THE NEW ME
It’s a new year. That’s a biggie in this country—all around the world, actually. It doesn’t matter that factually each day is pretty much the same. Oh, sure—the seasons change and you might get a meteorite falling on you like those poor people in Russia, but in reality January first is almost indistinguishable from December thirty-first. Except for the hangover. Just like people all over the world, I want to fit in in society so I forced myself to make a resolution, set a goal if you will, to try and achieve so that when I’m nursing a tepid cup of double-latte, low-fat, no-lactate, sprinkle-of-cinnamon coffee at Starbucks on January first, 2015—hopefully I can look back and say: Yep, I stuck to my guns and really accomplished what I set my mind to.
At first I was tempted to go the traditional route. I could trim that spare tire around my waist. All it would take is a few more carrot sticks and a few less donuts, but really—my spare tire is more like that dumb rubber donut they put in the new cars than the good ‘ole monster truck tire they used to give you. Besides, Round Rock Donuts is part of the local economy and I’ll be damned if I’m going to subvert the US economy! My father waded through the mud-puddles of Korea to keep our donut-driven way of life and I’m certainly not going to dishonor his memory in that way just so I can fit into a smaller size of jeans.
No, losing weight wouldn’t do it. I could learn crochet, write poetry, take up spelunking—but then I realized I was thinking too small. I needed to change the whole picture. I needed to change my mind. I needed to set myself a goal of self-enlightenment, cast off old precepts; purge myself of old biases, old thoughts, old ideas. My goal would be a new me.
I had to jump right into it, because that was the first hurdle I had to leap over. In the past, I always procrastinated, I always waited till the last minute to get something done. No more. The new me would get right on the case and get crackin’! Step one towards a new me? My lazy spirituality. I’ve spent decades debating with friends whether or not God exists while at the same time pleading with Him every time I see a police car in my rear-view mirror. Shame on you, “old me”. No more waffling—I got down to it. Fortunately I was able to find a Reverend on satellite TV that assured me that Jesus’ amusement park needed a new 3-D “Donkey-Ride-Through-The Gates-of-Jerusalem” ride, and as further proof that He exists—they accept credit cards.
Change your way of mind—change your reality. The old me always had a problem with cats. Not that I didn’t like cats—they just didn’t like me. Or anybody. The old me got his feelings wounded because Kitty wouldn’t cuddle and all the puppies in the world think I’m warm kibble with a shot of chocolate on top so to heck with kitties! Well, I found myself a nice momma cat nursing some of her noisy newborn in the park and decided to make friends right away. Once the swelling goes down and the scratches heal, I intend to find those little cuties a good home.
Prejudice. Bias. Like a lot of people, the old me fell in the trap of thinking all politicians are alike. Here’s the deal: Once I opened my mind and let all my old preconceptions go, I found that some politicians, some mind you, actually care about us. Some care about our wants and needs. The fog of un-enlightenment lifted and I found solace in the fact that Representatives Edwards and Johnson, Democrats from Maryland and our own forward-looking Texas respectively, have submitted a bill to establish an Apollo Lunar National Park—on the moon.
The old me has been pretty cavalier in his relationships with women. I resolved to make this right. I have taken it upon myself to express how much respect, how much admiration, how much sheer delight I have for the average woman walking down the street. Once the swelling goes down and the scratches heal, I intended to find those cuties a good home.
There you have it. The veil has been lifted; the shackles broken. My new mind, unfettered by the hob-gobblin of old patterns of thinking—has been set free. As George Bush so proudly put it: Mission Accomplished.
I think I’ll take the “new Me” out for a donut.
The New me
An essay by Daryl Buckner
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