Here we are, another turn of the calendar, another chance at those resolutions.
▪ I will make the Fitbit more than a stylish bracelet. After I find the Fitbit charger.
▪ I will Kondo-ize my entire house. After I find the Marie Kondo book telling me how to master the art of decluttering.
▪ I will pay every one of those speed camera tickets before they double. After I find a way out of the anger loop that consumes me every time I run afoul of a ridiculous speed trap designed not for public safety, but to pad the city's budget.
▪ And I will find my happy place.
All these things are reasonable. All doable. I know I can do better if I just try harder.
The same thing applies to our country. In 2016, we can do better if we just try harder.
How about we vow, as Americans, to tackle a few collective shortcomings this year?
How about we stop thinking Pinterest is the real world? No one needs to create custom water bottle labels for every party they have. And nails really don't need to be painted for every holiday.
Let's stop thinking every meal has to be a miracle. Our greens don't have to be micro, our burgers don't have to slide, donuts do not have to cost $30 a dozen, and let's let a toddler deconstruct dinner – for free. When the menu item description sounds like E. L. James wrote it, back away, and just go to Subway. It's OK. We will be OK.
Let's unplug in 2016. Americans spend an average of 35 hours a week couching it in front of television, living our imaginary lives as zombie hunters or Olivia Pope. That's like a second job. 35 hours. A week.
Let's vote. American voter turnout is low and getting lower. Only 57 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2012 election year. About 30 million more people watched the Super Bowl than voted for our country's leadership. More people have bought the Twilight series books, Bon Jovi albums and Wii boxes than voted in the last presidential election.
And while we're on to serious things, how about we reread the U.S. Constitution and start acting like we live in America, a country founded on the principles of religious freedom and tolerance. That ought to end all talk of deportation, banishment, surveillance or internment because of religious beliefs.
How about, in 2016, we actually try to fix the housing crisis in America and refuse to accept the idea that 600 children without homes are still living in an abandoned hospital in the nation's capital? Or get infuriated by the fact that 24 percent of the nation's children are growing up in poverty and try to do something about it?
How about, in 2016, we also vow to stop justifying, defending or accepting police officers who shoot the unarmed or the mentally ill when they respond to a call for help? Or, worse, who shoot a 12-year-old boy playing with a toy gun?
How about, in 2016, we believe women – dozens of them – when they come forward and confess that they were drugged and raped by an American pop culture icon? This week police and prosecutors finally believed one. And Bill Cosby is beginning 2016 with a mug shot and an aggravated indecent assault charge.
All these suggestions are reasonable and ought to be doable. But the truth is, they represent deeply rooted problems that will take a lot of work for us to fix.
I guess I could say the same thing about my chaotic life – my schedule too full to exercise, my house too wild to tame. It shouldn't be that hard, right?
I'll find that FitBit charger. I'll do better.