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Adam J. Kurtz

OH GOD, OH NO, HERE WE GO

Here we go again. It’s Halloween, which means we are about to be fully immersed in the holiday season. Which in and of itself is fine, except for the end result: the year is ending and we are starting this shit all over again.

Approximately 3 days ago, it was December 31st, and I was gearing up to celebrate the new year. 2013 was going to be the best year ever, and I was ready for all the stuff I was going to be doing. Accomplishments, a new relationship, personal goals, some travel… I could do it all, there was all this potential and it was all happening. So I put on my paper party hat and immediately fell asleep. I woke up in a new year, with all my new plans, and got to work on “getting through.”

Getting through a year isn’t any different than getting through any other span of time, you really just need to “stay alive.” You’re not dead yet? Success! I have successfully stayed alive up to this point, and in that regard the year has been accomplished. But somehow, all those plans and goals have sort of slipped by. What feels like 3 days ago has been over ten months, and now we’re back where we started. The year is ending, resolutions were met or not met or met halfway, and we’re being stuffed full of turkey, ham, and bright ideas for the future.

What are we really doing here? Is every year doomed to pass faster than the last as we age, goals and resolutions stacking and doubling until they’ve backed themselves all the way around the calendar year and my list starts and ends with the same resolution? I’m not trying to be depressing here, but I’m feeling a little depressed. It’s the end of the year and I am not ready for it and it’s inevitable and that is hard.

I don’t have a proven solution here and my intention isn’t to raise your spirits by the threads of my silver lining. There is no answer and there is no secret for everyone. The truth is, each of us is unfortunately burdened with a new year every 365 days, and whether we like it or not, we’re going to have to “be alive” for all of it. So resolutions may pile up, days may fly by, and you’ll be getting through, sure, but sometimes only just. You know what you’re doing, you know what your focus is. Maybe you’re scraping, ideally you’re in a good (or great) place and not thinking about it most of the time, but regardless, you need to start properly acknowledging the passing of time.

I met some of my goals for 2013. Others I met halfway. None of it was conscious, I haven’t been counting down, but now that I’m forced to think about it, I realize that things have turned out all right. Problems have come and gone, solutions manifested themselves and I kept going. It’s October and soon it won’t be and then it will be again. Things will keep on cycling.

So while I can’t change what happened last January for any of us, I can offer one idea. Write your 2013 resolutions now. What did you want from this year and what have you gained? Write the list and cross items off as you go. Did you successfully have a place to live? Did you successfully feed yourself? Did you successfully have a nice time, even if it was just on select weekends or between 12 hour shifts? Write them down, cross them out, and take a step back. Yes, the year is ending, yes, we are about to enter another year, and yes, it is daunting, but you’re already doing okay. It seems pretty likely you’ll continue. All you need to do to get through another year is to literally get through it. Good luck.

Adam J. Kurtz is generally optimistic, and always too blunt. The 2014 edition of his Unsolicited Advice weekly planner is now available through Kickstarter: