I do not generally make New Year’s Resolutions, because why set myself up for shame and disappointment? But this year I jotted down a few, just so that I might have a goal or two to keep in mind. I will inevitably fail at almost all of them. Still, this is who I’d like to be, if I wasn’t so much the person I am:

  1. Write better.
  2. Write more.
  3. If faced with a choice between 1 and 2, choose 1.
  4. Reduce monthly beignet consumption. (Challenging, since I live half a block from Cafe Du Monde and it is open 24/7.
  5. Be less of a grumpy old cuss.
  6. Spend more money on experiences, less money on possessions (i.e. fewer neckties, more adventures).
  7. Do the ridiculous ladder-climbing machine at the gym every other day.
  8. Dismantle capitalism.
  9. Try to gain a basic understanding of the principles of physics so that I am slightly less mystified by the universe, or at least so that I don’t feel like a total dope around people who understand physics.
  10. Always check that I know what I’m talking about before I start talking about it.
  11. Do not accidentally swear in front of children. Try to use fewer swears generally, except especially satisfying or colorful ones.
  12. Pay my electric bill on time so that I receive fewer “FINAL SHUTOFF” notices.
  13. Try to understand how my student loans work instead of just telling myself that money is a construct.
  14. Stop being needlessly rude about philosophers and economists.
  15. Learn to make real food instead of pretending that just drinking Meal Replacement Liquid is fine and is the same as eating.
  16. Try not to be haplessly buffeted about by fate quite so much.
  17. Get a basic understanding of how things I use every day, like combustion engines and plumbing and the internet, actually work.
  18. Take fewer than 9 weeks to reply to all emails.
  19. Improve my drawing skills to the point where I can draw an animal that doesn’t look like it was mutated in a nuclear accident.
  20. Figure out how to make a simple phone call without experiencing an overpowering sense of dread.
  21. Learn some econometrics.
  22. Learn what econometrics is.
  23. Never let the laundry pile grow so large as to impede my movement around the house.
  24. Send more postcards.
  25. Build more dioramas.
  26. Never open Twitter.
  27. Spend more time with children and animals, less time with Word documents.
  28. Be willing to acknowledge that cities other than New Orleans have their own virtues.
  29. Panic about mortality less. Be less disheveled and bewildered. Relax a bit and stop being so agitated and afraid.
  30. Be charitable to my opponents and supportive to my friends. Spread joy and try to be useful.