Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Enough with the tidings of comfort and joy



by G.D. Maxwell

Let’s face it; 2003 sucked. The only good thing I can say about 2003 is that I didn’t die, get arrested, have a squalid affair, catch a loathsome disease, go bankrupt, crash my car or have my Perfect Partner pack up and leave with Zippy the Dog in tow. Other than avoiding those misfortunes and a host of other personal disasters, there was simply no positive way to define 2003.

The skiing was disappointing, the backcountry vacillated between being an avalanche waiting to happen or a fire needing only the tiniest of spark to roar destructively to life. The garden at Smilin’ Dog Manor was a delicious disappointment as summer rains failed and a shrivelling summer sun beat down relentlessly. I turned a perfectly good finger into a marginally useful digit and a planned road trip to visit family I haven’t seen for too long and replenish my green chili supply vanished in a fog of recovery and physiotherapy. Oh yeah, and there was the Olympic announcement. Make of that what you wish.

So with the Gregorian calendar about to tempus fugit into a new year, it’s time to put to rest the nonsense that was 2003 and celebrate the nonsense that waits in store in 2004. The cynic in me knows the new year could be a whole lot worse but the hopeless romantic twisted into my DNA is ever hopeful great things are just around the corner.

Never having been one to burden the new year with pointless resolutions destined for the garage sales of late January, I’ve nevertheless been thinking about the power of positive thought, an activity the circular nature of which has left me with a headache only good scotch can salve.

Perhaps it’s time to tap into that force of nature and set some concrete goals. Just reading that sentence makes me involuntarily grind my teeth and visualize myself on a slippery slope leading to saffron robes, finger cymbals and irritating chanting at total strangers simply trying to run the security gauntlet at Vancouver International Airport.

But what the heck. Without resolutions to fail to live up to I’d have to find completely unexpected events to make me feel like a total slackass failure. So here goes.

#1 No More Mr. Nice Guy.

Whadja expect? Weight loss? Exercise? Not a chance. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Oh sure, I’ll still write those cute dog and cat stories every once in a while; I’ll still reminisce about things that may have happened in the past or things I’ve lied about for so long I can’t remember whether they really happened or if they’ve just become good stories, but no more pulling punches. No more worrying about someone’s feelings being hurt.