Home > Uncategorized > Looking Back & Looking Forward: Regrets & Accomplishments, Mine & Yours

Looking Back & Looking Forward: Regrets & Accomplishments, Mine & Yours

I’ve never been able to make New Year’s Resolutions.

When I was younger, and particularly when I was an active alchy (as well as a few other things), I never set them because of a lack of motivation and no ability to set goals for myself. Once I’d made the decision to sober up and make sweeping changes in some key areas of my life, I gained the ability to set goals for myself concerning self-improvement.

Yet still, I never saw a reason to make resolutions specific to calendar years. For me, as “New Year’s” is ultimately an inconsequential concept. Schools, businesses, financial institutions, and others use their own guidelines for determining “quarters” and “years,” none of which rely on the standard “begin with January 1st and end with December 31st.” Being exposed to that and working for a Higher Ed institution where our “year” ends in June kind of makes the whole “New Year’s Eve” thing arbitrary in terms of recognizing any sort of ending and beginning.

The other big reason I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions is my personal feeling that a change in an individual’s life and/or habits should come when that person is truly ready for the change. I find that setting a goal for yourself (especially as sweeping as some resolutions tend to be) before you’re ready to commit to it as a life change is self-defeating.

I’m not providing an indictment of people who do set goals for themselves through resolutions, since there are many who need something like this holiday to motivate them. I’m just speaking from personal experience, and in fairness, it really isn’t a general observation but rather one that speaks more to my own personality quirks.

But tradition is tradition, and far be it from me to ignore all the things that come with New Year’s: the celebration, chastising, revelry, regret, and Ryan Seacrest. In keeping with that spirit (or bowing under the pressure of it?), I decided to not only share my regrets and accomplishments for the past year, but also those that were anonymously submitted by the readers of this blog.

Boy, being a recovering alcoholic and an Irish Catholic (by birth if not by practice), I could probably go on for days and days. So I’ll keep this as brief as possible.
* Not changing jobs. I’m really in a rut here, and it’s a dead-end. The first half of the year or the Summer was the time to do it, but unfortunately I found myself not being able to apply myself as much as I wanted to the search. As a result, I couldn’t find anything before the economy in this area (and nation-wide) went PHHLLLLTP. Still keeping my eye open, but there ain’t a Hell of a lot out there.
* Allowing the statements of others to bother me more than they should. I can discount what some other people may say about personal choices I make, but I find that if it’s not bothering me it’s only because I go out of my way not to find out what they’re saying. That’s not the same as not letting it affect you.
* Not keeping in touch with certain people. A lot of people had a lot of stuff going on, so the understanding’s mutual, but I’ll admit I could’ve made more of an effort at times.
* And many, many others that’re far too private to go into any great detail.
But on that note…

* Having a job, which is amazing considering my prior track record and inability to hold one down. I also avoided a round of lay-offs that occurred this year. Thanks, housing crisis!
* Staying sober and, subsequently, alive. We just passed the two and a half year mark, kids!
* Losing 40 pounds. When I started the year I was hovering around 186 or 187. I started in earnest with the exercise portion a couple months ago, but the first twenty or so pounds was a gradual thing that occurred through better eating habits. Now I’m actually in a position where I’m having to put weight back on, which considering my entire life up until this point is just crazy.
* I quit smoking. This was after I got to a point where I was smoking more than I ever had (at least a pack and a half to two packs a day). Certain folks tell me that I don’t really give myself enough credit or play this up as much as I should. They’re probably right, but here’s my brief chance to gloat – I quit in August, never looked back, never cheated or took an errant puff from a friend. So it’s been four months and change, and I don’t get the urges.

Soooooo those’re mine. What about yours? If you’ll recall, I asked y’all to submit your anonymous regrets and accomplishments. While I didn’t receive an overwhelming response, I did receive some interesting submissions.

As promised, these are all anonymous. A couple of you did see fit to identify yourselves to me personally, but since you didn’t do so in the context of your message or indicate that you wanted it to be known who you were, I decided to maintain your anonymity.


* “Not being naughtier. The good girl thing was just too much.”

* “My biggest regrets is getting caught up in my ex’s drama. Helping her out from her bf should have been enough. But no I gave her money support and everything only to be viewed by her as an chance to hook back up then she rejected me flat. That is my regret.”

* “I was a really good friend. But I wish I hadn’t been so good to the ones to didn’t deserve it.”

* “no big regrets come to mind… biggest accomplishment, getting my husband to marry me ahhaha, stupid bastard. (guess who).”
This actually could be one of several girls I know that got married this year, all of whom would have that sense of humor about it – but I think I know specifically who it is. 😉

* ” I regret that I still haven’t forgiven the last person who broke my heart. It’s been several years at this point, but I’m still angry.”

* “Regret: That some relationships were unresolved when I graduated. Accomplishment: I’ve learned to live with that”

* “regret: not having more sex
regret: not going to grad school
accomplishment: still having a job
accomplishment: maintaining sanity”

* “Biggest regret: Giving a rats ass what people who don’t care about me think of me
Biggest accomplishment: Getting a better job than the one I had that fired me from it”

* “biggest regret – not getting a job
biggest accomplishment – letting more people in!”

There you have it. Thanks to all those that put in submissions for this little project. I’ll probably do the same next year, except…you know, give people more than like 20 hours to get them in.

One more thing before we go: if you’re in the Schenectady/Albany/Troy area, don’t forget that the law firm of Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti is offering FREE CAB RIDES to anybody that needs them tonight. If you find yourself hard up for a ride home, DO NOT put those keys in the ignition. Just call “1-800-LAW-1010” and they’ll pick your partied-out ass up, no questions asked.

Please take advantage of this and any offer you get as a ride home. Have fun, but be safe. There’s no excuse.

Everybody out there have a safe and happy New Year!


  1. December 31, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I think the reason for the New Year being the time of resolutions is it comes on the heels of our most hedonistic time of year. From Thanksgiving day and gorging on turkey to running up credit card bills and filling up on Xmas cookies to getting hammered on New Year’s Eve, by New Year’s day I think most people are feeling the effects of burning the candle at both ends. We’re broke, fat, and hung over as a nation on January 1, so what better time to promise ourselves we won’t end up like this again?

    • December 31, 2008 at 7:55 pm

      Such a great point.

      “I’m never doing this again until next year.”

    • December 31, 2008 at 9:13 pm

      Really great point!

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