Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Mind Your Elders

Family gatherings, whatever the reason, tend to reveal a lot about who you are, where you've been and where you may be going.
(Where you are going is always a choice.)
I looked around a crowded room at my family and friends recently and was struck by how we had all aged. My father, now in his eighties, is still a pretty healthy guy. Many of the people I remember as much younger than who they are now. The reason for the recent coming together was a sombre one; my Mom's funeral. It occurred to me during the long drive home that these people, these elders, would be me in not so many years. The passing of my Mom made me realize I was becoming one of the older folks in my “tribe” but was I becoming an Elder or simply becoming an older version of who I was in my teens or twenties?
Am I still twenty-five in my head or have I drunk at the well of life enough to impart some form of functional experiential wisdom?
In our culture, we lament aging; aching joints, failing eyesight and hearing and stepping slower than we once did. We fear the aging process past thirty to the point of making humorous birthday cards and, to modernize it, memes, that joke about getting older. We spend thousands of dollars trying to look like some reasonable facsimile of a Vogue cover. We look at aging as if it were some cruel punishment for over-exuberance in our teens, twenties and thirties. Indeed, I know many people who still are behaving as if they still live in their teens and twenties despite bodies which are much older. We fight the aging process tooth and nail as if getting older were some crime and our slowing, aching, wrinkling, sagging body and underachieving metabolism were the prison.
We are viewing it wrong.
Aging is part of the process, not only in body but in mind, emotional stability and humility. It is an honour to age. It is an honour to become humble and quieter in spirit. It is an honour to choose wisdom over physical prowess. As we grow older, we need to become grounded in ourselves so we can ground others. Rather than rile the masses or pit one side against the other, being an Elder is the reasonable voice in conflict.
Anything else is a combative adolescent in wrinkled skin.
How does one become an Elder?
What is the difference between an older and an Elder?
Becoming an Elder is not simply a function of age or of experience. It seems becoming an Elder is more a function of one's disposition. In fact, if one looks at the presumed function of an Elder from historical times, they were learned people with life experience and not only knew right from wrong, but had the common sense to make decisions that were best for an entire group rather than a select few. Those who would have been deemed to be Elders during tribal times would not have had personal agendas knowing their time of personal gain decision making had passed. Those Elders were stable, centred, grounded while carrying wisdom and balance into their resolution of issues.
It seems to me elders are about continuation. That is, passing on a stable legacy for all.
But then, that was a tribal elder as opposed to a country's elder, right? It's more difficult to find one single person to run a community as large as a country without them having a personal agenda. After all, it's the societal structure we (the global we) have designed and have come to know. Decisions are made with regard to profit or loss. That is, whether it costs more than an alternative rather than whether the alternative is better for the global community as a whole.
We see it in North Dakota at the moment where a money making entity pits itself against the well being of citizens where money may well be the deciding factor. Too often, the money wins.
I don't believe that is what an elder does. I believe an elder makes decisions that are sometimes difficult (financially or otherwise) yet result in what is best for the whole of society and the future continuation of that society. By making decisions based on cost or convenience and not long term functionality and healthy citizens, we are often discounting new ideas for the comfort of old, outdated, less costly systems.
And then there is an election.
I won't go into what I believe is right or wrong with the presidential decision. My opinion matters not. I am, however, compelled to ask some rather pointed questions.
Does the new leader make decisions based on the needs of society's future or based on the cheaper, more immediate financially lucrative path?
Does he have a history of basing his decisions on people rather than money?
Does he have a track record which is inclusive rather than exclusive?
Is he an Elder or simply an Older?
Has he any bias toward a group of people?
While we may surmise what a future with this leader will be like, we really don't know for certain what it will be. At the same time, we have only the history of this man to judge from. He may, in fact, be brilliant for the United States. While that fact may or may not be true, I have a peculiar feeling he is not going to have a far reaching positive affect on the world.
That makes him not leader of the free world.
That makes him not inclusive.
That makes him an Older, but not an Elder.
That makes him an little boy in big boy pants.
For myself, I know, as time passes, I am becoming an Older. Evidence of that was punctuated at the funeral. My wondering is whether I am becoming an Elder.

As with this recent decision by the people of the United States, only time will tell.
Be well.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Dear “Mr” Trump

Absence of respect, courtesy, manners, or admiration creates a state of poverty irrespective of the amount of money you have in the bank.”
Deepak Chopra

While I understand I don't speak for all men, I'm quite certain there are a majority of us who actually like women. 
During my entire lifetime, I have never spoken of a woman in the manner which you, "Mr" Trump, have in your recently released video debacle, whether publicly or privately. Nor have I spoken in this manner with a group of other men. The vast majority of your remarks when speaking of women are not only rude, but also smack of a person who hasn't grown out of his truculent, ill-mannered teens.
Your remarks and actions toward women are childish.
There are a great many men, of which you are not one, who respect women. Not respect because women are better or are different or are shapely, but because we recognize they are as much a part of who we are as we are of ourselves. These men cry and laugh and have feelings. These men care deeply for their spouses and mothers and sisters and daughters. These men don't assault women and brag about it. These men share their lives with women.
These men are men, not childish little boys in suit and tie.
Real men have no need to “keep anyone in their place”.
Real men have no reason to denigrate women physically or verbally to feed their ego.
Real men cook and clean and do laundry.
Real men have discussions with their spouses.
Real men don't use their position to cop a feel.
Real men behave as adults.
Real men understand the strength of a woman makes them better men.
Real men do not walk in front of women nor do they follow. They happily walk by their sides.
You, sir, are a child.
There are many men and women who will vote for you in this upcoming election. Unfortunately, I am not one of those who is able to counter those votes. I am not American. However, I am a man and, as any man from any country would be, am appalled by your remarks, whether they are current moronic tirades or idiotic remarks from a decade ago. I suspect there are men across the globe, some with as much affluence as you, who are disgusted by your actions. It seems that those whom you would respect for wealth and power are beginning to turn their backs on you.
Speaking for myself, I have little interest in your twisted apology nor your lame excuse that the video was shot “over a decade” ago. I have little interest in your attempted deflection of your behaviour toward Bill Clinton. I have little interest in your bashing of Hillary's relationship. I have little interest in you what-so-ever.
For women who may read this, please know “Mr” Trump's example is not normal behaviour for grown men. It isn't how we speak about women when we are “with the boys”. He is an example of what we, as men who love women, are not.
I would expect women to rise against you. I, for one, will be beside them... cheering.
From one Canadian to “Mr” Trump, please don't come to my country for a visit or vacation or official business, whether you are elected President or not. I would be forever grateful if you would stay within your own borders.
My point is you are a dangerous, uncontrolled, truculent teenager with far too much means to cause irreparable damage to anyone unfortunate enough to be in your presence. And not damaging just to women, which you clearly have done, but also to your country and potentially my country. 
Please, please, please...
Find a cave in the bowels of the Earth and live your life there.
I can only hope there are others who share my view.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Global Dream

You want to know what the American Dream is?
That's it. There is nothing more to it.
[The American Dream is] that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
James Truslow Adams
From “Epic of America” -1931
Nowhere does Mister Adams say the American Dream is to lay around swilling beer like some incapable lout bitching about someone not handing you a job on a silver platter. We're all out of silver platters largely because the price of metals have gone through the steel corrugated roof.
You notice Adams says “for everyone”? Did you see that? Everyone. Not for a select few but for every person residing in America. It seems Americans (and many others around the world who claim the same ideals) have lost touch with this simple sentiment.
I find it interesting that some Americans (not all inclusive, obviously), have done such a stellar job exporting those ideals (and Walmart and McHappy Meals and iPhones and the Almighty Buck) to the world and then lay around bitching while slouched on the sofa, during another rerun of the Price is Right, that the world has taken their dream of a forty year job at some mundane-jobbed smoke farting factory. The world has done no such thing. You gave it away by demanding more and more while other country's citizens claimed they could do it for less.
You priced yourself out of your own market.
That's point A. Point B is this...
Some Canadians and some Europeans and some Asians and... and... and... aren't any different in their lousing. Everywhere on the planet there are people who want more opportunity. It's not as if Americans are the only ones grousing about loss of jobs and high living expenses. You ain't that special.
So... America... you have accomplished your mission. Bitching and complaining because someone else won't keep you in beer and Cheetos has gone international. The American Dream hasn't stayed confined within the thin red borders of the good ol' U.S. of A. It's dribbled into Mexico and Canada and European countries and African countries and Middle East countries and South American countries and Asia, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
And yet, each of those countries and America all blame the other for doing what they, themselves, are doing.
The dream of opportunity and recognition is not an American dream. It's a global dream. A human dream. Get over it.
Point C is this...
According to ability and achievement”
If all you're achieving is moving from your sofa to a lawn chair to the bathroom to the lawn chair all while emptying another case of Bud Light, then you'll be treated like a lazy, drunken slob. Because, Sunshine, that's all you've achieved.
Somehow the American Dream has been twisted over the past 5 decades or so to mean, “You owe me a job and an easy peasy life because I'm American.”
There are people out there with real issues who struggle daily to make ends meet doing whatever they can to survive and keep their family going. People with two or three part time jobs. Single moms and dads mopping floors. Unemployed people washing the windows of cars at stop lights. Other people in beat up old cars and trucks who are cutting lawns or painting decks or shovelling driveways or doing odd jobs. There are young folks in their twenties and thirties willing to take any job just to secure their own independence... despite a college or university education. There are people from foreign countries filling niches most home grown people scoff at as beneath them. These people are trying.
These people still believe in the dream.
The American Dream has never been about a government “bringing jobs back to America”. In actual fact, the American Dream has never been exclusively American. The American Dream has always been about the individual having the opportunity to try to do something on their own. Somehow, since Adams coined the phrase in 1931, we have bastardized the term to mean someone else is going to give us the opportunity.
The jobs didn't go away. The Dream... the term... became global.
It's not about bringing jobs back to America. It's about being innovative in your own life. That's the opportunity!
The opportunity has always been there. Whether you choose to take it or not is your choice. It's not the problem of big business or governments. Big business's job is to make money and they don't care where the jobs are. The government's job is to provide an atmosphere where opportunity exists.

It's your job to create your life the way you want it.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

One Tribe

A short while ago I took a vacation.
I visited some folks in Sault Ste Marie and some other folks in North Bay. During the eight day sojourn, I travelled 2600 kilometres, met a bear, stood twenty feet from a young buck, climbed waterfalls and kayaked to my childhood camp. It was a trip down memory lane and an exploration of new places all in one holiday.
And, despite an eight hour thunderstorm while sleeping in a tent, it was relatively relaxing.
Our ability to travel is much easier than it once was. For whatever reason, I'm reminded of the movie Seven Years in Tibet when travel was longer, gear was weightier and stays in one place were longer. In our technological age, we tend to flit from sightseeing flower to sightseeing flower all the while claiming we've “been there”.
We've “seen there” yet really haven't “been there”.
Our reach has become global in a relatively short period of time. A two or three week vacation can take us to countries around the globe when it wasn't so long ago those same journeys would take months or years. Our ability to move our personal energy mass around has increased while the depth of our intimacy with a place we visit has declined.
Travel isn't all that has become global.
That ability to move from place to place with relative ease has opened the world up to economic markets we never knew existed not much more than a hundred years ago. While long distance trade has become easier and quicker, particularly with the advent of the internet, we still cling to the notion of tribes. Our country has become our tribe and within those countries are further tribes called states, and provinces. And further, we have tribes with city and town and village names. We used to know everyone in our neighbourhood and could count on them in times of need.
Not so much anymore.
We have become a global corporate conglomerate. We have friends who are dotted around the globe. We have global institutions. Our monies move globally with the click of a mouse. (Thirty years ago if I had said I clicked a mouse I would have been told to leave the fucking mouse alone.) We have international organizations and certain international laws. We move arms around the world like pieces on a chess board without anyone really knowing who is doing what. We have secret societies in enclaves, real or fictitious, where no-one with a modicum of common sense would step foot.
We have a global peace keeping force that can't keep the peace.
What we don't have is global policing and global governance and global industrial laws.
Recently there have been implications of high ranking officials, wealthy people and corporations moving operations or hiding funds in countries with little or no tax. By doing so, they avoid paying taxes in their own country. It has also become common for criminals to seek asylum in countries without extradition treaties. All of this while we still grapple with pockets of atrocities both abroad and at home.
Why do you suppose there are so many refugees? Huh? If things were hunky-dory in their country, they wouldn't want to seek refuge in our countries. Right? RIGHT?
I have nothing against rescuing refugees. Under the current system around the globe, it is our only option when people are downtrodden or ostracized or are being killed. However, the best option is to repair that which ails the countries where these people are coming from. Without a global government, this will never happen. The U.N. Hasn't the teeth and, in many cases, industrialized countries don't give a shit. Instead, we continue to hide behind thin red lines on a map and claim “it isn't our problem”. Instead, we pick and choose who we help or don't help, often because of economy rather than empathy.
The time for a world government with teeth has come.
The time to stop dispensing rockets and guns and bullets like they're popping from a Pez dispenser has come.
The time to end corporate over human decision making has come.
The time to stop ignoring atrocities because there isn't economic gain has come.
The time to stop “legal” money laundering by those who “have” has come.
The time to bring all citizens of all countries up to an acceptable standard of living and of safety has come.
The time for a global view rather than a tribal view has come.
The only way this works is for all country's leaders to be involved. It isn't a matter of one country opting in and another opting out. All countries leaders are compelled to sit at the table. Yes, even those country's leaders who we disagree with. This system for governance cannot be based on the ideals of one nation. It must be based on the ideals of all humanity with humility.

The time has come to become one tribe.

Thursday, 15 September 2016


I want to meet Juan Valdez and ask him why my coffee was crap this morning.
We used to know who made our stuff.
I was reading a book called “Glass, Paper, Beans” by Leah Hagar Cohen. I've never read her stuff before, yet the book compelled me to pick it up one day while browsing at a used book store. Sometimes shit just calls your name, ya know? The subject matter caught my attention. The premise of the book was the stories of the people behind what we use every day. In this case, the author is sitting in a coffee shop reading the daily paper. Thus the title and ultimate history lesson about glass mugs, the newsprint industry and coffee production.
We really have no idea regarding the stories behind our stuff.
For the record, Juan Valdez does not exist. He and his trusty mule bandying about some Columbian mountainside are figments of an advertising wizard's fertile imagination.
There is a push on to buy local stuff. I see it every day in store windows and internet posts and advertisements. But what does this mean? If I buy a banana from a local shopkeeper, do I know the story behind the production and processing of that banana? The last time I checked, we don't grow bananas in Canada which means it came from elsewhere. Presumably, I might know the shopkeeper. Beyond that it's pretty much a crap shoot.
Someone once suggested to me I buy a suit from a local producer. Thus, I would know who made the article. In truth, I don't know who made the article. I know who cut the fabric and sewed it together but I don't know the person who produced the cloth and thread and buttons and zipper nor do I know the person who assembled the machine which stitched it all up. The only person I really knew was the person stitching the cloth together.
Even then, would I know they were the one to stitch it together?
Much of what we buy originates elsewhere, constructed by faceless people (or equally faceless machines). In our global economy, the food container could be from China, the metal to make the container from Europe, the edible contents from Brazil and the labels from Canada. How do I really know where anything truly comes from?
All Canadian Beef!
Um... really? Is the farmer here to verify that?
The world economy has become faceless and thus, emotionless. There was a time when we knew the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. They all lived down on Drury Lane with the Gingerbread Man. I knew whose farm my steak came from. I knew the growers of corn and beans and carrots. I knew the weavers of cloth and the builders of chairs. Even now I can go to a farmer's market and meet the grower. Yet, I would bet beyond a reasonable doubt they didn't manufacture the bag or the labels or the cute little berry basket.
It isn't possible to know exactly where things come from any longer. I do get the premise behind buying local and one must also keep in mind the faceless box store corporations employ several people on my block. What do we do with them when the store closes?
This in no way means I shun local stores. In fact, I use them as much as possible. At the same time, I try to be realistic about the origins of certain items.
There are many stories out there. I think it's far too easy to not notice the young man behind the counter paying his way through university or the single mom at the big box store who is worried about what to feed her kids that night. Those are the real stories behind our stuff. Those are the real people.
I think it's important to recognize the mug which contains my morning coffee came from a small company in a town in New Jersey which employs an elderly man who has been pushing the same buttons for 35 years, is close to retirement, who frets over how he will pay his bills come next July when they push him out the door, who only wants to be home with his adored wife of 42 years and to tend to his gardens in the back yard with his grandchildren.
That's the guy I want to know.

Real people behind my stuff.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Common Sense with Bears

During my recent trip to the hinterlands of Northern Ontario, I met a bear.
Before I go further regarding the bruin, the “Hinterlands” of Northern Ontario are much more civilized than our southern cousins give credit and there are quite a few people in that stick-ridden, backward boondocks who know they are far better off than those occupying the smoggy, concrete jungles of the south. Yet, folks in the south of the province are convinced those of us from the north are flea-bitten, bearskin wearing, slow learning, axe wielding, red-plaid Neanderthals without the sense to move to the warmer climes. In fairness, there are fleas in the north, just not as many because the natural predators who eat them aren't smothered in tarmac, concrete, and lawn fertilizer.
But, that's another story.
As it often seems, I come back from Away to Not Away with a slightly different orientation than before I was Away. Yeah... that sounds weird to me too.
Back to the bear.
While camping in Pancake Bay Provincial Park, my partner and I decided going for a morning hike was a delightful idea. Why not, right? We're both hikers (outdoors people in general, really) and we were in prime country for just such an activity. As we're heading into the trail (not more than three minutes), we see a bear on the opposite side of a stream. As sentient homo-sapiens are wont, we automatically apply human principals to non-human, non-biped, fur, scale or feather bearing life forms and surmise the previously mentioned bear will remain on the other side of the stream.
The bear, with only bear-conceived ideals, had other thoughts.
He crossed the stream at a pace that far exceeded our previous erroneous conceptualization of bear speed... toward the path we were negotiating. Needless to say (or perhaps I should say), common sense prevailed and we backed out of the woods fairly quickly. My last glance back at the bear was a glimpse of him peeking curiously over a knoll at two abruptly less intrepid bipeds retreating to the road.
The human constructed road seemed safer, as if a bear, which lives in a park crisscrossed with roads, had never conceived of the notion to walk on the frigging road.
Man, we are a dumb species.
Later in the morning, I needed to make a morning visit to the latrine.
Yours truly discovered that bears, indeed, are mobile. After finishing my morning duties, I heard a sound outside the public convenience. Caution hasn't always been a strong suit of mine so I opened the door. There, not ten feet away, was my quadruped bush buddy. I had a sudden urge to repeat perform my morning duties. The bear wasn't looking at me nor did he seem to pay much attention. Still, I decided under the circumstances a vewy, vewy quiet retreat back behind the door might be the better part of valour.
We are an odd lot, are we not?
Our species, under its current condition, seems to have a fantastical misconception about almost everything. Firstly, determining what is a true threat and what isn't seems to be a matter of individual judgement. There are those reading this who will believe they could have walked up to the bear. There are others who might think my retreat was not linked to valour at all. There are still others who would have ignored the bear and continued blithely on with their day. Who's to say what the outcome may have been under different circumstances. The bear was young; probably less than two yet already away from its mother.
The whole incident sort of made me consider a lot of recent events and happenings.
Was Prime Minister Trudeau really photo-bombing a wedding with his shirt off at a beach or perhaps a wedding party at a beach was a complete surprise?
Is Donald Trump really presidential material?
Is Hillary Clinton really presidential material?
Are there really radio waves being heard from space?
Was the temperature really hotter this summer or was El Nino just being a bit of a prat?
Is it really necessary for a pipeline to pass through native land?
Does Nestle really have more right to water than the rest of us?
We can debate opposite sides of issues until we are blue in the face. Oftener than not, most events have so many sides to them we haven't the foggiest what the truth is. To some, Donald Trump is the perfect antidote to a troubled America. To others, Hillary is the perfect continuation of President Obama's legacy.
Some think aliens are trying to contact us and have purchased copious amounts of tinfoil hat materials.
Perhaps one should use common sense when deciding whether something is real or fiction. Not the common sense manufactured by industry, politics and Hollywood star-gazers. No. The common sense I am referring to is the kind that is; a) based on common knowledge and, b) represents the common good.
If the actions taken by a group are not for the common good of all, then it isn't common sense. Insert any decision choosing corporations, government or large institution over the needs of people. If actions taken do not serve the good of all people, then they are not common sense, regardless of how it's spun.
Common sense told me to leave the bear alone. Wild things do not require human contact and tend to survive much better without us interfering. Common sense also tells me to stop watching the news because of its over-hyped manipulation of the truth. Common sense tells me some starlet seen knotting laces at Bergdorf Goodman's isn't news. Common sense tells me we are living in a fantasy world of someone's creation and expecting to hear the truth from their lips when it's in their best interest to keep the fantasy going.
Common sense tells me the interests of large institutions and their profit margin are less important than the humans they impact.

Common sense tells me people are crazy.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Life is Fair

I did it to myself. Oh, I won't ever say the reaction by the other person was ever my doing, because it wasn't. Their reaction is always their choice. However, my choice of putting myself in a particular situation is always my doing and I have to own up to it. Otherwise, I become blamey and give my energy away to someone who likely doesn't deserve it in that moment.
And that is what taking responsibility (being accountable) for my own life looks like.
I started writing this piece about two months ago and, for the life of me, I can't recall what the situation was I had placed myself in to generate the thought. That probably says something about the life-altering importance of what it was. Whatever the choice then, it's odd how circumstance seems to rotate around some ethereal Maypole until it feels as if your past life (situation) is flashing in front of your eyes... again.
Haven't I been here before?
I was out doing my thing the other day. You know... getting a thing-a-ma-hooey for the whats-it-for so I can do the hokey pokey and shake it all about. While I'm wandering the aisles of some warehouse-ish, florescent box like an Irish Setter scurrying to and fro with my nose nosing and my ears earing and looking for whatever it is I'm looking for, I overhear a couple having a rather heated, though pointedly hushed, discussion in the next aisle. It wasn't anything I haven't heard before. ~sniff~ Or smelled, for that matter. It's pretty easy to smell bullshit these days. I grew up hearing and smelling it.
She was trying to reason with him and it was getting nowhere. He was blaming her for forcing him to go shopping and putting him in a bad mood.
He said... she said... they said... then no-one said.
At some level, if he had taken responsibility for his actions (that is... he chose to be there in the first place and he chose to be in a bad mood), the foray into the big box store with huge packages of stuff you can't use in a lifetime may have gone much simpler and much, much more joyously.
Far too often we look at life as unfair when it isn't life which has put us in a particular situation in the first place.
Our choices put us there.
If I look at every situation I'm in as a choice I have made, then it follows I can make another choice to correct course or to backtrack. At no point am I compelled to stick with a decision to the bitter end simply because I, someone else or societal pressure believes I should “suck it up and stick it out”. I always retain the choice to opt out. I'm always allowed to say "Oops".
Life happens because we choose to be where we are.
Life isn't “doing it to us”. Life is supporting our decisions based on the choices we make.
Life is fair.
If you choose to live in misery when it was your choice to be there in the first place, awesome! More power to you! I'm just not sticking around to see the show.

Amen... or something along those lines.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Resolve not to Resolve

New Year's is not one of those things I go out of my way to celebrate. Certainly not in any currently traditional manner.
When I was young, I was told Christmas was for kids and New Year's Eve was for adults. Naturally, as I grew older and became what is legally an adult, I had a yen to join in those festivities and pretty much make a blithering idiot of myself. As it turned, most of those around me didn't notice the Idiot of Ed since they were, a) passed out, b) incapable of actually focusing on what I was doing to become an idiot, c) in the midst of becoming idiots themselves or, d) partaking in “b” and “c” until “a” occurred in an incoherent, steaming heap on a shag rug or tiled bathroom floor.
At the time, I felt I was behaving adulty... until the next day when I couldn't see well enough through my self imposed mental haze to find a coffee cup.
Naturally, as New Years Day came and went in some form of catatonic haze of headache, barely edible food, hair of the dog spiked orange juice and college bowl football digested through blurred vision, most resolutions I had made mere hours before were set aside for “tomorrow”. Tomorrow never comes, as the idiom so aptly applies to incomprehensible, drunken promises slurred through blurred synapses. 
Later in life, the throngs of semi-coherent gyrating New Year's Eve revellers became less and less enticing and, as I glance in the rear-view, far less important to brag about. Resolutions soon became less important as well. Those things I would promise myself on New Year's Eve while partaking in some form of alcohol imbued mental promiscuity seldom came to any lasting fruition.
I, like many others, would resolve to change those things I deemed less than adequate about my behaviour, my character or my lifestyle. It wasn't until my late thirties when I realised there was nothing wrong with any of those things so long as my actions weren't harming anyone else. If they were harming me, it was a choice... hopefully made consciously.
That in no way implies I didn't wish to become better or more than I was. It simply means that “better” is a bit of an ambiguous target from the outset.
So, my resolutions became more and more about a state of mind. That is, how did I wish to feel rather than what I wanted or wanted to change. The truth is, if there were something which I wished to change that was important enough to me, (drinking, smoking, eating healthy food, driving slower, using less, recycling more, exercise, etc), I would have done it already. A fictitious line in the sand has little meaning or motivation.
If I say I want to change something or set a goal for something else, I will only achieve it when it becomes important enough to me to motivate change.
It has become far more important to me to focus on achieving a feeling rather than focusing on a thing or change in behaviour.

Of course, there are times when I miss knowing how many pieces of gum were stuck to the under side of the tables at my favourite watering hole. That, though, is a story for another day.