Resolutions, Redux

It’s time for New Years resolutions. My last post discussed last year’s; this post will discuss this years. This year, again, I have three. I thought of these last week, before the new year. I thought about them while I was up with my friends in Tahoe over my birthday weekend, loving them and feeling loved. I thought about them on the long ride way back, in 2016, now 26, with a whole new year in front of me. And I think all three are good.

My first resolution is to seek less validation from social media. I have found that over the past year I spend not only more and more time social media—and by that I really mean Facebook—but I also judge some part of my self by the response to my posts. This is unhealthy. I should clarify, though, that I don’t dislike Facebook. I have many friends collected over many years with whom I only communicate through Facebook, and they form a network I cherish. It’s not Facebook I dislike—it’s the way that I use it to feel good about myself. 

My second resolution is to call, not text. So much of the drama in my life this past year has come because of the ambiguities of text messages and my inability to do anything but overthink them. It’s gotten to the point that I have nightmares comprised primarily of the dull double buzz of the iPhone. This year, I’d really like to call people rather than text them whenever I can. The problem, as far as I can see it, is that a call is intrusive: they have to pick it up, or let it go. I kind of need a pager.

My third and final resolution is to ask better questions of people. I often think about the Passover Seder and the Four Questions. The so-called questions are really just four answers, explaining “Why is this night different from all other nights?” to four different children. I have always identified not with the good child, or the wicked child, or the simple child, but with the child who is unable to ask. I am deeply curious about other people—their lives, their thought-worlds, their struggles and philosophies. But I am awful at asking the kinds of questions that get them to talk about those things and, more often than not people think I don’t care. I want to learn how to ask.

Might I add other resolutions, as the New Year approaches and goes? Maybe. Will I keep these, as winter turns to summer turns to winter? I hope so. But even if I don’t, I must believe that taking this moment to reflect and decide how to become better is, in itself, an act of self-care that will itself make me better. What are you resolutions?

© Henry Gruber 2013