The easiest column of the year also happens to be the first column of the year: the ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ column. It should be a class taught in journalism schools around the country — right after the class that teaches you how to camouflage your liberal agenda under the cloak of the First Amendment. Wait, did I say that out loud?
Resolutions are fun to write down and even more fun to break by January 15. But I have faith in myself that I’ll make it at least through tax day this year. It’s the rest of you who worry me. There’s no way you’ve got the moral fiber to stick to your typical, silly resolutions of eating better or working out more often. So, I’ll go ahead and write your resolutions for you. Please pay special attention.
1. Stop talking about your diet. No one cares why you’re pulling out a package of peanuts or carrot sticks or whatever’s in those little baggies. I don’t care that you’re on an all-protein diet. I don’t care that you haven’t had a carb in weeks. And I don’t care that you’ve already dropped 15 pounds because of it. All I know is that I’d rather go out to eat with anyone in the office, including Herb from accounting, than you.
2. Stop talking about your workout. Similar to the entry above, the person who talks incessantly about their latest interval times as they train for whatever they’re training for is a person to be avoided at all costs. Hey, I’m proud of you for devoting so much of your time to running or swimming or biking your way through life, but constantly telling anyone within earshot about your latest achievement is just, well, boring as heck.
3. No more fantasy sports talk. I’ll admit I had another good fantasy football team this past season. But when I hear someone start breaking down their running back depth or why they were so smart to grab the Patriots’ kicker in the seventh round, I’d just as soon punch them in the stomach and walk away. No. One. Cares. You don’t care about my roster and I surely don’t give a hoot about yours. We can all love playing fantasy football without sharing so much useless information about Jamaal Charles or Jimmy Graham (both on my team, by the way).
4. Do not stand in front of the drink station for more than 30 seconds. Please understand that there are other people on this planet and they’re thirsty too. Grab your straw, your lid and your sugar quickly and efficiently. Don’t talk with your lunch buddy while you take up room in front of me. Just move it or lose it.
5. Chill when behind the wheel. No more middle fingers flying, cuss-word mouthing or just plain rudeness on the roads. Why can’t we all get along on the hell that is 2499 in Flower Mound or LBJ in Dallas?
6. Parents, quit acting like you’re the wisest person in the world just because you’re a parent. I listen to parents talk with brand-new parents or just-thinking-about-being parents about how to be a good parent and I want to laugh in their faces. Look, I’ve got two kids and have no clue how I got them through 15 and 10 years respectively. Stop with the high and mighty opinions that are based on nothing more than the fact that you spawned a couple of humans.
7. The next time you enter an elevator with a co-worker or perfect stranger and they ask how it’s going, respond with something generic like, “Good. How are you?” Refrain from telling your elevator companion that you’re swamped at work and don’t know how you’ll manage. We all get it that without you the company would immediately go into bankruptcy. The truth, of course, is that you’re just not nearly as busy or as important as you like to make it out that you are. I get that everyone’s inferiority complexes are on display in moments like this, but just enjoy the elevator ride and relax.
8. In addition to not telling us how busy you are, never, ever reply, “Living the dream.”
9. The iPhone is amazing. It’ll likely go down as one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind. But let’s agree to make a resolution to put the darn thing in our pockets when we’re with family and friends.
10. Speaking of which, let’s quit talking to kids about how terrible they are at communicating because they spend all their time looking down at their iPhones. Texting is here to stay. Deal with it, people.
11. Quit talking about work-life balance and tilt the balance toward life and stay right there. Your kids are way more important than a PowerPoint or Excel spreadsheet — and a lot more entertaining to boot.
OK, that’s a great list for you to tear out of this magazine and post on your fridge or the wall of your cubical. If you promise to stick to the resolutions I’ve outlined above, I’ll stick to mine: not being annoyed so easily. Deal?
Rudy lives in Flower Mound, sells stuff to make the house payment, spends weekends on dusty ball fields and recently had a GPS chip attached to his daughter. Follow him on Twitter: Manifesto10.