Tag Archives: Mark Twain

2013: Quarter- Assing my Resolution


“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week
you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his
last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious
and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our
reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings
considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did
the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New
Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as
a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions,
and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the
occasion.” Mark Twain – Letter to Virginia City Territorial
, Jan. 1863


It’s a new year! Time to make new resolutions and evaluate the huge embarrassing failure that became of last year’s pledges to change.  Yearly many people participate in this ritual. According to a poll in USA Today (the McDonald’s of newspapers) the three most common resolutions are to lose weight, save money and quit smoking.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Though I quit smoking 3 years ago it was not the result of a resolution, and I only miss it every single day. As for saving money, last year was the year I became an adult. A real adult in possession of a living trust, a will and a 401k. If I am to choose from the most common resolutions that would only leave losing weight. For me the decision to reduce my body mass would be the second worst resolution in recorded history; the first being when Abraham Lincoln resolved to take in more live theater. What, too soon?

I need a resolution with a very broad definition of success, one that lacks a traditional tracking metric and thus has little room for failure. A resolution that I can walk away from midyear and return to at a later time with little to no impact on the outcome. This may imply that I am half- assing the resolution process, but in reality it is probably more like quarter-assing.

So, for 2013 I have selected a foolproof and unavoidable inevitability as my resolution. In 2013 I resolve to become the answer to a trivia question. How will I achieve this? Who knows. Maybe I will discover cold fusion or set a Guinness world record for sleeping the least hours in a year. Perhaps I can write a song that could rival the lyrical wonder that is Gangnam Style or Call Me Maybe.

Bring on 2013–the Year of the Snake. With any luck, 2013 will be the year I am to finally achieve my resolution. Maybe that is the answer, I will become the first person to actually achieve my resolution. Thus becoming the answer to a trivia question.

Circular resolution = double points!

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