Sometimes you just gotta tell folks what you’re up to

I’ve been an introvert for a long time. Even when I was in the womb, folks would pat my mother’s belly and say things like, “Hey, how are you doing? Can’t wait to meet you!” To which I’d reply, “Sorry, I don’t visit.” (In Morse code, of course. Don’t be ridiculous. Fetuses can’t speak English. French, yes, but not English.)

Unfortunately, some degree of communication with other members of this species is part of this underpaid job of being a human being. Heck, I’m in the communication business, although my preferred level of communication is along the lines of, “Here, read this.” Or, on some occasions, “Here, watch this.”

When I’m not on the clock, however, I enjoy peace and quiet. I like solitude. I’m not chatty. A lot of people need affirmation and they love to hear the agreements reverberating through their echo chambers. They find comfort in uniformity. I’m more of a squeaky wheel, and if folks don’t agree with me, I’m OK with their being wrong.

“Chris, I totally disagree! I think you’re an idiot!”

“I’m cool with that. See ya later.” In my mind, though, I’m wondering: If an idiot calls you an idiot, does that make you a genius in the inverse or does it make you a double-idiot? Hmm.

People who are insecure in their ability to reason desperately need affirmation and agreement. They seek out news and commentators they know will confirm their beliefs rather than inform them. They need their ego stroked. Me, nah, I’m good. I can leave most issues at “agree to disagree” (translation: “You’re too stupid to argue with.”)

But there’s one area where there must be communication. There must be another party in the conversation to hold you accountable. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions. You need to make them public … or at least semi-public. Otherwise, they’ll disappear like a Polaroid found in the aftermath of a 1987 New Year’s Eve party.

Just ask newly elected Rep. George Santos. Last year at New Year’s he resolved not to lie anymore — about where he went to college, where he went to high school, where he’s worked, whether he’s Jewish or Jew-ish or whether his mother’s Belgian or Brazilian. He’s just beginning his first year in Congress and has lied more than some congressmen who’ve been in office two or three years already.

It’s because he didn’t tell anybody that he had resolved to stop lying. There was no accountability.

I know how he feels, though. I never tell folks about my New Year’s resolutions, and they never stick. For instance, I’ve resolved to lose a few pounds for about 35 consecutive years. If I’d have lost just one pound each of those years, I’d be in amazing shape. The current shape — somewhat spherical — is a little less than amazing.

Therefore, I’m telling you my resolutions for 2023:

I plan to write at least one sentence on my new novel every day. Hopefully, that will lead to many more sentences per day. The hardest part of writing is sitting down to actually do it … which has nothing to do with my somewhat spherical shape, by the way.

Learn more Spanish. You never know when someone’s gonna whisk you off to someplace like El Salvador as I was whisked last month to do some stories. I’m sick of only being able to say “bueno” all the time. I’m just not that positive of a guy.

Learn to strum more songs on the guitar. I know how to play more Jimmy Buffett songs than Jimmy Buffett, but those alone don’t impress the chicks like you’d think they would — at least not the chick I’m married to. Then again, it could be the somewhat spherical shape of the guitar man that’s the problem.

Which brings me to my final resolution: Lose a few pounds. Sometimes you just gotta stick with the classics. Although, if I do lose any pounds, I bet I’ll find them again by next December. It’s just a hunch … a bunch of hunch.

Finally, a movement I can get behind

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