January 1st is making me wonder: are new year’s resolutions a manifestation of hopeful or hopeless optimism?
I’m all for self-improvement, but I can’t decide if we make these promises to ourselves to lift ourselves up or to break ourselves down. People tend to treat resolutions as All or Nothing. If you don’t fulfill your vow once you might as well just throw in the towel, you failed. The truth is life doesn’t work like that. The things we want to change the most are usually the things we can change the least. Edna St. Vincent Millay said it best with her infamous quote; “Life isn’t one damn thing after another. It’s the same damn thing over and over.”
It really bothers me that so many people look at the new year as a reason to completely make themselves over. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.
I abandoned traditional resolutions years ago – much preferring to focus on the good instead of the “bad” habits and tendencies in my life. So many resolutions focus on the outward, what about the inward? Could I lose a few pounds (or tens, or hundreds)? Sure. Would that make me a happier or better person? I can’t say – maybe, maybe not – I’ve met plenty of people with beautiful bodies and horrible shrunken little souls. Should I spend more time laughing with my son? Definitely. Would that make me happier and a better person? Absolutely.
It all seems pretty simple. Be as good a person as you know how to be… over and over again.
Happy New Year to You All, I do hope 2014 will bring you peace, kindness, and love.