Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Go-to-Gay: New and improved?

We're pleased to have our Go-to-Gay, Keith Stewart, here to kick off the new year. We hope his post will be inspiring to you, whether you are the resolution-making type or not!

Keith now has the floor....

Desperately Seeking Something New

A new year!
A fresh start.
A clean slate.
I know, I know. It’s annoying. I’ll stop.

For years, I looked forward to seeing the calendar turn from December to January. I convinced myself all the mistakes I’d made the previous twelve months magically washed away with the drop of the ball in Time’s Square. By writing out and stating what kind of person I would be in the coming year (skinnier, kinder, organized), I would manifest myself into some Deepak Chopra-ish being by February, March at the latest.

Of course, it actually never seemed to go that way in real life. Around January 10th, I began to understand all this “new me” business would require a lot more work than I was willing to give in order to change. Deepak Chopra-ish did not happen on its own (unless, of course, you ARE Deepak Chopra, then it’s just natural, you lucky bastard). Slowly, but surely, I would stop exercising, start eating pizza again, shovel off just enough room on my desk to reach my keyboard, and continue to be the same old me for the remainder of the year.

I am not sure when my “New Year Epiphany” hit me, probably around the age of 40. Middle age. Maybe that is when I began letting little bits of the grumpy old man I am inevitably to become out in public. Whatever the reason, I was freed. I told myself if I wanted to lose weight or get organized, I could do it any time I wanted. I could start in, dare I say it, May or September. I didn’t need to put the pressure of the world on myself during the dreariest time of the year. I didn’t have to try to break all of bad habits all at once. To every resolution, a season!

I wish I could tell you I began then and there to correct myself and amend my ways, but I didn’t. You see, one of my worst attributes is procrastination. When I decided I could make my New Year’s resolutions any time of the year, I just kept putting it off. Without the binds and structure of a particular date, I was dead in the water. As a result, there was no “new me.” I wasn’t Deepak Chopra-ish. I wasn’t even close.

So this year, I decided I would try a few resolutions again. A new start. Just test the waters of change. See if there are still a few tricks for me to learn. What were they, you ask? I’ll tell you. You have the added benefit of reading this late in the month, so I can also give you an update on how it is going.

1. Stop procrastinating.
Update: This post was my first deadline of the year. It was due on January 9th. I turned it in on January 19th.
2. Lose Weight.
Update: I joined Weight Watchers. I don’t trust the program now that Oprah owns it. She is trying to make me a better person on the inside as well as the outside. I just want to be skinny, Oprah. I just want to be skinny. As of today, I have gained 4 pounds.
3. Dress better.
Update: I have purchased some new shirts, and I got some new clothes for Christmas. However, I am currently wearing the same pair of jeans I have worn all week and an old t-shirt left over from my college days (20 years ago).

This year’s epiphany, however, came to me this morning. If I didn’t make these resolutions or set these goals for myself, at least once a year, I would completely stop trying to improve myself. At least there is a tiny nugget of determination left inside my middle-aged brain that is telling me to keep trying. To keep on keeping on. Hope springs eternal and all that jazz.

So I’ll keep plugging along trying to make myself better this year, and I hope you will, too. I may or may not give you an update in March on how the resolutions are going. It depends on if I am still participating. As long as I can get to my keyboard, order a pizza, and fit in these jeans, I’ll be OK.

Keith Stewart is the author of Bernadette Peters Hates Me – True Tales of a Delusional Man. A native of Appalachia, he splits his time between his hometown of Hyden and nearby Lexington, Kentucky. His blog is . You can find him on Twitter at @Shiglyogly and Facebook at @AMSCOT (A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea). He is a regular contributor to and the He lives with his husband, Andy, and their two dogs, Duke and Dudley.


Janine said...

I haven't done resolutions in years. I never could stick with them and it just made me angry in the end. I feel the way you do, if I really want to do something I can do it at any time, not at the beginning of the year.

Keith S. said...

I like the idea of "starting fresh," but my resolutions were always a disaster!

Janine said...

Same here. Mine always ended up worse than when i started. Like losing weight, i would gain or getting out of debt I would dig a deeper hole. I just give up. And starting fresh? Well that's called getting out of bed for me. LOL!