I’ve spent the last month planning the next year: daily checklists, weekly checklists, monthly checklists, a prioritized list of drop-dead-due dates, creative goals, lifetime goals and yet another checklist of resolutions that, like the items on every other list, accumulate every year and never get done. There are separate lists for health, home repair, parenting and networking, to name a few. The lists swell over time and give birth to sublists and sub-sublists but still occupy only a few kilobytes of space on my phone, laptop, desktop or wherever else I can put them, leaving plenty of space for even more lists. Pre-internet-era creature of habit that I am, I will often scribble a plan for the next hour on a sticky note so as not to sink too deeply into the electronic-list swamp.

It occurs to me that it would be easier to simply die than trying to accomplish all of these goddamn things on all of these goddamn lists. This idea comes much more readily than the idea that “perhaps the world will not end if I simply fail to accomplish some (or even most) of these things.” In fact, in my original draft of this column, I started that last sentence with the word “naturally,” because it seems so natural to me that it didn’t strike me as unnatural until I put it in writing.

For those of my ilk — workaholics, would-be overachievers, conscientious-to-a-fault do-gooders, etc. — the holidays can be a time to reflect on just how miserable our uniquely American work ethic has made us and how miserable we’d like to be in the year to come. In the sacred stillness provided by these few days, a window opens, and some of us leap through it.

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Why Rapes Go Unreported, Unprosecuted In City

I’m using my ≤1000 words this week to plug the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting’s excellent examination of LMPD’s treatment of reported rapes. Notice I say “treatment” and not “investigation.” There’s a reason for that. KyCIR’s new podcast, simply called... Read More ›

Breaking the Gender Binary

Well, I went and did it. I finally added pronouns (he/him) to my social media profiles and email signatures. It took me a long time because, at age 41, I am a stegosaurus when it comes to issues of gender.... Read More ›

He Had It Right All Along…

A man sits in an old armchair in his living room in central Indiana. He is retired. A widower. He has watched more than 2,000 hours of cable news this year. Dust sits on the things he’s collected over the... Read More ›

Eulogy for an Old Friend

So long, puppy. You had a good run. It was your lot to have to depend on us, a bunch of smelly primates with barely any hair at all and an unbearable knack for destruction, to provide for your well-being.... Read More ›