>My Goodness, What a While it Has Been

>I don't know why I feel so snarky this morning.

I have been, like the majority of America, consumed by the season (though perhaps in different ways). This is the only explanation I shall offer for the unfortunately long time between posts.

Although I am now falling into a twist of the cliche, I took, for a few days, great pride in being perhaps the only blogger in the expanse of the bloggerverse who has yet to mention "Christmas" (although there I mentioned it... forgive me) or to offer my opinion on the true nature of the season or to say that it is about the birth of our Savior and not the birth of the spirit of capitalism or to deliver moving recreations of Christmas classics or to say how awesome "A Christmas Story" is.

I didn't even watch "A Christmas Story" this year.

Besides wanting to remind people (myself, mostly) that I am still here and demonstrating classic inevitable narcissistic web logger syndrome, I wanted to squeeze a few words in about this "New Year" notion, because that seems to be all the rage nowadays. I've gotta keep up with you silly kids.

First, I want to say that I think that it is silly to try to reinvent yourself one time a year, because that never works. Don't say that come January 1 you will lose that 50 pounds you need to or that you will start being nicer to your mother-in-law or that you will finally get around to asking that girl out simply because it is a new year. One-time-resolutions will never work, because once you come down from the high of the very rhetorically interesting "rebirth" that accompanies having to write "2011" instead of "2010" the goals you set seem either unreachable or silly or you'll get to them tomorrow.

Next, in very sharp contradiction to what I just said, I wanted to offer, briefly, some things that I would like to focus on (although clearly in no way are they related to the new year, any sort of Resolution, or anything of the sort). Perhaps you would like to focus on them with me. Perhaps you'll send people over here to laugh at my list or maybe you'll write me and say that it's a great one. You might even get what Andrew calls the "tinglies" which replace the solitary man-tear following something inspirational.

1. Read a book by an author you have ragged on extensively, passionately, vehemently, in the year prior, even if it was just for a second. I just read the first Harry Potter book and I will be the first person in the room to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan on reading the rest. I also offer appy-polly-loggies to any Potterheads I have offended before. I was in the wrong.

2. Learn a new word every day. Discover that the English language is not as limited as people like to say, rather people have forgotten how to use it. Subscribe to one of the many word a day email lists or ask somebody smarter than you to text you a new word each morning or buy a dictionary, I don't care. Learn a word each morning, how to spell it, what it means, use it three times by the time the sun sets, and the word is yours. You will be amazed at how more fluently you will be able to voice your thoughts.

My favorite word I have learned in the past day (you may start here and steal it from me if you so desire):  dysania - the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning. (see? It's fun!)

3. Buy a moleskine notebook from Barnes and Noble. Make sure that it doesn't have lines, because this will do several things: offer you a completely blank slate to record whatever you want. It will teach you to write in straight lines. You can draw just as easily as you can write, even if you are like me and you cannot draw at all.

Anything that can be expressed with ink needs to be inside of this notebook, and you do not show any of it to a single soul. It is not for other people, it is purely for you in a time when NOTHING is secret.

4. Keep lists. Of everything. If it comes to mind, write it down, because you will forget it later. Keep a list of books you want to read or people you need to write or formulas you need to remember or groceries you need to buy or items of clothing to give away or websites you need to tell your brother about or songs you need to cover at a coffeeshop.

5. Listen to The Rescues. Trust me on this.

6. Take pictures of anything you see. Even if it means buying a bunch of $5 disposable cameras.

7. Keep a journal.

8. Recognize beauty when you see it, and then realize that beauty is everywhere. See it in nature, see it in Creation, see it in writing and in math and in an empty cup of coffee, but most importantly see it in each other.

9. Be curious, even about things of which you are sure. Never stop learning, never stop questioning. You must develop the things that you believe so that they are not shattered when a storm comes around.

10. Be passionate about something - anything. I don't care what it is, just find the thing that you absolutely love and follow it until you perfect it (I'll give you a hint: you never will). Don't back down from the things you love, no matter who tries to rip you away from them. If it's Pokemon, awesome. When somebody calls you a geek, you know that you're on the right track.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.