The Ketchup Year

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One day, back in forth or fifth grade, our teacher set aside a day every term for those of us behind on assignments to make them up without a penalty.  She called this “The Catch-Up Day.”

But for some reason, since apparently as a fatty I associate everything with food, I thought she said, “Ketchup Day.”  And all day long I was expecting a bunch of ketchup to be introduced to the class.  Where was the ketchup??

Now, decades (OMG, decades? REALLY??) later, I find myself in need of a Ketchup Year.

See, I’ve been struggling to come up with a good New Year’s resolution.  Last year, I gave up french fries as a personal challenge (more on this in the next post), considering I was eating fries like two times a day at that point.  It was a good conversation starter (and a fact people pointed to when verifying my craziness), and I actually felt a little better about myself.

This year, I’m not quite so inspired…and have already started eating fries again, though in more moderation.  That being said, I do have one overarching goal this year:

Appreciate what you’ve got more than trying to attain what you don’t.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to Lance; hell, I treat him like gold every day (right, honey?).  Instead, this is about stuff I own and the opportunities available immediately around me.

We own probably two dozen TV seasons on Blu-ray and DVD that I haven’t watched, or at least haven’t finished, and a few dozen movies I’ve spent good money on but never watched.  There’s also the stacks of books, graphic novels, and e-books left unread, not to mention the 20+ (no joke) video games purchased but which have gone unloved in a drawer somewhere for months or years on end.

For somebody, like myself, who loves a sale, I can’t come up with a justification for spending all this money on stuff that ultimately just sits in a corner and is not experienced even once.  How can I in good conscience buy another movie or another book if I’ve got a stack of ten waiting to be watched or read at home?

The answer is: I can’t.

How can I justify spending thousands of dollars travelling across the country when I haven’t even been to Philly’s world-class museums, or seen the dozens of theatre shows or musicians who are regularly rotating through the city? (Please disregard the fact that we’re going to Hawaii this summer. That’s with frequent flier miles.)

The answer is: I can’t.

I need 2013 to be about catching up, about taking a break from unnecessary consumerism to truly enjoy what I already have.  Why do I own all this STUFF that goes unloved?  I mean, I bought these things for a reason, right?  I should be less excited about getting a good deal and more excited about the media, or my city, itself.

The challenge I put towards myself is to slow down and just enjoy things instead of always trying to get the next big thing, the next great deal.

What’re your resolutions?

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One thought on “The Ketchup Year

  1. I love this, and it’s something I’ve been working on myself over the past three-ish months. The Nerdist Podcast calls it “enjoying your burrito”–meaning enjoy life with gusto while it’s in front of you instead of feeling sad because the moment or thing will be gone soon. I have really been trying my darndest to fully be in each and every moment and appreciate it for what it is. I don’t always succeed, but I do think it’s making me more mindful.

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