Resolutions for Procrastinators

My turkey coma is wearing off just enough so that I noticed how fast this New Year is going and my traditional time for reflections and resolutions is long gone. I took my two minutes of annual reflection and realized that many of you may be in this similar situation. Here's a list of resolutions that you should feel free to peruse and pick one or more for yourself.

Go Camping!
Go camping in one of the 100 + state and/or 14 national parks in Texas. Cube dwelling sucks the soul out of you more quickly than you realize. You think you know. But, you don't know. Some quality time with Mother Nature will recharge your core. There is nothing like roughing it for a few days to increase your appreciation of the little things, like sand free toilet paper. Click here for more info!

Walk Around Your Town
Many Texans, particularly Houstonians, spend countless hours in their cars speeding to work and speeding home from work. The only walking that is done is between the car, home, and office. Try walking instead of driving next time you need to get a pint of ice cream and a pack of cigarettes from the nearby Stop 'N Rob a.k.a corner store. Who knows what you will encounter or discover along the way? Maybe you will get a glance at your feet for the first time in a long while.

Become Well-Read, Join a Book Club
My first assignment as an LSU freshman in Introduction to Fiction was to discuss our favorite literary work with the other folks in our groups. "What do you think of Atticus as a single parent?" "Do you think that Orwell's pigs could make chocolate souffle?" I had not read one of the books the others had during high school. I'm talking about the staple classics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, etc. Once I graduated and had time for leisure reading, I instituted the Jason Bargas Literary Program consisting of all the classics that I missed during high school. I recommend that you do the same; check the internet for good suggestions. Soon you will be almost as well-read as Edmund Dantes.

Debunk the " Insert Town of Your Choice Here Sucks!" Theory
The key to success when debunking any theory is to work with an expert in the field, i.e. a knowledgeable local. Locals really can not be considered knowledgeable if they have lived there for less than six months or have not lived there in ten years. My personal quest will be to discover if I can find someone not wearing one piece of black clothing during a trip to Deep Ellum.

Support Local Businesses
Don't get me wrong. I am guilty of spending an inordinate amount of time in the nearby Super Center. I can not explain the euphoria. I think it is due to the idea that I can buy 3-and-1 oil and gauze pads in the same place. However, I feel that it is my duty to support the locals. For example, I buy my magazines from the local guy down the street. I try to avoid chain restaurants except for Pei Wei and local chains like Barnaby's. You get the idea.

See More Local Music
Take off your headphones and step away from your Ashlee Simpson-blaring-iPod. Now scold yourself for having bad taste in music. Pick up a copy of the local free paper and scan the upcoming shows. You may be surprised at what you find. Pay attention for can't miss Texas artists like Terry Allen, Todd Snider (he used to live in Austin), The Diamond Smugglers and Jug O' Lightning.

Learn Spanish--ay, EspaƱol
Life in Texas, and many other places in these United States, will only get easier once you master the language. Not only will your new language serve you well, but you will also cease to be a monolingual gringo.

Watch Fandango
Get some buddies together at your place and check out this little piece of cinematic Americana. Marvel at Kevin Costner's mostly full head of hair. Dream of your post-graduation glory days. Now, shake off the onset of depression by road tripping across Texas. Don't forget Dom since he's not out there waiting for you. Feel free to skip the skydiving.

Smile more!

This was originally posted on TheBackWord.com, a Texas-centric eZine that has gone the way of the jackalope.