Saturday, January 5, 2008

Happy New Years?

New Year's was five days ago. My resolution was to stop procrastinating. The fact that I'm just now getting around to writing you about it tells you how it's going. It would appear that really changing something requires more than an annual declaration.

You're still floating in goo and yet studies of twins just like you indicate that much of who and how you'll be is already sewn into the fabric of your genes. You might be raised by dolphins and still end up with a tendency to scrape lines in the last bits of your food just like your mother. You might be adopted by Bill Gates and still end up as big a tight wad as your father. Just think of DNA as a kind of time bomb waiting to turn you into your parents.

The idea that any of us comes pre-assembled isn't very popular outside of science labs. It seems to put us at the mercy of our fat, smoking, drinking, procrastinating genes. If we can't change, if it's all DNA, then what's the point?

Which brings us back to New Year's. The truth is, now matter what we promise ourselves on the first day of every year, most diets fail, most smokers keep puffing, and most procrastinators ask for extensions. But there's a few who don't. A few make it to the land of skinny, more water drinking, less junk food eating, watch less tv, bike to work, learn that language, dunk that ball, and write that novel. Some even manage to stay there. Those that do don't do it by changing their genes, but by overcoming them, not with a single statement on a single day, but with endless effort over endless days. It will always be easier to be what you are than what you want to be.

So here's my brief, five day late, New Year's message to you. You can't be anyone you want. You can't be the children of smarter, richer, less idiotic parents. You can't control how tall or short, how dimpled or freckled you are. You can't even control the way your own voice will sound.

But what you say will always be up to you.

Making resolutions is obviously easier than keeping them, but you're only set in stone when you decide you can't bear to make another one. If you get anything from me, I hope it's the ability to make new ones on the fifth after screwing up the ones you made on the first.

Novel - 3 days to update
Dunking - New program starts tomorrow
French - Seriously, I'm looking into that nanny

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