I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. They are easy to say and difficult to do. I figure that if there was something I should change about my life, it would have been obvious before the arbitrary date of January 1, 2021.
But I do believe in taking stock of, well, what I believe.
So here's a run-down of some of my personal do's and don'ts for the coming year -- which aren't different from what I did in 2020. I'm sharing them because others might find them useful. Or entertaining. Or useless.
If you have your own do's and don'ts, feel free to share them in a comment. I'd be interested in seeing them, and likely others would also.
(1) Don't waste time trying to discover your true innermost self. You don't have a self, nor are you a self. Problem solved!
(2) Do focus your attention on the outside world. Engage your senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touch as fully as possible.
(3) Do keep your mind and body in sync. That way you won't forget where you put your car keys.
(4) Don't let a problem ruin your entire day, unless it's a really big problem. Be like the zebra who, after being chased by a lion, goes back to grazing on grass.
(5) Do keep an eye out for lion'ish problems. But if they aren't visible, relax. Until they rear their head.
(6) Don't imagine that you can be sure what is going to happen in your life. Be open to surprises, since they are inevitable.
(7) Do tell that most special person "I love you" every day. Or as often as possible.
(8) Do something to benefit others whenever you feel like your life lacks meaning. Meaning comes mostly from giving, not getting.
(9) Don't strive for perfection. Rejoice in your vices, so long as they aren't overly illegal or excessively dangerous.
(10) Do pat a dog, cat, or other furry creature as often as possible. Furless creatures are fine also, just less soft.
(11) Do meditate every day, if only for a few minutes. Just don't expect any benefits. Meditation is its own reward.
(12) Do get out in nature regularly. Just remember what the poet David Ignatow said: "I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life."
(13) Don't expect that the world will ahower you with praise. You aren't that deserving. But a dog may lick your face!
(14) Do live as if every day could be your last. One day you'll be correct about this, you just don't know when.
(15) Don't assume you'll have another chance at life after you die. Place all your bets on the life you're living now.
(16) Do know that darkness is greatest just before dawn. Also, when you have all the curtains tightly closed.
(17) Don't expect much from religious leaders and politicians, then you won't be disappointed.
(18) Do try doing nothing while in line at the grocery checkout. Those text messages can wait a few minutes.
(19) Don't be afraid to say "I don't know." Unless your spouse just asked, "Are you glad you married me?"
(20) Do laugh at yourself. Others are doing that behind your back, so you might as well join them.
(21) Do remember that while marijuana won't solve your problems, it will make you feel a whole lot better about them.
(22) Don't forget that the physical world is always in the present moment, unlike our minds, which like to ponder the past and forecast the future.