My 2017 to-do list
I hope everyone survived their New Year’s celebration, recovered from the hangover and carefully considered your resolutions for the coming year. We live in a goal driven society that has taught us all that success in life is based on sustained personal growth. As a committed slacker, I believe I slept through that particular life lesson so I find the whole notion of perpetual self-improvement exhausting.
There was a time I put some stock in New Year’s resolutions but these days I live by the words of Popeye and other old sailors of note, “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.” That doesn’t mean that I think I couldn’t stand some self-improvement, it means I just don’t care. It’s a sound philosophy that’s served me well and completely eliminated the need for New Year’s Resolutions.
Even though I’ve chosen a life of lounge pants living mixed with the occasional self-indulgent adventure and I completely lack a drive for self improvement, that mean that there aren’t a few things I’d like to get done this year. So I made a New Year’s list of my own, it’s more of a “to-do” list than New Year’s resolutions.
For example I’m going to visit Mount Rushmore this year. Typically I travel to places known for white beaches, warm water and local rum but I’ve never been to Mount Rushmore and I’d like to see it before they close it to add Trump’s face. Come on, you know he’s going to do it even if he has to pay for it himself.
I’m going to buy a new lawn tractor with all of the bells and whistles. I truly suck at landscaping but now that I’m a full time country gentleman of leisure I think it’s important that I have the appropriate toys. I’ll probably still hire some professionals to do the real work but I’ll sit on my tractor and supervise their work. Seems appropriate.
This year I’m going to avoid visiting Europe if at all possible. I spent more than my share of time there last year and I’m pretty sure the next time some young European with a man bun wearing skinny jeans and a scarf tells me that soccer is the only “real” football, I will throat punch him. Since that is generally frowned upon in most European countries it’s probably best if I stay here for a while.
While I’m camping near Mount Rushmore or maybe while I’m sitting in the shade on my tractor, I’m going to read my sister’s new novel. That’s right, my baby sister just published her second full-length novel complete with a stylish title, big words and all that professional writer stuff. I’m very proud of her, if a bit embarrassed at how hard she works. I’ve never had the attention span or the work ethic to write more than 750 words at a time, I guess she wasn’t blessed with the slacker gene…poor kid.
I’m not going to live anywhere but my own house this year. That may seem like an odd item for a to-do list; in fact it takes an experienced slacker to include not doing something on a to-do list, but I am a very high level slacker. I’ve owned a perfectly good home for the last 15 years but I’ve somehow managed to live in small uncomfortable apartments for the last four years. I won’t bore you with the details, it’s your typical story of mid-life crisis involving romance, pain medication and a bit of international arms dealing, but I’m home now and I think I’ll stay for a while.
I’m going to try some legal marijuana this year. As a child of the Seventies I freely admit that I have smoked my share of weed and, unlike certain lying politicians I admit that I inhaled all of it, but it always came in a sandwich bag I bought from some guy named Ziggy in a bowling alley parking lot. I want to walk into a store, buy some weed, listen to some Pink Floyd and revisit my misspent youth.
Oh settle down, I’m not going to become one of those old hippie burnouts who wears sandals and stays stoned all the time. I’m just going to do it because I can and because I want to. I’m too much of a slacker to be a serious stoner; what the heck does that say about me? I think it says I yam what I yam.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.