Wednesday, January 24, 2007

19 - Answers

Q: Bill Jeffers - Are you running for political office anytime soon?
A: I hadn't planned on it. For one thing, I really don't want to dedicate the time and money to the effort of running for public office. For another thing, I haven't lived in any one place in my adult life long enough to feel like I could adequately represent the population of that place. I've been in Rochester for almost 5 years, but I still don't consider myself a "New Yorker".

In addition, I'd make a pretty lousy candidate for public office because I'm a big proponent of personal responsibility. Because of this, my candidacy would consist of my telling people to do things for themselves. That's not the way to win elections. The way to win elections is to tell people that:
1. Your life sucks (and it will get worse if the other guy wins).
2. It's not your fault (it's the other guy's fault).
3. I'll solve your problems by punishing people whom you think are more powerful than you (the other guy).

Quick Tim History: The last time I ran for anything was when I ran for Pep Band President in 2000/2001, and anyone who was around during my administration knows that it wasn't a stellar success. I didn't exactly run the band into the ground, but I certainly wasn't as good of a President as I could have been. There are many reasons for this (and I won't bore you with the details of my personal life), but suffice it to say that the experience taught me some things about holding public office. I would certainly take these lessons with me, but the fact that I held the office makes me take pause when considering taking another.

I guess the real answer to your question is "No", but that's only because you put the qualifier "anytime soon" into the body of the question. Will I ever run for public office? I don't know. Ask me after I die if I did.

Q: Nicole Maloney - New Years resolutions... you have any? Why do people choose a resolution for the "New Year"? What percentage of resolutions are followed through with?
A: I actually did make some New Year's Resolutions this year, though I haven't really thought of them that way. I see these "resolutions" more as lifestyle changes than true resolutions. Still, I guess you could consider them to be New Years' Resolutions, so here they are:
1. Lose Weight: Ah, the most universal of all New Year's Resolutions; I won't win any originality awards, but I've put on some weight over the past few years (between 20 and 30 pounds), and it's time to get rid of it. I bought an exercise bike over the summer, and I've been using it about 2-3 times per week since New Years. I'm also eating less (though still not as little as I should be). Will I be sharing details of my weight loss adventures? Not unless you all are really interested, and I doubt that you are, so I won't waste your time or mine.
2. Finish What I Start: I have a LOT of projects left over from 2006 (and 2005, 2004, etc). These include things like my first NaNoWriMo novel, my third album, organizing my digital life, and setting up my personal finances better. I will be working on these through 2007.
3. Grow Up: This one is a little more personal. I'll get more into this in the coming weeks.

To answer your other questions, I think that people choose resolutions for the "New Year" because the New Year represents new beginnings. It's a chance to leave behind habits of the past and pick up new habits for the future. A chance to start over, as it were. It's an entirely arbitrary thing when you stop and think about it, since the New Year could conceivably fall on any day, but it's still psychologically significant.

And finally, via, here are some statistics on how long people stick with their New Year's resolutions:
- past the first week: 75%
- past 2 weeks: 71%
- after one month: 64%
- after 6 months: 46%

So if you can keep up your resolutions for more than 6 months, then you're doing better than half of humanity. And that's pretty good.