With the spirit of the 113th Congress rushing through my very core (can you feel it?), feeling the burgeoning eruption of new light and new life, hope and progress, drive and wisdom—I’ve been inspired to do a little reinventing myself.
Now, I know what you’re thinking— “This is another New Year’s resolutions piece.” But it’s not. It’s about the new man I’m becoming. It’s about looking forward and thinking to myself, “Hey, I really can be better this time around.”
It’s about lying to myself. And maybe to you, too.
Because just as our Congress people put their hand on the bible (or book of allegories, whatever you prefer to call it) and swear to do only what’s best for the American people, I’m putting my hands on this keyboard and swearing that I’m going to do what’s best for me and the people I love. Unless, of course—what’s best for me conflicts with those I’m supposed to be doing this for.
Like, for example: I’m going to read more this year. No longer just political blogs and YA fiction about blood-thirsty teenage terror-domes and hyper-effeminate vampires, but real, honest-to-Hillary reading. Biographies, and historical expositions. I’ll read books on civic discourse and philosophy and maybe even cooking. I don’t know, somebody just gave me a crock pot.
I’m going to get in shape. For real this time. No more huffing and puffing up and down the floor at the YMCA, jacking up jumpers and pretending to play defense. I’m going to lose weight, and maybe even see a doctor for an actual check up. Preventative is the new curative.
I’m going to stay in better contact with my friends. Some of the most important people in my life are in far-flung, borderline-Narnian places; like “Los Angeles” and “Arizona.” I have to stop acting like an email or a phone call is something “I can take care of later.” Later is now, and after that is basically death. Right? That may sound depressing to you, but until this year I’ve just assumed I’m going to live forever—and I think it’s begun hampering my ability to relate to mortals…I mean others.
I’m going to listen to different music, and eat more interesting food. I’m actually already making headway on the first part, with albums by Action Bronson, Tame Impala, Of Monsters and Men, and the Japandroids on my phone. As for the second? Two words: Crock pot. (see above)
And I’m going to write more. My biggest problem with writing has always been consistency. I work best with deadlines, because I (like Congress?) need to have my back against the wall, before I kick it into gear. I won’t let a little writer’s block, or a lack of inspiration keep me from working on my craft. Even when I hate it, even when it seems like every syllable I’m punching out is an abomination, I’ll batter and bruise my fingers against the keyboard until something I like bleeds out. This is my meal ticket, baby.
So what’s up Class of One-Thirteen? Can we do this? Can we not just say we’ll be better, but actually be better? Are you willing to work with not just those that benefit you, but those that surround you? That stand across from you? Can you sit down at other lunch tables, and see if you can make one new friend each day? Will you exercise, and stay active in the Capitol—rather than becoming the sedentary lumps of flesh that our 112th Congress became? I watched that swearing in ceremony, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it lacked a certain hype, a certain level of excitement. It sounded like it was being held in the Verizon Center (shout out to Luke Russert and the other three Wizards fans out there).
The bar is low, for both of us. Nobody out there cares about me, because I’m not famous. And nobody out there believes in you, because that last group was infamous. So let’s leap over it, together. What do you say? Aye!?!
It’s going to be a good year for both of us, guys. I can feel it in my bones. And if I’m wrong, and somehow we both end up sad and lonely… slap some “delete Nick’s articles” pork onto one of the 5 bills you guys pass, and I’ll call it even.
Pork… maybe that’s what I should cook in the crock pot. Hot damn.