Screw it. I'll just be myself. (A New Year's Resolution)

Realizing that I've made pretty much the same five resolutions every New Year's Eve for the past three decades, I've decided to exit 2012 - one of the worst years of my life - with a single guiding principle: Screw it. I'm just going to be myself.

My Top Five Retired Resolutions archive:
#1 Stop using bad words. Yeah. Fuck that. Sorry.

#2 Lose weight. Based on 35 years of empirical study, I can conclude with some certainty that dieting, self-loathing, guilt and constantly talking about my weight is not going to make me a size 7. I am a size 14. Bam. Weight problem solved.

#3 Work smarter, not harder! This too often translates into trying to do what works for other people. Practicality is the enemy of exploration. I have to do what feels right to me as an artist and works for me as a sole proprietor, and so far, working insanely hard seems to have yielded the most fruit. Plus I like working hard. I'm a disorganized, "method in the madness" workaholic. In size 14 jeans. Self-help gurus can suck it.

#4 Be a purveyor of shalom. This is a lovely ambition in theory, but sometimes the world needs shit-disturbers, tell-it-like-it-is-ers, boat-rockers and contrarians. For 20 years, the only prayer I've spoken on behalf of my career is "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace." Praying for book deals or for certain people to get syphilis is too narrow-minded for the wide-open possibilities of modern publishing, so I plan to stick with that, but genuine, lasting peace usually comes in the wake of healthy change, so upheaval serves that goal - in personal and professional arenas - far better than denying one's self and placating others.

#5 Be a better mom. Over the years, the specifics ranged from making a daily hot breakfast to chore charts to a total ban on television in our home for two years. God knows what my kids (now in their mid-20s) will tell their analysts about me, but they are a couple of awesome blossoms, no one's been arrested lately, and I can go to sleep at night knowing I did my best. My role from here on out is to love them, not to finance their foolishness, enable their self-doubt or critique their decisions. The best thing I can do for them is give them permission to be themselves by living the mandate I'm resolving to better embrace:

"To thine own self be true."

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