Tuesday, December 30, 2008

99 Bottles.

I've been torn this season. Thinking about the phrase "Live simply so that others may simply live." I've realized that while I think about this and spout it out and try it on and mull it over it isn't what I'm doing.

Take Christmas. I've been drinking Eggnog. And drinking Christmas tea. And eating cookies. And then what would Christmas be without turkey and ham and three casseroles and Christmas cocktails - the kind the wisemen drank I'm sure - and a tree and a natural wreath and light and a new Christmas CD and a tree skirt and and and.

All these things are just automatics. I can have them all, so naturally, I do.

I'm not loaded. I'm well off at this point. Especially just because I am an American. I have money and a savings account and a 401(k) and the ability to pay my heat bill and a house full of everything I could ever need. Not want. But need.

I've realized that I can have most anything when I want it in any quantity that I want it.

Which is why I must stop.

Or at least slow. I need to gain perspective. I need to spend more time with people. I need to live with less (on a lot of levels). I need to focus. I need a resolution this New Year that will bring a little introspection and a lot of sacrifice.

I'm going to have 99 bottles of beer this year.

I know, I know. This isn't really a sacrifice of anything. You are thinking that I am lame and that I'm a coward and that my New Year's resolution is full of crap and is boring and you know what? Stop reading now. Yeah. Just leave. Don't care. I mean, I'll miss you, but I will catch you in 2010.

My thought is that, when you put limits on something, it becomes a lot more thoughtful. There is something in knowing that your days are limited. That you have precisely 31 more times to wake up. Or 15 more showers to take. Each one is a little more intentional. Which is what I want to do with this experiment.

It isn't about the beer so much as the company. Maybe this weekend will be a blast and I will have 25 beers. And then realize that while that was fun, I've used up a quarter of my allocation for the year. And there better be an interesting tale. Or maybe I will have a beer each week with an old friend and just talk. Spend some time with a stranger. Buy him a beer. Sit down and chat with my wife over a Sam's Light. Or just go watch the sun set by myself. With one of my ninety nine. I don't know.

All I know is that I am going to chronicle this whole adventure. This whole year of having a bit less. Not quitting. Not throwing in the towel. Just being aware.

Cheers t0 2009.