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  • Writer's pictureBrian Martin

New Year New decade

Jan 2, 2020:

Coming out to California for a few days is a pretty cool way to bring in the new year (and decade). Sure, the weather in Palm Springs could be a bit warmer, but for this time of year it’s perfect for hiking, checking out the sites (such as the Joshua Tree National Park, The Salton Sea, The Tram, and any other touristy stuff that you might find too hot to do at other times of the year, as well as just generally lounging around and enjoying the restaurants, bars and boutique stores. There are plenty of those after all.

But no matter where I am it would not be unusual for me to spend time reflecting on the previous year’s accomplishments, which would then lead to even more time reflecting on the non-accomplishments (if that’s a word), which would then result in me definitively resolving that things this year are somehow going to be a little bit different. I have a habit (a bad one to be sure) of focusing on what I didn’t get done rather than centering on the things that I did. I’m generally quite critical of myself in this respect to the point of ridiculousness.

As this year (and decade) winds down though, I’m determined not to converge on the negatives but instead to spend more time accentuating the positives. I know that sounds like a familiar line (I’m sure I’ve heard it from somewhere) but as most would no doubt agree it is a lot easier to take the path of least resistance and default to no as an answer instead of yes, or to say I can’t instead of saying I can. Maybe, it’s time to turn that mentality on its head.

That is why I said yes to an Air BnB two-bedroom apartment with pool and hot tub, yes to spending time on vacation with my family (wife, sister and brother in law) and yes to trying a cucumber smash. Now, I’m usually a very simple person when it comes to drinking (straight gin and soda works great for me), and though a cucumber smash may not sound all that appetizing by name, when you’re mixing some Hendricks gin in with some St. Germain’s Elderflower liquor, club soda, simple syrup and cucumber slice you get a pretty damn tasty product. That, along with the atmosphere of a Tommy Bahama’s bar overlooking the El Paseo strip in Palm Desert can put you in a sweetly positive mind set. How’s that for turning no on its head?

Over the holiday season I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to practice much in the way of playing guitar, working on my acting chops or even hitting the gym (and I am getting a little antsy about it), but I did get a chance to practice my turkey cooking, Christmas socializing and family/friends gathering skills, so really it’s kind of a wash. Right?

This next decade will bring with it new hopes and dreams for the future for all of us, and some bold choices will have to be made, but as my acting coach would say, “There are no wrong answers, just answers, some of which may be righter than others”. Sure, that advice is better suited to making acting choices during improv class but why stop there. I’m not suggesting that stupid crazy is the way to go, but maybe once in a while when you’re riding your bike down that hill and you’re feeling that refreshing breeze gently whipping away at your face, why not take your hands off of the handle bars for a brief few seconds and try to remember what it was like to feel a little bit cheekier.

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year and prosperous decade filled with bold choices and positive outcomes.

Until next time.

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