Happy ‘Neau Year: New Year’s Resolutions for Alaska’s Capital City 2020

Only 20 more shopping days until Groundhog Day Eve.

Well, Christmas season is behind us and still 20 more shopping days until Groundhog Day Eve — you should see the Punxutawney Phil nativity scene I’m working on. Drop by for a cup of Hog Nog.

I know, I know. In Alaska, we don’t celebrate Groundhog Day. We celebrate Marmot Day. Problem is, while the Legislature officially renamed the holiday, it never designated an official Marmot. Whose shadow are we supposed to be looking for?

Anyway, this time of year presents a natural opportunity for reflection and a renewed commitment to self-improvement. And yet, while half of all Americans make some type of New Year’s resolutions, statistics show nine out of 10 of us will ultimately fail to keep them. As Mark Twain once said: “New Year is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

Now, that’s not to say we can’t improve our odds, and not just by making super easy resolutions like quoting Mark Twain more often. Experts generally agree the most effective strategies involve making specific resolutions, publicizing those resolutions and enticing others to join the effort.

In that spirit, I present my annual list of New Year’s resolutions for Juneau, or, as I like to call them, ’Neau Year’s Resolutions.

(In no particular order) in 2020, let us all resolve to:

■ Name a freaking Marmot Day Marmot, already! It’s been more than a decade now!

■ Stop sending impersonal, mass-printed Christmas cards. True, this supports the United States Postal Service, but it pains me to think how many trees give their lives to express these apathetic seasons greetings. From now on, let’s put our half-assed holiday cheer where it belongs — on Facebook.

■ Reconnect with family and friends. How else do you intend to sell all your multi-level marketing nutritional supplements?

■ Write the correct year on checks. If not immediately, then at least sometime before — you know what? Scratch that. It’s 2020. Let’s stop writing checks, entirely.

■ Intensify your ongoing search for Sasquatch; he’s got to be around here somewhere.

■ Stop “turtling” out of driveways, parking spots and stop signs. Go or don’t go — make a choice and stick with it. And pedestrians: let’s resolve to cross streets ONLY at appointed crosswalks, as opposed to, say, a dark, icy four-lane highway … dressed in black.

■ Cut down on your consumption of La Croix, or as I like to call it, “the Diet Coke addicts’ methadone.”

■ Be patient while: waiting for the weather to change; waiting for the weather to change back; experiencing a poor network connection; helping your sixth-grader with her math homework — you don’t know how to do it, either; explaining to outsiders (yet again) that in Alaska, it’s dark in the winter and light in the summer, just like everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere; trying to find an avocado that’s ripe the day you need it and, perhaps most importantly, skiing with your significant other. Not everyone’s a natural athlete. Some of us did theater in high school, you know?

■ Stop watching so much Netflix; that’s valuable Hulu time you’re missing.

■ Start the New Year fresh and leave 2019 behind by foreswearing the following: “Old Town Road;” CBD oil (what’s next, infusing everything with non-alcoholic beer?); talking about Donald Trump (same resolution every year since 2015 — this time, let’s make it stick); assassinating Iranian generals (d’oh! Broke it already); asking people if they’ve seen “The Mandolorian”; outrageous expressions of disbelief upon learning someone hasn’t seen “Mandolorian” yet; and can we please be done passing off cauliflower as rice, pasta and pizza crust? There’s only so much roughage one man can take.

■ Fix all cracked windshields.

■ Take everything a less seriously. And I mean EVERYTHING. Well, except Little League baseball— does anyone know where I can score some human growth hormone? Preferably in fruit punch-flavored chewable tablets?

■ Stop using the phrase “LOL” unless we actually are L’ing … OL. Because actually, what most of us mean by LOL can at best be described as LAL: Laughing (a Little). Also, instead of LMFAO, let us describe what we’re really doing: LMFAS: Laughing Maybe For A Second. And while we’re resolving to achieve more accuracy with our acronyms, let’s stop using “FML.” Very rarely are our L’s — in this case a different L than above —truly F’d. More like, slightly-inconvenienced. Feel free to use SIML.

Happy 2020, Juneau. Should old acquaintance be forgot, you really should’ve backed it up in iCloud.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to change the Christmas lights for the Groundhog Day lights. Coincidentally, these are the same lights. They’re also our Presidents Day lights, St. Patrick’s Day lights, April Fool’s Day lights and sometimes even our Cinco de Mayo lights. I usually take them down by Memorial Day.

Or, at least I resolve to.

• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears every second and fourth Sunday in Neighbors.

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