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  • Writer's pictureEvan Wolkenstein

New Years Resolution: 30 Days of Writing – “Day 1. Things I’ve Learned From Austin


Austin brings out my inner bad-boy-biker.

Every year, while people around the water-cooler talk about their New Year’s Resolutions, I plug my ears and go “la-la-la.”

I’m not a growth-Scrooge. I believe in stretching myself. I take the Jewish High Holidays very seriously, and while some steer away from facing their shortcoming on the Day of Repentence, I bring a day-bag with me because I never leave the synagogue.

So no, I’m not afraid of owning mistakes and striving to be better.

But Yom Kippur, for me, is usually interpersonal. Relationships with family and friends and colleagues need work, and I spend a month meditating on that.  I know I need to work on my inter-personal follies.

On the other hand, usually, New Year’s resolutions are about striving for the personal. People vow to give up vices and take on new, healthy habits.

But I like my vices and I already eat kale, like, 4 times a week. I call home every Sunday, and I try to tip generously. I don’t want to change, so when New Year’s resolutions come up, I plug my ears and say “la-la-la.”

Unfortunately for the “non-resulutionary” in me, I’m on vacation in Austin with someone who is also growth-oriented, but who is less saddled with High Holiday “I’ve Already Repented” baggage than I am. Over a Frito-Pie at the Yellow Jacket Social Club, she suggested we take on a New Year’s resolution, but she packaged it in just the right way.

“Let’s take on something for thirty days. Thirty days of writing.”


So here I am, resolving to write for 30 days. Once a day, I will post. And here is today’s…shamelessly ripping off a format made successful by the same writer who framed the resolution in the first place, a writer I trust and admire.


10 Things I’ve Learned From A Week In Austin

1. Some of the most comfortable places you’ll ever be, in life, are temporary. Enjoy them. Don’t get too used to them.

2. Great food is great. Good food is good. But food that’s made out of not-good ingredients will always be not-good, no matter what it is.

3. Old friends hold parts of you in their memories. Find them. Reconnect with them. Reconnect with the old-you.

4. What goes even better with a movie than popcorn? Beer.

5. Don’t overpack your days. Except when it’s the last day.

6. When strangers are friendly, it makes everything better. Maybe I could be a little friendlier to strangers, a little more often.

7. Intuitions are sometimes right, but often, deeply, deeply wrong. Share your decision-making process with people you trust.

8. Live music is magical. It doesn’t need to be a fifty-dollar concert. Find a band at a local pub, and delight in the gift of their music. Whatever it is.

9. Return to places that catch your eye. Your eye was probably caught for a good reason.

10. Everyone has a story. Listen and learn.

BONUS: Listen to Anthony De Costa. Seriously.

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