Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
I am starting to think that I will not be a new version of myself this year. I've never really been a New Year/New Me person anyway. I always want to be but there are a couple of things standing in my way. One, sloth. Two, don't tell my psyche, but I tend to like the old me. Three, the weather--it's too cold to be shedding your old self and revealing the tender skin of a new creation! In 23-degree weather? For what reason? New year, new sweater, same thick layer of self.
Here's how my personal renewal calendar goes:
January - pretend to want to make a resolution or have a fresh start. Make soup instead.
February - see a sale on Groupon for Bikram hot yoga; buy said Groupon. Go to three classes before realizing that I only really like hot yoga in concept. Make soup instead.
March - find a green hat; get lost in the St. Patrick's Day parade like Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive.
April - Birthday month, a perfect time to set a new intention for myself. Except I am usually a little bit grumpy because I'm quite sure that my birthday is ill-timed. No offense to my parents or the stork. I've always thought this. Even as a child. My birthday would roll around and I've be like "Um, let's take another pass at this idea." I'd be in the bowling alley at my party with half of my third grade class and I'd be holding a whiteboard asking "When do you feel like I should have been born, energetically?" Anyway, my activity for April is to decide to continue being whoever I am but, I guess, technically older.
(One of the things I love about this movie is how Tommy Lee Jones always seems utterly annoyed by Dr. Richard Kimble. He's like "I can't believe you have my ass chasing you all over these streets, Richard! Come on now!")
Just as we have the tradition of New Year's resolutions, I feel like there should be a holiday somewhere around the third week of January where we can celebrate absolutely not overhauling ourselves. It should be called Yeahhhh About That... Day. Or You Know What, Never Mind Weekend. Or Sames-mas!
By the way, this is not self-help. Kudos to you if you started something and kept at it. Kudos to you if you didn't. Kudos to you if you started something and realized "I am actually not going to change and everyone else is just going to have to deal."
I just want a holiday dedicated to dealing. And I think it should be now.
At a time when a bear is hibernating, safe if the plush embrace of his fall bulk, why am I, a human with no fur and no understanding of what the body mass index is, trying to jumpstart a transformation?! In this economy? Everywhere I go in the city, I am stepping on piles of wet, dead leaves soaked by dirty snow and I'm supposed to be checking in on my new daily gratitude journal and making overnight oats instead of ordering breakfast? Okay, hon. I'll look into it.
Here's the version of me I wish to change: the person in the past who is like "I will absolutely make big and small positive shifts in my life, behavior, demeanor, attitude, and psychological makeup and I will do it somewhere in the gray wasteland between MLK Day and President's Day." That person is a menace. That person needs to be put on a performance improvement plan. But it won't start til the tulips come up, at the earliest.
You when I actually do like to make or reveal big transformations? July 1st. It is so much easier to start a new hobby or reconnect with my core self in the middle of the summer, preferably on a long July 4th vacation week. When the sun is out and I've had ceviche for lunch, I can do anything! Want me to go to Bikram? Sure! Want me to evade Tommy Lee Jones who is chasing me for a crime I didn't commit? You got it dude. Want me to write in my gratitude journal? Uh... maybe. We'll see about it. After my hang-gliding appointment.
Anyway, thank you for your interest in how my resolutions are going. I am the same. Please check back in in a few months. New Fiscal Year, New Me!
New Year, New Plays!
I have four productions running this year! Including one that no one has seen before! INDIANAPOLIS! BUFFALO! SOUDERTON, PA! PHILADELPHIA!
Mrs. Harrison - Montgomery Theater in Souderton, PA - February 1-25 - More info
The Folks at Home - Alleyway Theater in Buffalo, NY - February 9-March 2 - More info
The Folks at Home - Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis, IN - February 20 - March 16 - More info
An Army of Lovers - Azuka Theater in Philadelphia - May 2-19 - More info (ALL TICKETS ARE PAY WHAT YOU WISH, AFTER THE SHOW! You can get tickets today for free!)
Let's hang out!
I'll be at the Palm Springs Readers Festival sponsored by The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs, next weekend February 2-4. Others on the lineup include Rebecca Makkai, Justin Torres, Rasheed Newsome, Steven Rowley, and Jasmine Guillory!
David's church, Swarthmore Presbyterian, is bringing in the great Nadia Bolz-Weber to give a talk on her book Shameless on February 7th. It's going to be a fabulous, invigorating event and it's free!
I can't believe you have my ass chasing you all over these streets, Richard!,