Well hello there 2016! I think I speak on behalf of most of us when I say we welcome you with open arms. Last week I did a piece reviewing 2015 which proved to be a year that most of us would like to forget. Personally, I’m hoping that my perpetually selective memory will filter out all of the crap and only remember the birth of my son who is the final piece to the amazing puzzle that has been my life. I generally write my year end pieces with tongue firmly tucked in cheek, but that piece ended up being more of a rambling diatribe. It was a mildly bitter rant that could have gone on for several more pages than it actually did. It was my not so subtle way of saying; “beat it 2015, you suck!”

But if you read that article, than you know that I wrapped it up with my optimism over how wonderful 2016 is going to be. I say that with the deepest of sincerity. Not that last year set the bar very high, but I genuinely believe that this is really going to be a great year (unless of course you happen to be Alan Rickman or David Bowie that is). I didn’t see those coming. Relax people. Don’t start with your; “too soon” jabs. I’m not poking fun or making light, simply acknowledging in my own way that two phenomenal talents are no longer with us.

There was a fun little piece of irony that confirmed my theory that this is going to be a good year. As I wrote my closing paragraph last week, I noticed something in the corner of my eye that caught my attention. I looked down on the floor right next to my desk where I had spread out a large fuzzy blanket with Disney characters on it. Right in the center of it was my son who had just rolled over on his own for the first time. If you have no children, or if yours are grown, this may mean nothing to you. But if you have an infant, this is a pretty momentous occasion. It’s your child’s first step towards independence and a never ending stream of cool ‘firsts’ that you will have great fortune of witnessing. If you are lucky and you know what you’re doing, you will enjoy and appreciate each of these moments as they come.

So how could I not be optimistic about this year with a start like that. If ever there was a glaring omen, it’s that happening as I write a paragraph about how great the coming year will be.

This week I’m going to write a list of resolutions, personal policies, favorite quotes, and standing mantras for the coming year. They’ll be in no particular order, and some may even inspire you a little.

  1. If you’ve followed the Swill for any length of time, than you know what my first annual resolution is. So once again this year, I had originally resolved to stop procrastinating. But upon further review, I’ve decided to put that off until a later date.
  2. Once again, I have not, and will not join a gym. I have nothing against those who do (unless you’re one of those judgmental, preachy butt heads). It’s just that life is far too short, and my time now is far too valuable to spend hours each day pushing inanimate objects up and down under the guise of “getting back in shape”. It’s not necessarily going to prolong my life and I’d rather be spending time with my kids. And I live in a house with 5 amazing kids and a gorgeous wife all of whom adore me, so I don’t really need a self esteem boost.
  3. No pain……no pain.
  4. This one is a quote from my grandmother who turned out to be much wiser than I gave her credit for when I was a child and didn’t understand this. “Live every day like it was your last.”
  5. I will make a more conscious effort to appreciate each and every moment with my children.
  6. I will eat a banana every day.
  7. I will let someone other than my 3 and 4 year old daughters cut my hair.
  8. If you don’t live in my house or share the DNA of anyone who does and you think I give a shit what you think of me, then you’ve grossly overestimated both of us.
  9. My “F word” is family. M “N word” is nurture. Decide what yours will be.
  10. I will continue my belief that U2 is the most overrated band in history.
  11. I will continue to question if I have suddenly gotten old or if today’s music really does in fact suck.
  12. I will put a new lock on my bathroom door so that just once I can peacefully get through a session of voiding myself without a freakin’ family meeting. Every crisis in my house seems to happen when I’m in there, and suddenly I become Judge Judy with my pants around my ankles.
  13. I will limit my trips to the hospital this year. Last year’s inventory consisted of 4 broken bones (including 3 ribs), 1 punctured lung, internal bleeding, a dislocated shoulder, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, a thumb cut off, an overnight sleep apnea study, 3 X-rays, 2 MRIs, an ultrasound, a vasectomy, a CT scan, and adding a host of new numbers to the Doctor section of my Rolodex. I know, no one still uses a Rolodex, and that’s probably more than you needed to know about me. But you get the point, and I’m going to be more careful this year.
  14. I will try my best to no longer push the window lock button when I fart in the car with my family and then giggle like a child.
  15. I’ll have less anger and more joy. I’ll swear less and sleep more. I’ll love like I never have before, and treat my body like I have all these reasons to live.
  16. This one is inspired by a phone call I just got. If I am given the opportunity to be locked in a room for a few minutes with the prick that keeps calling in bomb threats to my kids’ schools, I promise you he or she will never do it again.
  17. Less booze, more produce.
  18. Less agoraphobia, more outdoor activities.
  19. My depression and anxiety will NOT control  my life this year.
  20. This one I first said about 30 years ago and it has been my standing mantra ever since. When I grow up I want to be me.
  21. I WILL take a family vacation.
  22. I will not let a single day pass that I don’t make someone else laugh.
  23. Have I mentioned recently that Kanye West is a douche bag?
  24. I will take more pictures, and actually put them into frames.
  25. I’ll dramatically trim down my friends list on social media eliminating the following people first. Political posters, this being an election year, that should be many of you. Overly opinionated people who are constantly seeking confrontation but only have the courage to engage in it on Facebook from the safety of their own lonely home. Those who post daily pictures of their glass of wine or their coffee. Anyone who posts a bathroom selfie. Anyone who posts a stop light selfie. Anyone who posts pictures of their feet, at the pool, on the beach, etc. Those who post daily pictures of themselves with their dog intermingled with posts wondering why they are still single at 40. (Duh!) Those who bash other people’s favorite sports teams rather than just cheer for their own. Those who know nothing yet judge, or advise me on the raising of my children. I’m sure there will be more, but that’s enough for now. To the dozen or so of you who remain, I look forward to our banter.
  26. I’ll smile more, even when it hurts to.
  27. And finally, I will wake up every day happy that I did.

Thanks for playing along. Have a great year! Until next week, Syd Nichols.