By Jarrod Thalheimer
Okay, so 2015 is almost done, and with a brand new year charging up the stairs now is the perfect time for some personal reflection. Why wait for 2016 to go off the rails when a little post-game breakdown on the year about to pass might do wonders for getting things right early on? All it takes is a little thoughtful analysis to gauge your life from 2015. And truly, nothing says “thoughtful analysis” like a quiz!
□ Your home is quite literally a five-minute walk from your entire life – work, school, gym, fave shops, you name it. The rent/mortgage is unbelievable, leaving you with gobs of free cash to enjoy the city life. Even your neighbors are great – they bake for you!
□ The house is a fixer-upper but still has way more to like than not. Sure, it’s a little out of the way and a tad expensive, but it’s basically affordable. And the closest thing you have to a “weird neighbor” is that guy with 38 cats, and he lives almost an entire block away.
□ The only reason you even have a home to live in is because the previous occupant was kicked the bucket and you happened to be walking by as the family was putting old furniture on the curb as the landlord hung out the “for rent” sign. You share your home with various species of rodent and insects who, incidentally, control more votes on the strata council than you do. As a bonus, they have agreed to roam your house only at night or when the lights are off – unless you have company.
□ Well-adjusted, caring, and supportive, your friends are always thrilled to see you. Routinely, they go out of their way to include you and always find ways to make time for helping with whatever problem or challenge you currently face. Late-night gatherings spent sharing good wine and great food are the norm.
□ You really only have two people you consider friends, and at any given time at least one of them will sell you out given the right circumstance. No matter, they’re always quick to laugh and great to hang out with. Plus, neither has ever made a genuine pass at you (not counting that one awkward moment last New Year’s Eve that involved a half-wheel of Stilton cheese and three goatskins of B-brew Muscatel).
□ The closest thing you have to a friend is the homeless guy you nod at each day on the way to work, and even he started giving you the cold shoulder after you dropped that half-bag of Skittles in his hat the other day.
□ Getting up for work each day is a dream. Your job is as fulfilling as it is challenging. Your boss loves you so much that he offered to give you his own office when the firm had no more money for yet another raise. You are recognized for your contributions to the company so much that you would probably work for free if you could afford to. It’s just that great!
□ Yours is maybe not the best job in the world but it is indoors and the air conditioning and heat work most of the time. The pay is not great but the lunchroom has donuts and a fridge that works. Yes, the boss is a didactic, uninspiring moron but at least he’s stopped giving you the stink eye whenever you take the last walnut crunch. All in all, things are fine.
□ Initially, the job seemed promising but believing it was possible to earn $7,000+ per month from an Internet connection without the involvement of pornography was slightly naïve. Sadly, job #2 wasn’t much better but at least handing out leaflets to hostile passersby did not require (as much) full-frontal nudity.
□ The mirror only gets better when you stand in front of it. You are healthy, trim, and fit. You love to get up and move whenever you have the chance. No creaks or groans when your body flexes as you regularly bound along in A-1, tip-top physical condition.
□ Your body is not exactly a temple, unless of course that temple happens to feature an extra-large area dedicated to oversized gatherings near the middle. Still, you remain basically okay with what you see – little fixes are needed here or there – but all in all you wouldn’t trade what you have for anyone else. Plus you have calves to die for.
□ It would not surprise you if one morning you woke to find accident scene tape wrapped around your entire body. It hurts to get up, it hurts to lie down, and moving at any pace faster than “spilled liquid” causes hot flashes. Losing 45 pounds would transform you from “obese” into merely “fat,” and the last time you contacted a personal trainer he burst into tears and “rage ate” an entire tub of red-pepper hummus.
□ You enjoy a great relationship with your mother, losing track of time as you spend hours on the phone chatting away. Your dad loves to come and visit, always forcing money on you or finding excuses to pay the rent or fill the pantry with food. Even little brother still sends cute texts just to see how you’re doing. Plus Aunt Edith never stops trying to set you up on dates with clients from the “Perfect 10” modeling agency she runs.
□ Mom and dad may have divorced a few years back but they still try to spend time with you whenever they can. Happily, you get at least two hours together before either lapses into slagging the other. Your sister no longer tries to borrow money constantly and instead limits herself to the odd night on your couch. Uncle Louie keeps trying to set you up on dates with people from the cab company he works at.
□ Your mother has never stopped competing with you, from wearing your clothes all through high school to working at stealing your boyfriends from the 10th grade on. Your dad is constantly hounding you for office supplies from work so he can move them on the street “for cash” while your little sister stole your ID to grift a rental car. Your aunt keeps trying to set you up on “conjugals” with people from the prison she works at.
95-100 – Not only can’t you add, but you probably lied your butt off through the entire quiz out of some desperate need to either deceive yourself (or others) about the true state of your life. Nobody in real life is this freakin’ happy and perfect – ever. Try again.
75-94 points – Look, things are obviously pretty good. Life is good. You have nothing to complain about, so smile more. Folks would kill for what you have.
55-75 points – There seems to be some room for improvement but there’s no need for anything especially drastic. Maybe find a new place to live, another friend, or help a charity … it couldn’t hurt.
25-55 points – Things seem fairly grim. It might be time for a rather dramatic life change.
10-25 points – Don’t panic – there are lots of counselling and services available. Don’t be shy – get help now!
0-10 points – Seriously? Just find a new identity somehow, and start over.