As with all holidays there are rituals for the New Year celebration. 

Not only do Jenn and I journey to the Franklin Covey store for our Daytimer refills and fresh new calendars and schedules to fill with hopes, dreams, dreaded appointments and tasks for the forth coming 12 months, we also go the regular bookstore.  We set out in search of the perfect book to fix our imperfections that happen to coincide with the new years resolutions.

Every year we buy the same types of books.  They are spined, bossy, judgmental books that, if not read from cover to cover and adhered to precisely, leave the reader feeling like a complete and utter failure.  While these books vary in topics, they are the same when it comes to the restrictions that could very well suffocate the average packer or poodle.

Some of the restrictions include lists of recipes for healthy eating, tips and tricks for saving money, exercise and yoga moves that guarantee improved stamina, time management skills are being sharpened and sexual positions have being feng sheied. Every year we spends hundreds of dollars on these books with the best of intentions and every year before February I have lost interest, faith and energy to apply the well intended suggestions found in these hard covered gems. 

Now let's be clear, it's not that I'm lazy or necessarily an underachiever.  In my career I value time management programs and who doesn't like to save money, but if I spent the year doing all of the healthy things that are suggested in these books I would never have any fun.  Oh sure I would probably be healthier and more limber and my position repertoire may be added to, but what about the few things that offer some good times and freedoms in the middle of all the work and restrictions that comes with adulthood and a career?  

So this year, my New Year's resolution is to not buy any book that spouts non-practical or unrealistic advice.  Nope, this year I am in search of the books that will validate my normalcy.  I want to have my ego stroked as I sit a little longer on the couch then I intended or drink a little too much beer on a Friday night.  Yep, I think the books that I want to buy this year would be titled the following: 

Own It, Swallow It

This book will be filled with affirmations that it's ok if I  choose chocolate, fast-foods and sugary sodas more than once a week and eat it behind the steering wheel of my car as I drive to the ATM to get some cash so I can get to the discount tobacco store before it closes. 
Of course I know that fast food is dangerous to my figure, I saw Supersize Me.  Everybody knows how to lose weight.  Eat less, exercise more and drink water.  There have been millions of books written on this subject.  But it isn't always practical or enjoyable to not hit a drive through for a coke and a smile.  Of course I know I risk stretching my eating pants if I make this a habit, but after a long day a salad could just make me angry...and anger causes high blood pressure.

We Can't Care More Than You Do          

When I was a kid and I didn't do my homework when my mom was trying to help me, she would say, "Fine, I can't care more than you do."

This book will be written for my habitual bouts of procrastination.  I consider myself to be pretty successful and I am known as a closer, a follow-through kind of person but sometimes I want a nap.  Sometimes I want to meander through the aisles of Target instead of meeting a writing deadline.  Does that make me a loser?  Maybe. 

But every now and then a break is needed.  This book would reaffirm the fact that I was making a conscious choice to blow something or somebody off as long as I was aware that I couldn't complain about the consequences.

Remember, You're Not A Bartender!      

This would be a short book.  It wouldn't have recipes for fancy martini's or home brewed beer.  It would simply have blank pages where I could write my own reminders like, "Never again mix beer and schnapps," "Chocolate milk never mixes with vodka," and "Remember, you are no longer 25. You are now 35 and too old to shoot tequila on a Thursday night." 

This of course would directly relate to We Can't Care More Than You Do. I mean, if I can't take my own advice...

    Now I realize that I may very well be walking a fine line between sloth and permission to live a little, but I think it's worth walking.  Life is too short to not find ways to enjoy myself while working on my career, meeting deadlines and taking care of my family.  I'm looking forward to 2009 and even though my book purchases may be fewer than in the years past, I'm not worried...I still have Out & About Newspaper!

Live and Love Equally...Happy New Year!

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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