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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

You Say You Want a Resolution…

Filed under: Fun, Personal

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

As I type this in the last remaining days of 2008, I’m full of hope and optimism. Yeah, there’s the fact that we’ll soon have a president who uses three-syllable words without making us cringe and knows that the Bill of Rights isn’t a list of suggestions. But in addition to that, I’ve always been a fan of that clean slate feeling you get at the start of a brand new year — like shaking an Etch-a-Sketch that erases all the crappy, idiotic things you’ve done throughout the previous one. And while I’ve never been one to ponder things pensively in retrospect (I’m more of a “let’s get on with it and move forward” kind of girl), I do have some resolutions for 2009, most of which I will have selectively ignored in roughly two weeks.

1. Stop procrastinating. To be clear, there are few tasks that I don’t put off until the very last possible minute. There’s probably some clinical, psychological term for this, though Joe Haley, the managing editor of ASI’s magazines, has his own description for the special brand of hell it causes him when my magazine is in production or a profile I’m writing isn’t finished as we’re literally going to the printer the next day: “When you’re on deadline,” Joe sighs, “a little piece of me dies every day.” Rather than work on a profile for an issue of Counselor, I once WILLINGLY watched a marathon of “The Hills,” that insipid reality show on MTV, starring mentally deficient pretty people in all their vapid, moronic glory. It was an eight-hour marathon and I watched it all. I know… I need to be under the care of a whole team of mental health professionals.

2. Get organized and prioritize. Instead of methodically tackling one project at a time, my strategy is more akin to a drunken baby wielding a shotgun and firing off scattered rounds. I jump from project to project, until the end of the day when I have different items in various states of completion. I’m sure I have some ADD/OCD/ADHD issues that keep me from concentrating for any length of time for which I should seek medicinal relief — and God knows I’m not opposed to pills — but it just seems so, I don’t know, trendy to blame one’s inability to focus on some sort of short-circuiting brain waves. Crazy I can deal with; cliche is another story….

3. Be better at keeping in touch with friends. To say I’ve been remiss in this area is putting it mildly. You know what it’s like — deadlines, travel, endless happy hours… and then the year’s over. I sent my Goddaughter a card last month wishing her a “Happy 13th Birthday!” That’s all well and good, except she’s 15 and I was there, in the room, when the child was born. Time flies when you’re being a spaz and not paying attention…

Do you have any juicy resolutions? I’d love to hear them, so please do share! My favorite so far? Michael Bernstein, the vice chairman of Counselor Top 40 supplier Polyconcept and my most beloved of all my BFFs, shared his “greatest weakness and indulgence” with me recently: “Cigarettes and you, Michele.” Here’s hoping he doesn’t give up the latter!

By the way, a hearty thanks to all of you who e-mailed me — after reading of my penchant for “sloth,” one of the deadly sins, in my last blog posting — that the History Channel is featuring a new series, “Seven Deadly Sins” week starting on Monday, 12/29 at 9:00 p.m. EST, spotlighting one sin on each of the seven nights. They have an ironic sense of humor over there at the History Channel — the week kicks off with a bang tonight with “Lust,” “Gluttony” is on New Year’s Eve and my beloved “Sloth” is on New Year’s Day. I will be commemorating the High Holy Day for lazy, self-indulgent people everywhere with some celebratory napping.

So I hope you all have a fabulous 2009 and I look forward to seeing you at upcoming shows! I’ll be at the PSI Dusseldorf Show (Europe’s largest promotional products show — so huge, in fact, that it dwarfs the PPAI Vegas Show) next week, the always-awesome PPACanada Show in Toronto from January 23-27 and the ASI Dallas Show from February 4-6 (one of my favorites), and will be a blogging and photo snapping fiend at each show. If you see me, come over and say hi!

In conclusion, I’d like to think that Hunter S. Thompson, the crazy gonzo journalist, excess-embracing loon and one near and dear to my heart, had it right when considering one’s goals in life: “Maybe it all comes down to this,” Thompson said. “Laughing loud, drinking much, sleeping late, having fun, getting wild and driving fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested.”

So here’s to an awesome 2008 and an even better 2009, aptly described with some lyrics from a song that always epitomizes optimism and hope to me, from the musical “Rent,” about a year in a life… 

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love

Cheers and Happy New Year!

— M


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