Intentions for 2017

The road through 2016 was paved with good intentions. And somehow, I didn’t travel as far as I wanted to. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve been around this block before.

I intended to write more here in 2016.

Instead, I spent a lot of time reading. I started re-reading Stephen King’s books in order of publication. I joined Litsy, a great community of book readers. I started making lists for a couple of 2017 reading challenges. I signed up for a Brooklyn Public Library card.

I’ve written here about reading before. I’m still struggling to prune down my to-read list and retain the stories I’ve consumed this year (102 at the time of this writing, with 12 days to go in 2016). I believe that listening to audiobooks counts towards one’s “read” books, and I hope to finally get around to reading some paperbacks and hardcovers that have lived on my nightstand for years.

I also intend to stop feeling bad about my weight. I have a checkup next week, and I’ve been half-joking to people about how I’m not looking forward to “the fat talk” from my doctor. I gave it that name because the last time I got it, I also got billed for it – something along the lines of “weight management consultation.” It was hardly more than a brief conversation best summarized as: “You are getting fat. You need to watch your weight.”

I’ve spent the past eight months intending to walk more, eat less, and step on the scale at regular intervals. It hasn’t worked out that way. My pants don’t fit right. My shirts are snug.

The struggle not to feel bad continues.

I intend to keep track of things I purchase and discard. One of the many books I read this year was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While I tried discarding things that no longer bring me joy, I didn’t do quite as well with not buying more things that never brought me joy to begin with. So, I bought a notebook. If this notebook winds up as a record of the things I say hello and goodbye to in 2017, perhaps it will bring me joy while it’s in my possession.

And perhaps I won’t have so many possessions a year from now.

I intend to spend my end-of-year vacation really thinking about what I want to do with my next year on this planet. Maybe that means keeping things simple. Not everything has to be complicated for no good reason. After all, life is hard enough without overthinking, overshooting, overdoing.

2017: The Year of Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Photo: Daniel Kulinski

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