Before we don our gym clothes and go back to punishing ourselves at the overcrowded gyms, there’s one more big blow-out night filled with champagne, confetti, poor judgment and a few half-ass resolutions.
Some of us may take our intoxicated New Year’s commitments more seriously than others, but few, if any, can remember the vices they swore off the year before. Still, there is some merit to making a vow that will enrich our lives as we look forward to the promise of a new year, and a few of those resolutions are worth holding on to for longer than a week or so.
Here are the five resolutions that all gay men should keep.
Less Staring, More Sharing — Whether it’s at the gym, the bar or the grocery store, we’re all guilty of pretending not to see someone we know. For whatever excuse — sometimes you just don’t want to be bothered with striking up a conversation when you’re in the middle of your squat set — this aversion to the spoken language can cause more harm than a friendly five-minute conversation ever can. Assumptions are created in silence, and you certainly don’t want others believing you harbor any ill feelings, however casual the acquaintance may be.
Extending a smile and an earnest hello sometimes may be the last thing you want to do after a long day at the office, but you might be surprised at just how much of a difference it makes in your own life well as in the life of the person your exchanging your latest update with. In other words, enough with the awkward glances and just ask the person how his day was already.
Break the Cycle — Patterns are natural, and routines can bring comfort. We all have our normal work regime and favorite restaurant. Hell, you may even have been stuck on the same Glade scent for five years running. But no matter what your cycle is, monotony is never good. Whether it’s as drastic as dying your blond locks black or as subtle as taking a different route to work, a little something different each day can make quite an impact on your psyche. Your brain, your boredom and your taste buds will thank you.
Disconnect, disconnect, disconnect — It’s probably one of the worst phenomena of our generation. We’ve all been there, done that. You’re sitting at a table with your friends, and no one is uttering a sound. Did a tribe of Amazon women cut out your homosexual tongues because you wouldn’t give them a child? Nope, but that would be a much better excuse than ignoring all of your real life friends sitting a few feet away because you’re too busy refreshing your Instagram feed.
Last year, many of us swore we’d stack our phones in the middle of the table as a way to avoid the social media pull. But there aren’t very many iPhone Jenga piles being erected anymore. Let’s take it one step further. Let’s make a commitment to leave our little virtual friends at home when we make a date with our live ones. If you just can’t stomach leaving your precious phone all the way at home, your car will probably suffice.
Be nice. Period – The gay community is already pretty small. But when you start running your mouth and talking negatively about others, your little gay world can shrink to the size of a pinhole. No matter what grievance about someone else you feel the need to air in public, it only makes you look worse. Conversely, choosing to air on the positive side can elevate your standing so much so that you will forget about whichever bitchy comment you had before. Remember, this isn’t the Rose Room and you aren’t getting paid in tips so there is no need for trash talking.
Do something beautiful — In Dallas, we’re pretty much the experts when it comes to perfecting our image. It’s easy to get carried away in seeking the right look, so it’s easy to forget to make your actions just as beautiful as your complexion. No matter how attractive you are, the quest to look good will always leave you feeling incomplete. There will never be a procedure, beauty product or an article of clothing that will compare to the gratification of performing selfless acts. This year, make sure you take some time to beautify yourself from the inside out. Who knows, your smoking hot character might be what turns the most heads this year.
All kidding aside, the welcoming of a new year carries with it the opportunity to shake off our shortcomings. Is there any real merit to the idea that the changing of a number on our calendar year is the equivalent to a clean slate? Absolutely. But only because each day is a new chance to make changes in your life that bring peace, happiness and greater acceptance of yourself and others.
Except on New Years when we can do it with a bang.
TYLER CURRY | Dallas Voice