Contrary to a Happy New Year!

A new year is upon us. Yawn.

Each year, for the last twenty of them at least, has started with the busiest stretch in my work year. Accountants have tax season. Teachers have “back to school.” Lobbyists and legislators have “sessions.” In Indiana, legislative sessions start in January. So here’s to the new year!

I am not nostalgic about the new year. I generally sleep through midnight, and if I don’t, I’m generally mad about it. However, I do like thinking about making changes. So resolutions fascinate me. I don’t make them in conjunction with the calendar, but I love watching others do it. And this is when they do it.

So for a crowd watcher like me, January can be a good time.

Now if I were forced to come up with a few things to “resolve” in the calendar year 2017, I would start small. It’s the little things that make me tick after all. And the biggest ideas always started out small. So here we go.

Car horns. Effectively communicating with other drivers or pedestrians with a factory installed car horn is not easy. There’s a fine line between saying “be careful, sir” and “you are a complete idiot” with nothing but a car horn. I resolve to develop a clear and lucid car horn language idea for the auto manufacturing industry, so we can sharply reduce any misunderstandings on the road. Until then, everyone is a complete idiot.

The movie industry. I love movies. I love going to the movies. But being a good movie fanatic has become unmanageable during Oscar season. I just don’t have time to write this column, perform my actual job duties and see all of the good movies that come out around the new year. When I kill one of my available movie outings on “Collateral Beauty,” my season is toast. Yes, I cried during that one, but for all the wrong reasons.

Books. I resolve to read more of them this year than last year. But I already read more now than I ever have in my life, so I have to choose wisely here just for time management. I am writing another book this year, and I resolve to fill it full of Star Wars like action, rags to riches inspiration, and of course, elicit and steamy sex scenes. You know, just like my last book.

Diet. I read a friend’s resolution that he will “be okay with not cleaning his plate every meal.” For those of you who have had the pleasure of eating with me very often, you know that I instinctively clean my plate every meal. You may also know that I have a horrible habit of eating off of other people’s plates. I have a solution. I resolve to eat more meals with the friend described above. That way, everyone is happy.

Firings. Last year, I spent considerable time and energy calling out for the firings of a few people. In three of these cases, the target of my angry and childish behavior got four year contract extensions: Colts Coach Chuck Pagano, Colts GM Ryan Grigson, and Mike Pence. In IU basketball coach Tom Crean’s case, I think his contract runs through infinity now. In Mike Pence’s case, he got promoted AND extended. So what should I do? I resolve to stay the course here. But I also resolve to find new and creative ways to make my case. I may need charts, graphs and an easel, but I remain committed.

So there you have it. These are things that will help me and society just a little. Most are things we can rally around as a community.

New Year’s is a holiday that could not be more meaningless to me. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the extra day off and a national holiday that seems to be an ode to the couch, second only to Thanksgiving. But it really is meaningless. Unless we embrace “change” as a priority for the upcoming and arbitrary start of the next twelve months.

I have made a lot of changes in my life in the last few years, and none of them coincided with New Year’s. One of the best things about clocks and calendars, is that every new tick or date can be the start time of some change any one of us has been meaning to make.

January 1 is the first day of the rest of our lives. As is every day thereafter. So Happy New Year America! That sounds so much better than “good morning.” I will work on changing one expression for the other next year.