By Matt Gordon
My 2022 Resolution to Maximize Every Fiber of My Being
-3:59 – Wake Up (beating those 4 AM losers to the jump)
-4:00 – Cardio (6-10 miles, ab ripper, bear wrestling)
-5:00 – Mediation (one hour unless exit from time and space achieved)
-6:00 – Prepare and consume all-organic super-food breakfast
-6:30 – Begin intermittent fast
-7:00 – Read about LEADERSHIP (if out of books by “in” authors, just read the word leadership out loud repeatedly with different leaderly cadences and intonations)
-7:59 – Begin workday (beating those 8 AM suckas)
-10:00 – Take a five-minute break to run a mile and use the bathroom
-2:00 – eat a precisely measured amount of nuts and berries
-4:00 – check my water intake and if I’ve failed to consume 16 gallons, chug to catch up
-5:01 – finish work (outlasting those 5 PM slackers)
-5:02 – Commute home while listening to classical music and a language learning app simultaneously
-5:30 – Arrive home and harness any leftover chi
-7:00 – Break intermittent fast with nutritional protein shake
-7:30 – Apply for side-hustles
-8:00 – Read on market trends and cryptocurrency
-8:30 – Five minutes of television time while double-fisting shake weights
-8:35 – grooming
-8:59 – Full REM (beating those 9 PM wastrels)
Don’t you love the new year? For the next month or so, you, Human, will be battered by an onslaught of leadership tips, habit makeovers, and hashtag movements all designed to #levelup or #beyourbestyou or #temporarilyruinyourlifebecausetheinternetsaidto. There will be challenges to sleep more alongside ones to wake up earlier. You’ll be bullied into running every day and logging it or writing a thousand words through a high-tech journal app you can’t afford. Speaking of affordability, you’ll be goaded into purchasing an upgraded home workout system, taking up rowing, making good on a gym membership, hiring a personal trainer or chef or “tref”, all while developing an envelope system to budget better in order to diversify investments, while practicing sobriety for the driest of Januarys.
The trouble is, you don’t really want most of that. If you are like me, you’ve become sort of okay with the uninspiring version of yourself. I’ve spent decades making peace with what I am (and what I’m not). But now some Twitter campaign or influencer or social media friend is going to cajole me into upturning the applecart, becoming discontent and disillusioned, all so I can chase down vainglorious things that purportedly chisel my body and fortify my wealth, but possibly disparage my soul.
Thanks, but no thanks.
I think this year I’m going to resolve to keep my stomach basically as is. It is uniform and consistent. No hard lines. It’s like a Care Bear in both shape and general fluff.
I’ll read books in a haphazard fashion, being content even if a fancy app isn’t counting and reporting all I’ve read to the faceless masses (that really couldn’t care less about my reading habits).
I won’t listen to a bunch of mind-sharpening podcasts that will redefine my reality or subscribe to a gaggle of so-called experts who somehow have the guaranteed key to making humanity happier and better, but also charge a robust fee to give these earth-shattering secrets away.
Mostly, I’ll avoid the countless clickbait lists I need to zealously follow in order to be #better. #better at faith. #better at family. #better at life.
No, I’ll just try to treat 2022 like I did 2021 and 2020 and 1994 and 1989. I’ll cry a little, laugh a lot, and learn what I can. For this season, I’ll take what I’ve been given and try to honor it well—be a patient dad, a loving husband, a dependable friend. I’ll mostly be on time. I’ll remain a little messy and probably won’t #konmari my life or anyone else’s.
And look, I’m not against goals. Improvement is necessary. Growth is good. But the fast-tracked obsession with self and shortcuts often stands in the way of these things. Plus, for me, if I’m not careful I end up chasing what is contrary to both my design and desire.
William Blake has this quote that I think our culture has mangled. Blake says, “No bird soars too high if he uses his own wings.” A simple web search will deliver online punditry on that quote which says, predictably, that Blake is advocating for an approach to life that allows one to soar higher. A person must trust others, the modern says, and use others if great, great, and greater heights are to be achieved.
But there is another way of looking at this adage. Icarus had his wings melt when he flew too close to the sun. It is an ancient parable that says, “stay in your lane.” Or, as I think Blake is advising, know thyself and then be thyself as well as possible. When we do those things, contentment and purpose are the wind beneath beating wings. We are not better for flapping harder, nor for doing so in the fashion we saw from our favorite celebrity or author or rich friend or historical figure.
Some will accuse me of lacking ambition. They’ll say I don’t have drive, as they rev engine and burn rubber throughout January and until their fire burns out. I’ll plod along, slow and steady, trying to make right choices as they come to me, and apologizing and repenting when they don’t.
Next year, December 31st will roll along again, as it does. And then January, with its hashtags and challenges and tips and tricks, guzzled like new fuel in overtired engines. A light will flash, beginning the standing-start race—a plume of smoke will rise and off they’ll go, all slapdash gusto and grinding gears. I’ll plod along, chubby, unfazed, and reluctant to join a race against myself or anyone else, refusing to deny the freedom eternity has granted me.
In doing so, I won’t #win at life. But I won’t lose either. Instead, I’ll just live it. Maybe to the fullest and maybe not? I guess it just depends on what one’s definition of a full life is. Somewhere along the line, I found measuring such things to be pretty arbitrary, with a constantly shifting finish line.
No, the living is enough. Grace is. Trusting the work still to go to be carried along to completion. And joining that work-in-progress gently and humbly. In 2022, I’ll do that the best I can. However, you go about it, I hope you do the same. Live. Breathe. And know you are #enough.