I haven't even begun to look at my list of New Year's resolutions for 2015 and it is already February. Why have I avoided the thing I love the most? Because I am waiting. Waiting for a fancy day planner I ordered off the Internet that never came, a life-organizing tool that was going to make the 2015 Bree the best at everything. This assistant-in-a-notebook promised to help me outline and reach every single one of my goals this year, from actually following through on personal improvement projects to capitalizing on career-related opportunities.
But here I am, still the same old person I was 35 days ago, when it was a different year, waiting for a package that I ordered in December 2014 that was supposed to make my 2015 a real whopper of productivity.
As a person who loves the act of making resolutions, I fell flat for 2015. I used to revel in taking the entire first day of each year to outline all of the cool shit I was going to accomplish in the next 364. But it wasn't until a day or so ago that I realized something: I had not even done so much as make a simple list. Me, the person who loves starting fresh, being the girl with the most resolutions, the human who can top all other humans in an invisible race to be perfect, had slept through her own national holiday. (I go into detail about this obsession with resolution-making in a new episode of my lovely sister Kelley's podcast, Everything Is Awful.) It made me think long and hard about this whole ritual of organizing and clean-slating: Are New Year's resolutions even necessary?
When I look at the things I am already working on in 2015, I see a lot of the items that would have made my New Year's resolutions list if I had made one. I am forever a calorie-counter and have recommitted to writing down everything I eat through the addictive-in-itself My Fitness Pal App. I even invested in what I call a "fitness leash," one of those wearable trackers that somehow knows when you get good enough sleep. And though I am forever a gym rat, I made a promise to myself to spend at least eight hours a week working out -- which sounds a lot like a New Year's resolution.
Then there was a less tangible resolution that appeared. Yesterday, I woke up to a tweet from a friend, a friend who had moved to Denver in the last few years. She said that the way I phrased a lot of my gripes about the growth of this city made her feel, as a transplant, blackballed from being a part of the greatness of Denver. (See my piece on RiNo changing and the great Northside vs. Highland debate for just a few examples of my exclusionary Mile High native hubris.) I mean, as if the tattoo I got recently that says "Hello? Denver? Are you still there?" was not enough of a middle finger to Denver newbies, here I was being called out.
But that's the great thing about living a life on the Internet: Your every move is a conversation. Her comments made me think about how, exactly, I should go about viewing and commenting on the transition of my city in the future. Am I justified in the anger I feel toward disappearing neighborhoods and the increasing lack of affordable housing? Yes, absolutely.
Last night, as I tried to fall asleep to the sound of a fake ocean from my Sleep Machine App (getting quality sleep, another pseudo-resolution), I realized that I had been going about my frantic call to action to save this city the wrong way this whole time: We need to unify -- as longtime Colorado residents and recent state additions -- and fight for a healthy, welcoming city for all. Preservation and new building can work hand in hand. Everyone can get involved in what happens to our 'hoods. Rent control can and should be a real thing. Together we can share in and advocate for a better-for-everyone Denver. Taking an active approach to being a better, more inclusive voice for the city of love? Sounded like another resolution to me.
Now here I sit, without my single page of resolutions inside of an otherwise empty notebook, wondering if the holiday I have loved the most is no longer necessary. At the moment, yes. These fleeting thoughts of productivity that I used to attempt to adhere to because I had a piece of paper that said I should are kind of pointless. How about if, instead of making unrealistic declarations for a future that will never happen if we keep doing it this way, we all just agree to not suck in 2015?
Seems like a good plan to me.
Be my voyeur (or better yet, let me stalk you) on Twitter: @cocodavies
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.