The Littoral Life: Promises, promises …

By Dan Haag

We’re now officially in that tricky bit of the holiday season. That strange gray area where we have to make some hard-and-fast life decisions as we barrel ahead to 2019.
It’s a time to take a long look at ourselves in the mirror and ask one simple question: how long can I leave my Christmas decorations up before my neighbors begin to complain?
Equally important, it’s also time to decide what we want 2019 to look like for ourselves (beyond leaving twinkle lights and an illuminated Santa in the yard until Valentine’s Day.)
I am, of course, referring to the dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions,” also loosely translated as “lies we tell ourselves.”

The New Year is a clean slate. We can look with fresh eyes at the year we left behind and imagine a more streamlined version of ourselves in the upcoming 365 days.
Travel? Love? New job? It’s all within our grasp on New Year’s Eve, especially after several glasses of champagne.
I’m no different. I make outlandish promises to myself at the start of each year, the majority of which are promptly forgotten as the calendar turns to January 2.
But right here and now, I’m committing these simple resolutions to permanent record. In that way, the half-dozen or so people who read this column can harangue me on a regular basis in 2019 and keep me on track.
So here, in no particular order, are my resolutions:
1. Exercise – Yeah, yeah, I know. This is the one. The gold standard of broken resolutions. Everyone promises to exercise more and get in shape. In all honesty, this is the first time I’ve promised this one. My wake-up call was simple: I can’t breathe when I bend over to tie my shoes or cut my toenails. I figure that’s as good a sign as any.
2. Learn to play guitar – Kind of an odd one, but I’ve always had this dream. I do know how to play the opening riff of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” but that’s about it. I figure if I start now, I should be ready to headline the Manzanita Music Festival in, oh say, 2037.
3. Finish writing my novel – This one actually has some traction because I’m nearing the 200 page mark. I have no idea how to end this monster, so I probably only have about 10,000 pages to go. Even though I started in 2008 and have re-written it about 100 times, there is forward motion.
4. Clean out the garage – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Seriously, it’s getting dangerous in there. Like, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” dangerous.
5. Take occasional breaks from the news – I don’t mean to sound flippant or uninterested in national or global affairs, but at this point I think that every morning I wake up without seeing a mushroom cloud on the horizon, we’re doing good.
So there you go, five easy resolutions for me to hang my hat on.
I already feel like a new person with a new purpose.
At least I will until I re-visit this list on December 31, 2019.