Well hello 2014, nice to meet you. Tis the time of year where spontaneous self reflection abounds. The transition from one silly calendar you bought 14 months ago to a new one that has been sitting on your desk, seems to induce a state of near pathological reanalysis of a persons place in the world. The only events which seem to cause identical symptoms, albeit much more extreme, are the deaths of a loved one or the loss of employment.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about self reflections; but I believe these processes should be ongoing throughout the year and not done in one fell swoop. The fact that the suicide rate increases and people just fall dead (at least in my family) at this time of year, seems to indicate that there is something very unhealthy in the practice of putting so much stock into this one artificial demarcation point.
With each inquiry as to what my New Year’s resolution would be, I would feel my blood pressure spike. There are many things I would like to change, but the fact that so many people thought I should share them out loud, in order to make the desire to change real, or some shit, struck me as ridiculous. Yes, mom, I’d like to quit smoking, but I am not quite ready to put my crack pipe down yet. Yes, wifey, I’d love to be organized and helpful around the house, but again my addictions (writing and incessant self reflection – not sure which is worse- not even sure there is a difference) seems to get in the way of being a neater, more organized person.
I was reminded endless of my failed 2013 New Years resolution, one that was made for me, all throughout the course of yesterday’s festivities. My own sense of failure at continuing to smoke probably made the comments and snipes from the crowd seem more relentless than it was in reality. The whole time my brain is screaming, there are more important things that need to change prior to the elimination of my primary coping mechanism.
I hadn’t complained about a little change in my daily environment to any of the people who were reminding me of the failed 2013 resolution and attempting to make it a do over for 2014. Today, is the first day of the smoking ban on all properties associated with my current place of employment. It’s as if things in my life have become metaphors.
The ban itself was announced just prior to the chaos that ensued two months ago. As a result, most people at my company have had other things on their minds; so that denial of this new paradigm came with ease. It is going to be very interesting, as a study in human behavior, how people will react. I believe the vast majority will make an attempt to attack the coping mechanism itself than the root cause. I am imagining the 10-20% of the people who still smoke getting into their cars every two to three hours, driving off the property to safer harbors, but I am not sure how long that pattern of behavior will last.
I am also interested to see how I will react to this as well. I feel as if my own actions are wholly unpredictable, as I am actively aware of what any possible outcome signifies in the grand scheme of things. At some moments, it seems like it’s a choice between a career and a silly habit; at other moments it seems like the choice between a stressor and a reaction. The reality is both cause cancer, and if that reality really sinks in, I am not quite sure where I land.