Subscriber Services Weather

Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year's Meme

I've been tagged enough w/these things so I've decided to tag every last one of you who has a blog.

Keep reading. You'll get the details.

First though, I'm limiting my actual resolutions for '07 to five. Having too many is unrealistic.

In order, my five must-do resolutions are:
  1. Get one of my books published (I have two completed novels and a non-fiction work on politics in progress)
  2. Complete a couple of newspaper series I've been researching for months (one on Gen-Xers turning 40, and one on the history of a specific handgun)
  3. Better organize my desk (it's a mess, and while I can find stuff it just doesn't look good)
  4. Get back in "fighting" shape (I can only see four "members" of my former six pack these days)
  5. And care less what people think about me

Now, expanding on this a little, number five is very important to me. It is also the subject of the meme I'm passing on to you. See, while I believe we should care what others think about us - to the extent we're NOT giving them any legitimate reason to dislike us or disrespect us - I also think that sometimes we care to much. So much so that sometimes we cripple ourselves over worry that we don't look right, or sound cool, or act cool, etc.

You might remember that a few weeks back we did a six-weird-things-about-yourself-meme. So in keeping with New Year's resolution number five, I'm offering up five things about myself that I don't like because of irrational fear of what other's think. This is not to say that some of these things don't need improvement. But they don't need to be improved 'cause other folks might not like me. I think part of what helps get over this kind of caring-too-much is having a sense of humor and acknowledging your flaws.

Here are mine. Comment here and post your own on your blogs too:

  1. I am sort of out of shape. I mentioned above only being able to see four cans in the old sixer? Well, if I don't amp up my resistance training routine back to where it used to be I swear I'll end up developing man boobs before '07 is over. And I'm not trying to go out like that.
  2. I've always prided myself on a relatively sharp 'do. But I think my hairline is finally starting to fade. It used to be straight, across the top of my forehead the way a good Caesar cut is supposed to look. Now I notice my hairline is slightly round in the corners. It has receded a little. That scares me.
  3. I do radio on the side of my news writing gig. But I hate the sound of my voice. Ninety percent of the time it's OK. But the other 10 percent, my allergies are bothering me and my voice is nasally.
  4. At 34-years-old I still get self-conscious in night spots if I don't have someone to talk to. I feel like I look goofy standing there alone. There are times I'm working in a bar/club, covering a concert or special event, and there's a lull in the action. I've actually been tempted to call my wife or a buddy on the cell just to have something to do during the interlude.
  5. I have not yet discovered the fine balance between being a little shy and appearing obnoxious about opening up when talking to strangers. Can't help it. I don't want to come off like "me, me me!" But you know what? Maybe I'm worth talking about. There's good pride to be had. Not all of it has to do with arrogance and shameless self-promotion.

So those are my "spin-offs" from resolution number five. Those spin-offs are the content of the meme.

What things about yourself do you worry about too much, where other folks' opinions of you are concerned? Are these things you're going to try to address in the new year?

Labels: , , ,


  • I'm just trying not to puke on the 31st. At least, not in public.

    By Blogger mist1, at 6:25 PM  

  • - I have always kept my New Year’s resolutions, be they about relationships, diet, bad habits like smoking, etc. I’m embarrassed to admit that because, well, it’s just weird evidently.

    - My best friend in the blog world just shut his blog down because he doesn’t need it anymore and wants to spend his time writing productively for publication. I want to do that too, but I don’t seem to be strong enough yet. When a week goes by and I haven’t posted, I start to get nervous about what people that I’ve never met think about me.

    - Every time I start to write, I am so aware of my audience that I hold back on complete honesty. I just wrote a story that was totally and brutally honest, and sent it off to try for publication. I am terrified that it will be printed and my family will find out who I really am.

    - I am working religiously to get my weight down to where it was when I was in college. I am succeeding very well, and should be there by April. I know when I get there I will have no more excuses for putting off the things I said I was going to do when I’m thin again.

    - I realize I am having a crisis about getting older and am trying to stop the ravages of time. I rarely admit to my real age because people usually guess me between 10 to 20 years younger than I am, even people who know the ages of my children. I fear I may not be going about this aging thing gracefully.

    Am I resolved to keep this drive for success on track regardless of my fears and my age? Well, yes I am, and of course, I always keep my New Year’s resolutions.

    By Blogger wordsonwater, at 6:28 PM  

  • Thanks for visiting my blog.

    I think everyone hates the sound of their own voice...except my sister in law..

    Interesting insights you have here.
    I'm going to keep reading.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 7:07 PM  

  • I'm going to take you up on this and post about it, too. It may be difficult to find only five things...

    Happy, wondrous, glorious new year to you and your family, James!

    Great good luck on the books and all your creative stuff. You're my goal. And I'm old enough to be your ma.

    By Anonymous Kim, at 7:26 PM  

  • I was thinking about posting about my New Year's resolutions. Great idea here.

    But b/c you're black, I'm now taking this 15% less seriously.

    By Blogger Matt, at 8:07 PM  

  • But the thing about just standing around feeling goofy is that you don't want to look suspicious.

    For some inexplicable reason, I don't want strangers to find me suspicious. I like to look like I belong there, just owning that street corner as I wait.

    By Blogger Matt, at 8:09 PM  

  • Matt, only you could make an analogy to the ho stroll.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:14 PM  

  • these are social insecurities that we all shares.
    (perhaps not the receding hair line)

    I could have written this myself - but I'm glad you did, because you did a heck of a job presenting them in a clear, concise read.

    (I don't want to work out. If I could just get up early and walk a couple of miles every morning I would be a happy sappy old woman)

    By Blogger Pamela, at 12:35 AM  

  • Well, I should hope you know that I'm in.

    "Um, hi, yes. Baring my soul, table for one, please."

    By Blogger 123Valerie, at 1:05 AM  

  • Oh, and James Burnett, I would like nothing better than to hear [read] you open up. You and yours are worth talking about.

    Not that you needed it, mind you, but you just won 1,000,000,000 bonus points in Karma's Game of Life.

    By Blogger 123Valerie, at 1:16 AM  

  • James, you out of shape, hairline-fading, sound of voice-hating, goofy alone night spot standing, "me me me" avoiding worry wart! Get over yourself! Nobody cares about any of this. Just continue to be that fun-loving, caring, sharing, good natured individual you present to the blogosphere.

    Anyway, since you invited, please see my entry at:

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 4:35 AM  

  • Trust me, james, unless you die RIGHT NOW, whih I for one hope DOESN'T happen, you are gonna be planted in the ground with man-boobs. It happens to everyone. No matter how solid those pects are. Look at the most recent picture of Arnold. You have to be incredibly dilligent, and in the end, gravity wins anyway. Put it off as long as you can, of course, but embrace your man boobs.

    By Anonymous og, at 10:44 AM  

  • I'm gonna take you up on this one too, but can't until Tuesday.

    I admire your courage here. And, hey, bald can be beautiful! Ever seen Baldilocks? (She's a blogger - I think you'd like her. I know I have, for a couple years now.)

    By Anonymous Freddie, at 12:08 PM  

  • Mist1 that is an admirable goal. I'll be sharing it on the 31st.

    WoW good resolutions. And I'm impressed that you always keep yours. My lifetime track record is about 65%.

    Hammer, thanks. I'll be back to your spot regularly too.

    Kim, you're gonna make me all blushy!

    Matt, only a 15% drawback? I'm moving up in the world. And you know what? For once I partly agree with you. I think part of the standing alone thing in the bar/club is that I don't wanna look suspicious. Very insightful on your part. But like you said, you feel the same.

    Pamela thank you for affirming that we all have a few things we worry about. And I don't want to work out either. I'd rather do like Fabio and get man boob implants. But fortunately, I'm not quite that vain yet.

    123Valerie thanks, and I look forward to your entry.

    Sarc, thank you for the compliment. I'm heading over to your spot in just a sec to read your entry.

    And Og, I refuse to droop to gravity's level!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:16 PM  

  • Whoa! Whoa! I'm not bald yet, Freddie. Don't put me in the grave. I'm still breathing.

    Kidding. I'm starting to recede. But I accept it.

    And I do know Baldilocks. Awesome person and a cool blogger. She actually agreed to let me interview her for one of my book projects.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:21 PM  

  • Of course you are worth talking about! And the fact that you are aware of not wanting to be too self-preoccupied in a conversation is a good thing.

    A good strategy is to ask questions first and then if the person is interested in knowing more about you, you oblige.

    Ultimately though that little voice in our heads that make us worry about what other people think is only in our heads! I'm working on getting over that too. Only I can be responsible for my own confidence and happiness.

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 2:08 PM  

  • I'm going to pull back from politics and political rants this coming year. I've been a firebrand at times this year, and I think I need to take it easy. Why? Because I've earned a rest and because the government hasn't instituted any...not even one..of my suggestions. Not even my earned income tax credit that's just for me to the tune of fifty thousand dollars. Selfish bastards.

    By Blogger Stewart Sternberg, at 2:36 PM  

  • "...while I believe we should care what others think about us - to the extent we're NOT giving them any legitimate reason to dislike us or disrespect us - I also think that sometimes we care to much."

    You know, I haven't done the meme. Yet. But this is such a perfect way of putting something I have thought for a long time.

    On the one hand, I cannot stand it when people behave rudely and then proclaim it's part of their "individualistic nature." As if we should have our pants charmed off by misanthropic interlopers.

    On the other, I can't stand people who are neurotic about pleasing others.

    So this is a really long, boring, and drawn out way of saying, "Amen!"

    By Blogger QofD, at 2:58 PM  

  • James, where is your radio show???

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 4:07 PM  

  • Stewart, I like your tax credit idea.

    And MB, I don't have my own shoe. I just do correspondence for an arts themed show on public radio.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:29 PM  

  • And Queen, great minds think alike!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:31 PM  

  • "At 34-years-old I still get self-conscious in night spots if I don't have someone to talk to".

    I feel the same way when I go to a Starbucks (or any coffee shop). I feel like I'm in high school again, sitting in a study hall where I don't know anyone.

    By Blogger captain corky, at 6:22 PM  

  • I like the motivation behind your meme. I'm gonna have to do some soul-searching and tackle this meme next week.

    BTW, I turn 40 next month. That means I'm a Gen-Xer? I thought I was just an old fart.

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 7:17 PM  

  • JB, all the things you're resolving come with age. Talking and doing are not the same, especially when it's your goals at stake. Put things you want done out of the hope and dream category and into the plan and complete stage. People hope and dream mostly because they don't have a plan (or even know one is supposed to exist).

    The not giving a f*ck part blossoms as you get older. You're married and gainfully employed with a semi-prescient plan to acheive your professed goals--a feat to which many South Floridians cannot boast. The comparison stops being against your neighbor's stuff as it becomes against the crap you've told other people you wanted to do and have.

    In regard to what those people think, an old friend once said that the opinions of others should matter only if they were either "giving you money or giving you pussy." That cuts out a lot of the concern over loose chatter. Maybe that's a meme you can keep till next year.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 11:53 PM  

  • Grizz, you are a Gen-Xer.

    BD, good insights. I'm older. I care less. Makes sense.

    I did start a little early in practicing what I preach. I just got home a few minutes ago from a pary in South Beach, where most of the attendees were actors, musicians, and celebutants.

    And as much as I wanted to whip out the phone and call someone I knew for "comfort," I made myself soak up the ambience and enjoy my own company. A couple of friends showed up ultimately, and we "regular" folk chatted each other up. But until they arrived - and I didn't know they'd be there - I held my own.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 2:36 AM  

  • James, you are 100% worth talking about! We ALL are. Like Bahamadia says, "it ain't what you do but how you do it".

    Five things:
    1) The bod. I don't need to lose weight so much as just get in shape! I've been a competitive athlete for most of my adult years, including last fall, and used to have no problem pushing myself to workout. But I am now having trouble. I mean, I work out, but not as hard or as much as I used to.

    2) My abilities at work. I hate my job, which makes my motivation stay pretty low, which makes it hard for me to bring my A game to the office. So I slack and do a half-assed job and it hurts my ego/self-esteem more than it hurts anyone else.

    Honestly - this has been a great year. I feel better about myself now than I think I ever have in my entire life, so I don't have much else to worry about right now. Other people's opinions of me have never been very important to me, and they are even less so, now. Yes, I feel uncomfortable in some social situations, but that's just me. It's okay for me to be shy sometimes.

    My New Year's resolution is to continue to recognize my own awesomity! And to get rid of the extra lard on the bod.

    By Blogger bc, at 8:49 AM  

  • Great meme, James. I think we share a few of those when it comes to shyness and being a little uncomfortable without company.

    And I like your resolutions - they're quite doable and I know you've already been making some good progress on the fighting shape front. No man boobs for you! :)

    By Anonymous Dating Dummy, at 10:55 AM  

  • Okay, I've posted my listed... damn you! ;0) This is a great list, btw. And I totally agree with you on #5. That is something I need to work on also.

    By Blogger Balou, at 11:56 AM  

  • Hi James, This is in response to your comment on WOW today, but also related to my New Year's resolutions. Thanks always for your kind words. I recently submitted a story to The Sun, a literary mag out of NC that I respect. If they publish it, everyone in blogdom will be notified. I am working on a book too, of course. BTW the other WOW blog you read this AM is also mine in case you haven't guessed.

    By Blogger wordsonwater, at 1:17 PM  

  • WoW I suspected as much about the other blog. Either way, I don't give gratuitious compliments. You earned it. I'm always impressed.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:24 PM  

  • I completed the meme. Happy New Year's to you and your wife!

    By Blogger QofD, at 4:54 PM  

  • BC, thanks for the encouragement and good luck with your resolutions. Like The Dummy says, they seem very doable.

    And DD, thank you too for the encouragement. The roll call is becoming a second-nature like motivator for me to remember my excercises each week.

    Sarc, I didn't mention this earlier, but I read your five resolutions earlier. Good stuff. If you guys haven't checked it out, go to The Sarcasticynic. Very insightful with a funny back-up plan in case the resolutions don't work out.

    And Queen, I just read yours. Don't worry about the other moms. In the new year they'll all be begging to know their successful writer neighbor.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 5:26 PM  

  • Thanks, James. Actually the post is on one of my other blogs,, where I also posted my response to your comment.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 5:56 PM  

  • Oops! My bad, Sarc. I apologize for posting the wrong blog. I like all of your blogs so much I forgot which I'd read the post on ;)

    Well, I'm outta here folks. I gotta get ready for another evening with the most deserving Americans of all: celebutants. Pray that I don't kill myself out of glee and awe of these people before morning.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 6:58 PM  

  • O.k., I'm finally getting around to this....

    By Blogger Tere, at 11:37 AM  

  • OK James, it took a while, but here it is.

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 2:45 PM  

  • At least I got mine done before December...

    By Blogger mkh, at 10:03 PM  

  • I loved this post. Oh what am I saying? I love them all!

    By Blogger Dayngr, at 12:27 PM  

  • Dayngr, you're gonna make me all blushy.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:02 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home