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2018 Resolutions Sure to Unspool the Strangling Shit Show My Life Has Become

Attainable Goals Will Make All the Diff in Coping With This Debilitating Depression Next Year

Like all of us, for me the dawn of a new year is a time for reflecting, reassessing, and course-correcting. 2017 was a rough year, so it seems an apt moment to think some about where I’ve come to and where I wish to go. While these are intended as my personal pledges to myself and aimed at increasing my own progress, I’m posting them here on the off chance that some of them might resonate with you, and offer some guidance as we embark on our shared journey into the future.

Here they are, my Resolutions for 2018:

  1. Be like fourteen years younger. Because everything hurts and my breathing is labored.
  2. Take up residence in some alternate timeline. Because this one is a brutalizing goat rodeo without purpose or pleasure. Honestly — it’s just like this pointless meat carousel
  3. Eat better. Put the ground-up snouts and hooves on a PLATE, man. Set them dog meat tacos on a doily, son.
  4. Have better brain chemistry. This current cocktail leaches all joy and seeks to kill you, depicting all human endeavor, this list included, through a gummy veil of futility and sorrow. The only solace of my every move being the bitterest disappointment of my life is that it will be eclipsed by the next thing I try.
  5. Be more present. Because even though Dante’s powers of description would fail entirely to convey the vast hellscapes contained in even the most banal exchange or routine task, and the curse of consciousness is an insuperable burden on your best days, if all these fucking self-help books are to be believed, you don’t wanna miss a moment of it.
  6. Don’t forget to take your meds. Remember — they may not fix your mental state, but they do “raise the floor.” So without them, you’ll feel even lower. Than this Gacy crawlspace you occupy currently.
  7. Be a more engaged parent. God knows, you’re doing your kids a huge fucking favor. Being there for them. As a wild-eyed rage ghost whose skull filled with preverbal murder-shrieking is just about audible to bystanders. Honestly. Doing a bang-up job. You distended fucking skin tag.
  8. Be a better husband. Because tick-tock, Genius. She’s about to kick your sorry ass to the curb any fucking second. And nobody would fault her in the slightest. You fizzing bucket of dog piss.
  9. Be more social. Sure, even the briefest, most innocuous interaction is a scalding misery packed with howling pestilence and unendurable anguish; and sure, your skull is where fun goes to die of asphyxiation, and sure, listening to somebody chew is a springboard into rampage killing, but heck, get out there, buddy!
  10. Go a little easier on yourself. In your innermost heart, do you believe that you’re the butt of some cosmic joke you will never understand? Of course you do. But, heck, champ — that’s no reason to get down on yourself like you do. Just cause your every impulse, desire, and effort is a fucking case study in galling pointlessness and towering ineptitude, that’s no reason not to grab a mitt and get in the game!
  11. Take more breaks from social media. The endless cyclone of misinterpretation and backlash and piling on and hectoring are not always the healthiest thing for you, pal. Just always be certain you post an interminably long, exhaustively detailed, and baldly self-satisfied announcement about your facebook fast before you go. For this is law.
  12. Be more active. Than, you know, intermittently hauling your shit-for-brains head off your squishing pillow sodden with your tears to shamble to the bathroom. Like — put shoes on and whatnot. Maybe try, I don’t know, remain upright for an hour at a stretch, you useless sack of turd.
  13. Don’t hold grudges. Somebody once said that having a resentment is like you drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Which would be helpful and instructive. If this wasn’t a scenario where we’re all brewing and guzzling poison all the fucking time. It’s just… it’s fucking Jonestown, man. Far as the eye can see.
  14. Make more art. Because surely the cure for what ails you is to pump more justly-ignored swill into the world, you pretentious column of stiff cat shit. Cause that next Hot Take Recap of fucking House Hunters International is your grab at posterity, dude. Follow. Your fucking. Bliss. You agonizing genital wart.
  15. Be a better friend. Be more open and available. Stay in better contact. Reach out more. Make plans with people and honor your commitments to them. In short, turn on a dime and be entirely otherwise than you are currently, you selfish fucking gargoyle.
  16. Dance like nobody is watching. This mmmmiiiiiight happen IF it turns out this is truly an infinite multiverse, in which case EVERY eventuality MUST be accommodated. Honestly, though: this one is just in here to see if anybody even got this far. Hey, Reader. I see you.
  17. Be more curious. Learn a new skill; take up a new hobby; read more; visit a place you’ve never been. Then pretend, in escalating desperation, that each new factoid and insight is not just another data point in the Already Vast and Always Growing Spreadsheet of Jesus What a Horror Show. Plus, reading has the added benefit of ensuring that all your hatreds and inadequacies are better informed. Because who doesn’t love a self-loathing know-it-all?
  18. Be more open to surprise. Pretend your startle reflex is not a punishing plunge into the blackest depths of Fight-or-Flight, and that each new stimulus is a source of astonishment and wonder, not the stifling descent into the Pit of Hyperventilating and Darty-Eyed Threat Assessment.
  19. Be more optimistic. Proceed as though you’re not wearing a crown of anxiety spikes that makes the Statue of Liberty look like she’s wearing a fucking hat made of baby carrots, and that the interior of your skull is not a constant, grinding demon chorus of caterwauling madness and blistering hatred, and that other people and their baffling actions and indecipherable beliefs are not a perpetual source of disillusionment and turbulence. Just fire up the fucking winch and lift the corners of that slack mouth into a fraudulent smile, dumdum, and push from your mind your persistent belief that we are all seated naked and terror-stricken on this senseless and rickety conveyor belt whose only aim is to deliver us, a sad collection of aspiration-less gristle-wads indistinguishable from one another to the Great Leveling Knives of this Abattoir We Call Living, where we’re suspended by ankle-hooks to drain the pulp from us into the Vast Uncaring Sluice Into Which All Life Must Flow And Beyond Which There Is Only the Unknowable Void. But like… I don’t know. Wear a party hat? While shuddering along on the conveyor belt?
These are fun. The forlorn song they make bounces off the cavern walls of our desperation and frailty is fitting.

Anyway. Hope this helps.

Have a blessed 2018.

You ignorant gristle-wads. With whom I am compelled to share this careening dirt clod of a planet.

More stuff at ianbelknap.com, including info on creative writing workshops. Twitter: @writeclubrules.

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