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Welcome to the first Top Comments diary of 2013. Hrmm, are we calling it '13, or will that send the Triskaidekaphobes for the entire year? I've got the confetti cleaned up and the noisemakers are safely stowed away until next year, so it's safe to follow me below the dingledoodle squigglie dKosagnocchi dividerthingie fold after a word from our sponsor...

Here at Top Comments we strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site's best, funniest, most mojo'd & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group dKosemailbox by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!  

So... New Year's Resolutions. For years I'd make them, then just as regularly break them days or weeks later. Resolutions to my brain feel like sworn oaths, a black or white declaration to the Universe that Something either will/won't be done/not done.

As with so many areas painted in great swaths of Black And White... it's too much. Impossible to achieve, because people, and lives, and worlds, are painted in shades of gray. Yet, as human beings striving to improve our lives I believe we need the ritual of the New Year's Resolution, as a way to say "Now I start again in my attempt to be a better me, or make a better world. The past is just that, the future is mine to write. Let's get going on it."

How to balance the need for marking the New Year while stopping the cycle of my failed Resolutions? I thought back to something I took part in at my UU church a year or two ago around Earth Day... in an effort to be more environmentally conscious, we were asked to choose one or more practices or changes to try, things such as using reuseable bags at the store or refillable drink bottles instead of plastic disposable ones, or giving up meat one day a week, etc. We weren't asked to commit to these practices or changes Forever-with-a-capital-F; instead, we were asked to commit to the goal of success for a little over a month.

Forever, I don't know about. Until next month, sure, I can do that! It felt manageable, less of a Major Life Change and more of an experiment. Which was, from all accounts including mine, a raging success. The followup on it for me was even nicer... the changes I made were by month's end as natural to me as breathing. And have carried on ever since.

So, instead of Resolutions today, I'm setting Goals. Resolutions are fragile things made to be broken... Goals are achievable in small steps, they don't have to be a BFD, and if you blow it one day there's always tomorrow to get back into the game and try again. Also, as anyone who's ever had to take part in the Employee Yearly Review process, goals are those things that are set but CAN BE MODIFIED if the situation changes.

So here are two of my 2013 Goals, I'd love to hear yours, and your thoughts on New Year's Resolutions in general!

(1) To pay more attention to people, both in what they're saying and in what they're looking for out of our conversations. More listening, less interrupting because I've decided I have the perfect solution... neverminding that I wasn't asked to provide a solution!

(2) To be more mindful of my (over)use of clean water, and trying to reduce it wherever possible. I've caught myself wasting far too much water, from running it continuously while peeling potatoes, to stepping out of the shower to get soap/shampoo/whatever, and leaving it pouring down the bathtub drain. For too many people, clean water is a luxury, and it's important to me to start doing my part not to waste the abundance I've got.

Happy New Year, my Top Comments family! It's good to be here tonight.

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.

Not a single comment was submitted to our mailboxes today, but knowing there had to be unsent ones, I searched for "top comment" and found these nearly-nominated gems:

RobertInWisconsin's comment in smash artist's diary, "nearlynominated" by smoothmellow.

CitizenOfEarth's comment, nearlynominated by joanneleon from her What's Happenin diary..

From Yours Truly, brillig:
Kid Oakland has a diary ::happy dance of joy::, and both Dallasdoc and Laurence Lewis discuss Kabuki Kliff Kongress.

Top Mojo for yesterday, December 31st, 2012, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
  1) They all need to be unemployed for several months by Phil S 33 — 148
  2) I also trust Obama........ by ForestLake — 138
  3) Resolve to save endangered babies by Dallasdoc — 134
  4) Barney Frank's dictum is ever-fresh by Dallasdoc — 108
  5) Seriously? I expect the chained CPI next time by FishOutofWater — 104
  6) The president WANTS to cut "entitlements" by RFK Lives — 103
  7) This is another by joanneleon — 92
  8) let us hope by Laurence Lewis — 92
  9) There's no limit to Democratic lies we'll swallow by Dallasdoc — 90
10) The major problem is that tax rates a permanent by MRH1 — 90
11) How many times by sidnora — 83
12) Very Serious Tom Brokaw on MTP says that $250k is by RudiB — 82
13) Lucky #13 by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker — 79
14) You've neatly highlighted a major part of the by DaNang65 — 79
15) And he hits them for the false equivalence... by quinn — 79
16) "Worst" Only If You Imagine They Want What by Gooserock — 79
17) asdf by whoknu — 77
18) The 250K pledge is different by kid oakland — 76
19) Yeah, she totally forgot by Noddy — 75
20) Shut the fuck up and defend Obama! by andgarden — 73
21) You See it, I See it, So Many Here See it. by teacherjon — 72
22) A horrible negotiator? by joanneleon — 72
23) In three days......... by Bill in Portland Maine — 71
24) Hooray for Whoknu and Sekritarmy! by ExStr8 — 70
25) hahahahahahaha by jpmassar — 67
26) "Pure and utter needless capitulation" by raptavio — 67
27) First time I watched in months-can't stand Gregory by Phil S 33 — 66
28) One word says it all by Out There — 65
29) I agree, and thanks for this diary , Mets !! by wishingwell — 63
30) Exactly as Obama wants it. by expatjourno — 62

Top Pictures for yesterday, December 31st, 2012.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!

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