I stopped going out on New Year’s Eve decades ago. It is the first amateur night of the year. All the amateur drinkers are out, getting beyond drunk, aggravating other patrons, puking their guts out, and driving drunk. No thank you, I will stay home or go to a house party walking/stumbling distance to my lair.
I worked many New Year’s Eves over the decades, Around 11:30, we would find a safe hiding place, usually under a viaduct. The Chicago Police Department frowned on us bringing the cars in full of bullet holes. At midnight, there were so many gunshots, it sounded like the 4th a war zone. We made dead pools. We would bet on what police district would have the first murder of the year. One year I handled the first murder.
If we were lucky, we made an arrest before midnight. Then we spent a few hours of the New Year processing the arrestee. Worse were the drunken bar fights near closing times or the early morning drunken domestic disturbances, which had the propensity to turn violent.
Making New Year’s resolutions began in ancient times when people promised the gods they would live better lives. In the present eras, they range from sincere to ludicrous. People vow to lose weight, join gyms, live a healthier lifestyle, quit what they consider bad habits, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Some are ludicrous because people aim to promise the impossible.
I only make one resolution, to live another year. I only strive for two things. Strive being the operative word. One, I try to be a better person and citizen of the world. Two, I will keep learning new things. These are relatively easy, as they are the things I do regularly. Being a better person is the most difficult, as I am old, crabby, ugly, tired, mean, miserable, and ornery. You know, perfectly normal.
I am a lifelong learner. I try to learn something new every day. The more one knows, the better person one becomes. I try to associate with people who have more knowledge/skills than me. I look, listen, and ask questions. One thing I never ever do is seek perfection. Never ever is a long f**king time. There is no perfection in nature. Humans created perfection to enslave them in a maze they can never escape.
I am fortunate. I know people from all walks of life with various talents and skills. Through conversation, asking questions, or observation, I learn from them. I try to improve on what they provide through practice or more research.
My motto for several years is, if you think you know everything, you are wrong.
Happy New Year.