It’s New Years’ Eve and I can’t find anyone to be nice to. No one is around. Even the homeless people I want to give my recycling to are not hanging out at their usual spot by the dumpsters in back of the corner liquor store. Mr. Foxypants and I will be ringing in the New Year by watching a marathon of MAD MEN episodes and eating Chinese take-out like the crabby shut-ins we are.
Okay. I admit it. I’m too lazy to find someone to be nice to today. I just want spend all day in relaxed contemplation.
Oh, why is it that I cannot talk about self-reflection without sounding like a self-involved twit?
I am a failure. As far as my 2008 pledge to be nice every day…well, I didn’t do it. Finding 365 new and inventive ways of being nice for no good reason is much harder than I ever anticipated. That, and I’m a crappy memoirist, so even when I was nice, there were many days that I just didn’t get around to writing stuff down.
But even though my resolve was shoddy, and my follow-though haphazard, being consciously and actively nice had many unintended positive consequences:
1. Not only did I pay down my debt, but unlike everyone else I know, I can actually say that I am better off financially than I was last year.
2. My charity allowed me to downsize my material possessions by a whopping 85% without feeling a sense of deprivation or guilt. In fact, I found the entire process liberating. Less things = less things to dust. Duh. Simplifying my life by getting rid of my stuff has brought me a level of mental peace I’ve not had in years.
3. Being nice has brought me new friends and strengthened my relationship with the friends I already had. There are many ways to be rich that don’t involve money!
So, the experiment was a success?
Happy New Year!