Sometimes I do a New Year's Resolution and sometimes I don't... it all depends on if there's anything I see in my life that I really want to improve on. A lot of the time
My favorite resolution so far is from a few years ago... it was to get out and see more live music. I think this was around 2001... I'd only ever been to a few concerts up to that point in my life, and I didn't like the way the trend was going. So that year I went a little nuts... I think I must have taken in 15 or more shows that I would actually call "concerts", as well as lots of live entertainment at pubs and whatnot. It's been a while, but artists I remember seeing that year include The Tea Party (several times), Ozzy Osbourne, The Tragically Hip, Bif Naked, Social Code, Barenaked Ladies, Wil, Matt Good... and others that I'm sure I'm forgetting.
(Yes, I did have money to burn back then).
This year's resolution involves a little more introspection, although it's not nearly as expensive.
I was always a shy kid back in school, to the point where some people thought I was snobby because I wouldn't talk to them unless they talked to me first. The shyness is something I've battled with over the years, and while it's still there, I'm much better at being able to make a conscious decision to ignore it. I have noticed, though, that even now I'm hardly ever the one to initiate contact with my friends. It's not that I don't like them, or don't want to see/hear from them... and I know that if we did get together we'd have a great time. It's more like it just doesn't occur to me to call them up.
I think this non-contact behaviour is stemming from two different places, both related to my shyness.
First, because I was shy as a kid, I just never really developed the skill of being friendly. I had my friends at school of course, but there were only ever a few that I hung out with outside of school. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes, and my school-age habit of being my own company seems to be no exception.
Second, I've always had a bit of a phone phobia. Strange, right? Back in my teenage years, I'd actually get nervous when I had to call someone, or even if I was thinking about calling someone. It didn't happen all the time, and it didn't seem to matter who the person on the other end was going to be. I distinctly remember one time I had to call a customer support line for a problem with my cell phone; my heart started racing as I was dialing the numbers, my stomach started flip-flopping, and I had to hang up and try again the next day. As with the shyness in general, this has gotten much better over the years. My job at the call center (which I took, in part, as a way to conquer this issue) helped a lot, as did the general boost in self-confidence that happened in my early twenties. Having said that though, I still much prefer emailing or texting to picking up a phone and making a call.
Anyway, this is starting to get long so I'll get to the point. In 2009, I'm going to make a conscious and concerted effort to be more outgoing, and to not always rely on my friends to do the planning. A friendship is just like any other relationship: it takes effort to maintain, and it's high time I started putting more of that effort in.