This Year’s Vice…

December 13, 2009

I give up a vice every year just make sure all of my vices know who’s boss. I have just a few rules to follow:

1. The vice must be given up for one year.
2. It has to be a vice not a sin to qualify.
3. Failure is not an option.

It all started in 2008 when I gave up smoking for a year. It’s not that I was a heavy smoker, I was casual about it, but I knew it was a top rated vice I didn’t feel brave enough to fight. I infrequently smoke if there are cigarettes around, but can usually avoid them for a few weeks at a time. I have a pipe on Sundays with my reading group.

This year I gave up the grand-daddy of all habits: coffee. Even saying the name brings a tear to my eye. It was pretty obvious at the time that having two pots a day needed to be curtailed. In case you haven’t guessed, I’m not exactly the curtailing type. So I’m just wrapping up this year without coffee and I’m looking forward to January 1st, 2010 like it was Christmas morning. I’m not sure if I’m going to have a cup of joe just after midnight and screw up my night’s sleep or if I’ll wait until morning to wake up to the glorious smell of fresh ground beans. I don’t know, but my life takes an upturn every time I think about that dilemma.

This year I had a list of vices to choose from, I could give up smoking again, but that seemed kind of redundant. I put cussing in the category of vice, though it’s more of a sin to me. So I could give up cussing, drinking, sweets, Facebook or television. I’ve decided it has to be Facebook.

Why Facebook? A lot of the decision came from my immediate response to the idea, “Well, it can’t be Facebook. That’s how I maintain friendships and…” BZZT! You just lost the contest, Facebook. As soon as it seems like it’s something I can’t live without I have to prove to myself that it’s easily done. It’s not forever, it’s just for a year. Plus, if I end up making Twitter into a new vice I’ll have something new to give up next year.

So the rules are that for 2010 I can’t log on to Facebook. I don’t want to shut down the account, because I still want to keep my friends for when I pick it back up in 2011… assuming some other on-line cult-like waste of time doesn’t sweep the culture by then. I’ll just ban the IP address on my browser, leave a final post that warns everyone that I’ll be off for a year and forbid any FB notifications to my email. If I need to change anything on the page, my Beloved will have to do it for me.


17 Responses to “This Year’s Vice…”

  1. Collin Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one attempting to give the Facebook for a year…

    There needs to be a group therapy for this or something, FBA, anyone?

  2. Brian Says:

    Epic idea. Its probably one of my favorite things about the season is reading about your vice giving-upping. I think I’ll make a list of my own…

  3. Lemm Says:

    I had to quit that thing…it was too much of a distraction for me. I think the best sort of social activity is being with real people…that said, at the moment I spend more time with my hamster that anyone else.

  4. Greg Gates Says:

    I’ll miss being notified of each of the thousand fb comments after mine.

    My only request is to find a way to still notify me of the next sukashi episode. I really liked episode 1 and read way too much into it.

    your evangelist,

  5. chris Says:

    good for you doug! now if we could get you to start blogging regularly again!

  6. elji Says:

    Thanks for a Jim=)

  7. sideache Says:

    I’ll give you a call soon for that cup of coffee and set up a time for HHRS.

  8. Kristen Says:

    Oh no! Will you be finding a replacement pot-stirrer? It will be a boring place (albeit less controversial) without your presence. :)

  9. Doug, just when I think you can’t get any cooler, BAM you pull something like this. I’m rooting for you, see you next year.
    Oh and HAPPY 2010 to you and your lovely family

  10. H. S. Clark Says:

    Do every day or two something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.

    William James

    I love this kind of activity, it’s really the only challenge that actually “exists” in the world in my opinion. Warms my heart to see others doing it. Sometimes it seems crazy, and I think, “This is a waste of time, It accomplishes nothing, it’s really difficult and I’d rather do something else…Uh oh” which just validates the whole process and gets me even more enthusiastic for it. Anyhow, sorry if I’m blathering/waxing philosophical, this is kinda my thing.

    Initially, I just intended to thank you for Earthworm Jim and my childhood, inform you that I just found “Creature Tech” at my university library today, and to wish you well. Cool website by the way.

  11. Louie del Carmen Says:

    Wow this is like giving up something during lent only it’s for a year. You’re definitely a better man than me Doug. Good luck and see you in a year. (Facebook wise of course)

  12. Crystal Says:

    I wondered why I hadn’t been seeing your fabulous posts. I’ll miss your keen insights that make me think and the wonderful celebrations of your family. Guess I’ll need to take up your blog!

    Have a great year, Doug.

  13. Gene Says:

    I think what you are doing is great. But what if you didn’t get ride of a vice for a year? What would happen? Would you not be in control anymore? Would you not be able to focus? I discussed this with a friend (who doesn’t know you) who believes that to have to proce to yourself that you are in control may mean that you, in the past, have been out of control. So this is a way for you to maintain top billing over the vices your body and brain need. Also, religion is also used as a means of making sense of the world and staying in control. I have no clue personally, but would you (or any one reading this) agree or have a long educated answer for it? Is it as simple as, “yes, I need to get rid of a vice and I need God because without it I would be lost?” Or is the answer more convoluted, or perhaps complex is a better way to describe it. Love your work Doug. Its the only stuff out there keeping me going…

    • tennapel Says:

      If I didn’t give up a vice for a year, then I don’t think I would enjoy my vices as much. It’s more a way to keep life’s simple pleasures enjoyable than to treat them like devils to be exercised. And you can’t surround yourself with a pleasure and still enjoy it as much as if you take some time off from it. You’ll find at least some form of this observance of withdrawal from pleasure in every one of the world’s greatest religions that have some form of wisdom about the human condition.

      So this isn’t some attempt to control my life, though it is a demonstration that I won’t be swallowed by any one vice. It keeps the vice in its place to put it on the shelf. I drink a cup of coffee, but I don’t fear it because I’ve whupped it for a year. A vice out of control is like a big mouth friend who starts abusing you, and you can’t tell him off because you fear life without his friendship.

      I would also challenge your idea that religion is a way to make sense of the world and staying in control because non-religion is used, if anything, to make sense of the world and stay in control of it. If that’s what a religion is, then you’ve just described science, physics and politics and I consider these non religious things. So there’s something about religion that is not making sense of the world and staying in control. In fact, it’s the religious people who have permission to truly get out of control. That’s why it’s always the religious who pray while chanting, eyes rolled up in their head and jumping up and down. That’s why it’s the out of control religious who blow up buildings, while it’s the humanists, in complete control of their minds that methodically throw a civilization in the gulag.

      So it’s not “I must give up a vice or I’d be lost.” it’s more like “I must give up a vice to keep it enjoyable.”

  14. Gene Says:

    sorry for the typos Doug, I’m tired.. you deserve better… :)


  15. yvonne Says:

    You are a stronger person than I. I think it would have been true agony deciding what to give up. Stay strong and know that we are all here just waiting…….and waiting…….for new Dougisms to make us smile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Mud Run next year and I am so in!

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