I usually don’t make resolutions for the new year. If a thought process of mine results in resolving to do something in the form of aforementioned resolution, it usually isn’t coordinated with a new year. More often, I’ll bolt awake at 3 a.m. after listlessly ruminating on some nagging thought all through the night and think, I’m going to resolve to do things this way so this never bothers me again. Or, after straight up passing out on my bed, planking in zombie-hallucinatory state– after pulling an all nighter to squeeze out a term paper… as the last few drops of consciousness evaporate into slumber, I think, stop procrastinating FOREVER, you idiot.

So this time, I played along and wrote a letter to myself for what I actually wanted to “resolve” in my life. And I found that while there’s a lot of room for improvement, I’m actually doing okay on some of the usual suspects that pepper most people’s lists (get in better shape, eat healthier, sleep more, read more, work less, etc. etc…….) But I did actually write a few things down — and they coincided with the dawn of the new (apocalypse-proof) 2013. It’s a surprisingly long list, but here’s a glimpse of some at the top:

1. Consciously carve time to uphold these sage three syllables.

2. Hang out with the parents more. Not only would you literally not exist without them, but they have been the strong, oft-overlooked shoulders tirelessly bearing your weight under the scaffolding of your twenty two years. You’re so close to them that it’s hard to tell, but they are in fact getting older. Don’t treat them like lonely planets orbiting outside your social sphere. Sure, living at home after college can feel claustrophobic and altogether unbearable at times. But get to know them again, and things will be easier.

3. Less dilettante, more cognoscente. You’ve got lots of brain between your ears. Use it.

4. Learn from six-year-old Charlotte Bacon what you have spent the better part of two decades trying to internalize: there is only right now. Wear your new pink dress and boots, don’t save it for a special day that you assume you are entitled to — because another day is a luxury you might not be afforded. Life is so fragile. It is so fragile. Nothing belongs to you, except for the present moment. So live it.

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