Monday, January 1, 2007


When it comes to resolutions, I’m always full of energy, optimism and determination on Jan. 1. In past years, my resolutions have stayed with me through the first week of February, and sometimes all the way to President’s Day. Then the same old behavior patterns creep back into my life, and before I know it, life is the same as it was last year and the year before. So how do I stop this? How do I sustain a resolution? That word, sustain...I like that word. That was a word my ex-girlfriend Linda used a lot. I haven’t spoken with Linda in about 18 months, but her influence is still with me. She also liked to say “rate limiting step.” She was a scientist and something of a brilliant personality. Sustaining resolutions is my uber resolution for ’07. Perhaps this blog will help.

Someone at mom’s house said eliminating the words “should” “could” and “would” was a good step toward improving one’s life. Is this true? For example, I should read more is now I read more. Okay, I guess that works. I could write more is now I write more. Wow, that does change things. Hmm. I should start paying attention to this (opps). These words could be difficult to shake (damn!).

I saw only one film over the holidays: The Good Shepard. I liked it. The slow pace didn’t bother me. Matt Damon is a marvelous actor. He always delivers. The story was leisurely and controlled, and every scene served a purpose. DeNiro is a good storyteller. I’m trying to think of another film in which the protagonist loses his soul in the end, yet becomes a heroic figure. Kevin (friend from 6th grade) said Goethe’s Faust met a similar fate (I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t read it yet (it’s on my list)).

Okay, back to resolutions: 1) No complaining, no explaining at the poker table. What this means is when I get my usual bad beats and suck-outs from bad players, I’m not complaining about it, but just accepting what happens as part of the game of poker. It’s hard at times, but that’s what makes a good player. I’m revising my “poker scripts” when bad things happen, like runner-runner flush draws or that two-outer that magically appears on the river. I tend to forget my own lucky breaks and only remember the breaks that go against me. I have lots of improvement to make here. So, no complaining, no explaining. 2) Stay busy and enthusiastic about the projects I’m working on. At 43, I’ve noticed it’s sometimes really hard to gather enough energy to do the things that were automatic for me just ten years ago. Things like watching a movie or writing a letter. Lately, I’ve heard myself say, “what’s the point. Why bother.” That nonsense talk needs to end now. I’m 43, not 93. One more resolution: 3) have a purpose for my tasks and projects, complete with a description of what the end looks like. So many of my tasks never get finished. Finishing is a big obstacle for me. If it’s part of my adult children of alcoholics baggage, fine, whatever. Just finish things I start. One more. 4) No more breaking mice when I get knocked out of a tournament playing online poker. How many mice did I break last year? 3. How many this year? Let’s keep it at zero please. The Tao of Poker, a new book my friend Steve (friend since 3rd grade) gave me for Christmas, should help me with this. I’m much more volatile playing poker online than live. Online I swear and act crazy. Live I’m nothing. I’m actually really good at showing no emotion live.

So, 4 resolutions: No whining, stay busy & motivated, finish things and don’t throw mice on the floor. Piece of cake.

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