My 2017 Sucked Balls So Here’s The Improvement Plan for 2018

I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions. But I am this year because 2017? It wasn’t my best year in many regards. Most, actually. So in the spirit of not doing things the same way and expecting a different result, here are….

Ami Claxton’s 2018 New Year Resolutions

1. Be authentic.

Speak the truth to people, about people, for people. I’m really tired of pretending things are better than they are, or that I haven’t suffered things that no one likes to talk about or own up to, or being afraid of broadcasting my joy for fear of being labeled a Facebook braggart or that I’m arrogant. In this spirit, I actually began a limited radical honesty approach about a year ago and started just telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Judiciously. Not inappropriately. Not everything to everyone. Don’t confuse this for “I’m going to walk around telling everything to everybody and being a jerk about it too”. That has been most people’s reaction when I say it. It simply means that when talking or writing, I have stopped outright lying, or by omission, or using simple or sometimes stupidly complex white lies. If I don’t want to reveal something, I don’t lie or imply or cover up — I simply say that is not something I wish to discuss or disclose, or use what words work. And it has been gratifying and in some cases, life changing. I’m going to keep doing that. Say what I mean and mean what I say.

2. Take care of my health.

The past 13 months in my life have been truly unbelievable health-wise. Unpack that word — not able to be believed. If I told a stranger on the street looking at me, as healthy as I appear to look, what has happened to me, they’d laugh right in my face. They would tell me that I made it up because it is not possible for someone to suffer through that much crazy-straight-up-bizarre-off-the-wall-improbable-back-to-back illnesses, surgeries, infections, and complications that I have in 2016. While I am, as my profoundly disabled husband’s doctor called me, one of the best patient advocates he’s ever seen in his whole medical career, I have been an abysmal steward of my own body. If I love you and you are sick, you can be assured that you will get what you need even if I have to crawl through the depths of the amazon jungle to discover and compound a new medication myself in a lab I build from leftover legos, duct tape and a Bunsen burner. I also twitter shame insurance companies for you at midnight on a Friday of a long holiday weekend. I might even change a few laws soon for you and become a regular in Congress. But for me? Not so much. I routinely ignore all health screenings and check-ups. I forget follow-up visits or usually, or worse, I don’t bother to schedule them. When I am sick, I don’t jump on things early. I just hope they get better (spoiler alert: they never do). I need to focus on my health.

3. I will be more open minded, and I will listen.

I am incredibly narrow minded. Surprised to hear me say that? I absolutely am. I am right, and if you disagree with my assessment of my rightness, I will argue until it’s way past worth it having the argument. And I rarely actually listen to the why someone feels that way, especially if their argument can be objectively be proven completely factually incorrect. I argue with logic and words and reason. I am laser focused on facts. (Hence, this absurd “alternate facts” era has me stroking out on a regular basis). I need to hear and understand the emotion behind the argument, even if the facts are wrong, which they often are because I am actually rarely factually wrong (remember, remember resolution 1!) if I do this, I can open my mind to other views. They may not sway me, but I may burn fewer bridges in the process. I want to do better at hearing them.

4. I will allow others around me to love me in their own way, not the way that I want them to love me.

I really can’t add anymore to this stated resolution, but it looked empty to not put something here, sort of like those confusing pages that have printed on them “Page left intentionally blank”.

5. And finally, I am going to swear and drink much more.

Cover your ears, install a cloaking shield on your monitor. It helps me. And not hard core drinking, just enjoying wine more often and downshifting with a dirty martini. Swearing? I know many people say it’s the sign of not being intelligent enough to say other things. But I’m fucking brilliant (see resolutions 1 and this one, 5 — a two for one resolution based phrase) and it helps me tremendously to fill up a room with a blue haze to cope with all of the stupid stuff that happens in my life. And the major stuff. Because I have way too much of both minor and major stuff. Swearing helps me cope. Having a great glass of vino helps. Maybe not you. But it does me.

See you on December 31, 2018. We will see how I did.

@amiclaxton on twitter

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