Zen and the Art of Bogus Resolutions

Happy 2017! Here’s my latest article for OTV Magazine. Hope it helps to motivate you to hold strong with your own New Year’s Resolutions. 

No Complaints

no-complaints-again

By Jillian Green DiGiacomo

At age 39, I resolved that I would not be fat and 40. I managed to keep that resolution the day I turned 41.

Last year, I vowed to never go to bed with even one dirty dish in the sink. And, true to my word, there never was just one.

This year, I’ve got the perfect resolution.

It’s simple! It’s doable! It entails no physical labor!

I resolve to stop complaining. Complaining is the most time wasting, counterproductive, depressing activity in which a person can engage. I know this because I am a master complainer.

But for 2017, I vow to stop comporting! I vow to stop compiling. Stupid autocorrect! I promise to stop cinplsumibg! Crap! Crap! Crap!

Why does autocorrect only correct what’s already correct? Who am I kidding? I can’t even finish writing this resolution without complaining!

So how about this: I resolve to stop complaining in public. I’ll resist the urge to whine and moan that the table next to me already has their food when I was clearly here first. Instead of grumbling, I’ll politely smile and give a slight shrug to the waiter to let him know, ever so gently, that the basket of stale bread he is holding better be for me because no other table should get a refill when I am sitting here starving.

But now I see that this place serves their bread with olive oil and not butter. Who decided that oil was better than butter? Has anyone ever protested that bread was too delicious with a nice pat of salted butter?

No! I don’t care that the grape adorned bottle of oil is irresistibly charming. I don’t want oil. I may take the bottle home with me, but that’s beside the point.  At least I should be offered the choice of butter or oil so I don’t look unsophisticated when I request butter.

I am very sophisticated! Bread belongs with butter! It’s as simple as that.

I think I’ve set myself up for failure.  It’s hard to quit complaining cold turkey. What if I ease into my moratorium by only complaining about life’s little annoyances while banning tirades about the big stuff?

The big stuff is everything I have no control over, like trade deficits and nepotism in Hollywood. Why complain when there is nothing I can do about it?

Though, to be honest, that big stuff is the good stuff.  The stuff I cannot change is complaining gold. I love to go on and on about big problems; Guantanamo, that pungent smell of urine on the subway, the Kardashians. I can complain and complain with the satisfaction of being right and righteous while not actually having to roll up my sleeves to fix a thing.

Apparently, my fool proof resolution will be more challenging than I’d anticipated. Who invented the New Year’s resolutions, anyway? Why should any of us believe that just because the calendar ticks from one year to the next, we should be expected to make grandiose changes in our lives?

What if I don’t want to change?

I’m a happy person and I’m happiest when I get to complain. So, this year, instead of changing myself, I resolve to redefine my favorite pastime: I don’t complain;  I offer Targeted Audible Observations, or TAO for short. And this year, I will spend my time honing my TAOist skills.

I am no longer a master complainer; I am a TAOist master on a path to living in harmony with all the daily crap that life dishes out.

Now where is that waiter? My water glass is half empty.

No Complaints

7 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Bogus Resolutions

  1. Jillian: Your humor is amazing! I love your thought and your wit. You have quite a talent with writing and I am encouraging you to continue with it. You have a lot to share with your audience. It is quite a gift that you have.

  2. You remind me of your Dad but I don’t think he would write down his thoughts for all to see. So much that is part of our everyday experience is humorous and you captured a piece of that in your essay. So glad you did, and I will keep my complaints to myself. Just don’t mention politics.

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