
-Become a manager, fo realsies
-Get out to Boston twice (once is for sissies)
-Plan the best bachelorette party in the world
-Not ruin my makeup at the Poncho Wedding Extravaganza
-Not die in an earthquake/flood/cyclone/deluge of frogs on 12/21
-My vote for Obama in November will be one for the winning side
-Buy a Jetta

For the record, the preface and the sign-off were referring to the thoughts "I really really hope The Boy and I get engaged if not married this year please oh please oh please" frenetically tumbling around my head for the better part of the last couple months of '11. That being said:

-Frenetic, marriage-like secret hopes? Success! Got engaged on the first snow of the season (thank you, practically snowless winter) on 1/12/12 and married 8 months later.
-Get out to Boston twice? I...think I made it only once :( I'm going to blame Seester for coming to Chicago too often.
-Become a manager? Success. Fo realises? Failure.
-Best Bachelorette party? Success! Miranda seemed to have a good time.
-Not ruing my makeup at Poncho Wedding? Success! I blubbered the night before while practicing my speech, but held it together during the day itself.
-Not die? Success!
-Obama win? Success!
-Buy a Jetta? Failure. I did buy a new car for The Boy, though.

So out of 8, counting the manager thing and the car thing as .5 each, I'm 6 for 8. While accomplishing 3/4 of one's goals doesn't sound too shabby, I'm still (for no reason) in an academic mindset, and a 75% is extremely unacceptable for an A-student like myself. This is, of course, not weighting any of the assignments. I'd say getting engaged AND married counts for more than buying a Jetta, though both do require a certain amount of commitment.

I don't typically take the start of a new calendar year to review my life and make resolutions. This is largely a result of my having very little follow-through and also hating disappointing myself even more than I hate hard work. So instead of setting goals and likely not living up to them I instead make a wishlist and leave it up to luck and whatever work I feel like putting in to check things off the list. This year is different, though. I've felt compelled not only to reflect upon the last year but to also, well, be resolved to do things differently this year. Our household's resolution is to "Be Grownups" by, like, seeing a financial planner and getting life insurance and writing wills and stuff. My personal resolution(s) is based around the theme of Choosing.

I want to make better choices in 2013, overall. I've been empowered over the last couple months by various sources that life is but a series of choices, and I have the power to choose. This has settled itself into my brain in the following ways:

-Choose health.
When staring at the fridge, feeling munchy, to choose a vegetable snack instead of chips. When faced with 4 hours of free time, choosing to spend one of those at the gym. I can even still watch The West Wing on my Kindle Fire! My leisure time doesn't even have to be interrupted!
-Choose to speak up.
When someone says or does something I find objectionable (especially with regards to driving while intoxicated, as many people in my social circle do) instead of being silently uncomfortable, speaking up.
-Choose to promote myself.
When an opportunity presents itself to me re: a career, to take it instead of forgetting about it.
-Choose peace.
When someone is aggravating me (*cough* guests at Friday's *cough*), instead of treating it like a battle to be won where they realize they were wrong and I am right to instead just be nice and help them out without trying to prove a point. I've been comparing the two methods at work over the last couple weeks, and the latter is far superior. While in my mind, winning a battle of wills and holding firm that I was not the one to make a mistake feels righteous, it never feels good in practice. It usually just makes me feel like an asshole.

So, with all that said...

Things I Hope Come To Pass In '13
-Have a full time job, with benefits, that isn't bartending
-Same-sex marriage legalized in Illinois
-Take two vacations, at least one to Boston
-Be able to jog a mile in under 10 minutes without feeling like I'm going to die
-The Boy getting a full time, degree-relevant job
-Having ownership of some sort of retirement fund

Grownup Year,