I resolve . . . not!

The marking of time is important to many aspects of our lives. From insurance to taxes to benefits to medical treatments, the arbitrary demarcation of time into calendar years is employed by various bureaucracies to our supposed benefit.  

However, when it comes to personal matters, the system falls flat on its proverbial — if not actual — ass. 

The remnants of a burned tree trunk.

The remnants of a burned tree trunk.

As near as I can tell, there is no functional difference between December of one year and January of the next. Especially, there’s nothing special — or magical — about January 1st of any given year. 

And yet, a large portion of humanity assigns a special status to the first day of the year in the form of New Year’s resolutions. Mind you, it’s not always January 1st as some human cultures track years differently than others. Regardless, the practice of affirming this or that goal at the beginning of an arbitrary milestone is widespread.  

Black and White conversion

Black and White conversion

As usual with things that make little sense to me, the tradition has its roots in religion. Apparently, gods are very insecure and need constant reassurance we — the portion of humanity committed to this or that individual god — will not forget them. Puny insecure gods that they should need our worship and affirmation!

While the practice of reassuring gods is still a part of the resolution process for some, many have drifted toward resolutions aimed at self-improvement. 

Topaz Impression Plugin

Topaz Impression Plugin

By the way, you can click on the photo for it to resolve into a larger version. You can also go to THIS SmugMug Gallery if interested in the original size photos. 

Success rates for New Year’s resolutions are dismal (12% or so) and I think I know why. 

Topaz Impression Plugin

Topaz Impression Plugin

My hypothesis — based on observations spanning many decades and some personal experience — is that nothing actually happens at the stroke of midnight signifying the change from one year to the next. 

Sure, we “make up our mind” to focus on “being better”, be that measured by lower body mass, improved personalities, or increased commitment to work or loved ones. 

Unfortunately, having made up our minds and taken an oath to follow the path of resolution success, we are still the same persons. The second-hand counts down, somewhere a ball drops, and . . . and . . . nothing; we undergo no magical transformation. 

Cranked-up color version

Cranked-up color version

I contend that if one had it within them to make a change “for the better”, they would have already done it. 

Think about it . . . say it’s November 12 of any given year; this is the mental conversation that must go on if one is willing to accept the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

“Gee, I’ve been a real dick to my family and friends pretty much most of my life.”

“Well, what do I plan to do about it?”

“Well, I could resolve to change, to be kind to my family; respectful, even.” 

“What about friends?”

“Damn! . . . do I really have to? . . . Yeah, I probably should. Alright, I’ll treat them with respect and put them ahead of my own needs; in other words, I will be a true friend.”

“Wow . . . that sounds great. Noble, even. I feel good about this; let’s do it!”

“Whoa, there, Nelly! Let’s not rush into this! I tell you what; how about I continue to act like the jerk until, um, say the end of the year? That way, I can get a few more good insults in and maybe even alienate a few of my friends and family so that being good won’t be as much of a burden come the new year.”

” . . . er . . . OK, but come the New Year, a better me, right?”

“You betcha! Meanwhile, I’ll go make someone feel bad about themselves. While I’m at it, let me pack a few pounds so that it will be easier to lose weight come the new year!” 

B&W conversion of the cranked up color photo

B&W conversion of the cranked up color photo

Really, is the thinking here that people are oblivious to all their problems until the stroke of midnight, at which time they have an epiphany and realize things like that they have been mean to others, they are not in shape, they are lazy, they are failures in both their personal and professional lives? Are we to assume that along with that epiphany they suddenly gain the fortitude to change?

I suppose it could happen . . . and I suppose I will one day be six-foot tall and sport a full head of hair to go along with my Olympic athlete’s physique. 

Simplified version of the cranked-up color photo.

Simplified version of the cranked-up color photo.

No. 

I think resolutions are nothing more than a momentary feel-good device operating on the illusion of bettering oneself. 

I suppose that based on the sheer number of people there may be some whose decision for self-improvement — an honest decision to self-improve — might coincide with the New Year, but the odds are not good . . . 12%, I hear. 

Besides, most resolutions follow the consumption of alcohol. Through the years, I’ve learned that words spoken by people under the influence of alcohol carry little to no weight. 

B&W version of the Simplified version of the cranked-up color version of the original.

B&W version of the Simplified version of the cranked-up color version of the original.

As one might surmise from this, no new year’s resolutions for me. I’ll continue on my personal path, be who I am, do what I do and if I should see the need to change said path, I will do so irrespective of the time of year. 

Ironically, my one likely New Year’s resolution is to have no New Year’s resolutions . . . it’s a paradox, alright. A bit like that of time travel.

A different B&W conversion of the original.

A different B&W conversion of the original.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, encouragement, or advice to better my life, know that my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor is blowing right by you.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Black & White, Musings Stuff, Opinion, Personal, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff, Writing, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to I resolve . . . not!

  1. OK I had to laugh at some of this, you make it all seem so silly, and truthfully new year resolutions are……….that’s why I don’t have them. I aim to make the most of EVERY year, I also try and treat EVERYONE as I want to be treated, OK I’m no saint and sometimes I fall flat on my face, but at least I try and be a decent human being, unlike some die hard arseholes out there :-) ~ Happy New Year!!

    Like

  2. Caity says:

    I can understand, though don’t subscribe to, the use of a certain date to make changes, certainly after the indulgences of Xmas. However, I suspect a lot of these resolutions are health based, eg more exercise. I wonder if these resolutions are more successful in the southern hemisphere, where it is summer, than in the northern with its bad weather at New Year. Certainly I have been discouraged from going on walks, as advocated by my doctor to help my arthritic knees and hips, by the foul weather we are having. Come the good weather resolutions will have long since been forgotten. I need a dog to make me get my lazy self out!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      They do say that people with dogs are healthier . . . Then again, maybe healthier people are more apt to get dogs.

      I’m guessing weather does not play a major part in the resolutions if there are exercise facilities around. Also, one could invest in a treadmill which is a lot better for walking than pounding on a hard pavement.

      I suspect the gym today will be packed but will return to normal in a few weeks. Happens every year and after major holidays when people indulge, as you say.

      Like

  3. PiedType says:

    At first glance your photo looked to me like a wolf lying in the grass. Or perhaps an Irish wolfhound. Now I can’t see it any other way.

    Resolutions? Nah. Maybe just a little subconscious hope that with or without me, the new year somehow will be better.

    Like

  4. The wooden wolf is so so SO cool! Great shots of it! I really like the Topaz Impressions ones! :-)

    This excellent post made me smile and laugh and think. Way to go, Emilio…getting me to thinking! (That’s dangerous! :-D )

    The only resolutions I have (if they can even be called that) are to:
    1.) Keep being me…and seek to better me when I can!
    2.) Keep looking for the joy in each day!
    3.) Keep trying to make people smile and laugh each day!

    And since I purposefully seek to do those each day…they are not really Jan 1 resolutions.

    HUGS!!! :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thanks, diem3, and way to go; those are all good things to live by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Did/do you (there or in CO) ever seen any wolf-wolves? I’ve seen coyotes here, but no wolves. Which is okay. Not sure I want to see one walking down my street. We have mountain lions, but I don’t want to see one close up.
        Hope your 2nd day of the new year is going well!
        Mine is been slower, which is nice…trying to catch up on chores before tomorrow and work.

        Like

      • disperser says:

        Only place we’ve seen wolves in the wild was in Yellowstone. Cheyenne Zoo (where we used to live in Colorado) had a tribe of Mexican Wolves. Colorado has bears and cougars (mountain lions) but we’ve never seen mountain lions while we were there. We saw tracks of them in the neighborhood, but that’s about it.

        Hawaii has no large predators (other than humans).

        Our second day has us back on our routine. About to go to the gym for an hour or so before hitting Costco. Take care.

        Like

  5. AnnMarie says:

    Excellent subject, that wolf sculpture. Good choice of processes, especially the third from the top and third from the bottom.

    Like

  6. 1bl0gr3ad3r says:

    Happy January to you warm weather folks! As opposed to…winter. My first take was of 2 wolves running with #1 ahead & #2 looking up — but i can also see one crouching in the grass. Even better than clouds- these can be studied 😀 Really enjoy your work on your photos even though i don’t comment often. (Loved the palm tree looking fireworks shots btw)

    Like

  7. Emily Scott says:

    Good luck in keeping to your New Years resolution. Happy new set of days that we’re calling 2017.

    Like

  8. I’m with you!! I never change!! and I like the topaz impression image!!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      . . . er . . . I’m constantly changing. For one, I’m getting older. For another, just the fast pace of technology is forcing changes in what things I do and how I do those things.

      Instantaneous access to news and people around the world changes how I see things and my understanding of the world (hint: we’re screwed).

      The point of the piece is that we should constantly strive to be the best that we can be and not wait for some arbitrary demarcation of time before initiating any effort to improve oneself.

      However, if you are implying we have reached perfection and hence need no further improvement . . . well, I can’t argue there.

      And, yes, Topaz has really hit on some nice plugins.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. desleyjane says:

    Very true. Every day is a brand new day and a new opportunity to do something differently.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Better late than never, just catching up so on the 24th January I suppose it’s a bit late for me not that I ever bother with such nonsense as resolutions

    Liked by 1 person

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