I have always thought New Years Resolutions were stupid. Completely worthless and downright sad. All the December magazine covers are filled with stuff to buy and all the January magazine covers are filled with tips to pare down and simplify. As if we should and can flip a switch on January 1st. I am also opposed to ‘words of the year’, ‘lists of things I’m giving up”, “25 things I’ll do this year”, “Insane weight loss/fitness goals”, “getting completely organized once and for all”, and any other complete attempts at overhauling one life in one year. The resolutions are so intense, so lofty, so unrealistic. After all, January 1 is just a day. Just a Friday.
Often, New Years Eve itself, the build up of anticipation of the MOST FUN NIGHT EVER headed into THE BEST YEAR AHEAD EVER ends in colossal disappointment, failed goals and a longer list of things left undone than accomplished. My word, the pressure!!??? Boo hiss.
*note I might be a tiny irritable writing this. Last night ended with my son throwing up at his friend’s house. The friend took it amazingly well. We are starting this year with a haze of Lysol through the house. P.S. That actually is an excellent time to start a diet change. Post stomach flu. That is the original ‘cleanse’ to kick start fitting into the skinny jeans. I’ll let my son know that as soon as he can crawl off the bathroom floor. I digress.
Our resolutions are set so high. This is why the nice people at the fitness clubs can’t find parking spots for the first few weeks in January. Wait until March 1st. Plenty of spots. I’m guess I’m not much for ‘saving up’ for a change. I’m not doing anything new and exciting on January 1 per se. I’m not going to make a huge list and then kick myself for 12 months when things don’t get checked off of it. I won’t post an inspirational theme word or poetic quote in my house this year to remind me where I’m headed in 2016.
Honestly, what I should post is “PICK UP YOUR OWN SH&T and PUT IT WHERE IT BELONGS” but that would be more instructional for the whole family than personally inspiring for the soul. Plus, it wouldn’t work. I just don’t like the idea of waiting until a special day to make a change, work on an improvement, or just simply be better at whatever I am currently failing at. I must be less goal oriented and more working-on-it oriented. Any forward progress is still good progress.
The day to do any and all of those things is the minute it occurs to me.
Right this second.
I think I might think like this for three reasons. (getting meta here) First, I have been burdened/blessed with the gift of very little patience. This does not come in handy for marriage or parenting (ever) but can be pretty useful in executing a plan. Second, most times when I set a goal, it turns out differently than I expected and sometimes I’m so bent on forcing it to happen I nearly miss the better thing waiting in front of me. Lastly, while I would give my left arm to have my dad back, having him die at age 57 is a good motivator to not wait until the mystical concept of a new year or when the kids are older or retirement to do things or be things or see things or go places or try something or make a plan that I could very well put into motion right now. It’s a good motivation to not wait until next week. Not only do you wish away the time you are in, you also have no guarantee you will be here to “do all the great things”. The sense of urgency is palpable. What on earth are we waiting for?
Perhaps the best part of being middle aged is not giving a flying fig anymore. When you are 25, you SAY you don’t care about what others think or what your station in life is or your expectations of 25 compared to the reality of being 25. You think you have plenty of time.
At 35, you start losing your conceited mighty grip on your grand plans realizing you are not in control of much and by now you’ve made some choices and picked some lanes and they cannot be undone which is both a minor relief and a minor horror.
At 45, hopefully you are over yourself enough to see that you just won’t be here forever. Are some things just a soul crushing disappointment? Yes. Did you mess up a lot and say and do things that you are embarrassed about? Yes. Are there things that simply can’t be fixed? Yes. Are other aspects of this life more heartbreakingly joyful than you could have ever anticipated? YES. Did you make some good choices and tell some people how you felt and had some genuine moments of pure thrill and witnessed some near miracles and are filled with gratitude for those? Yes. Do you see where you sidestepped metaphorical land mines and paths that would have been and could have been so much worse? Lord, yes.
In retrospect, I’d say I made some progress in 2015. Some things got done. Others didn’t. I can live with it that way. I think my designs on giving an Oscar speech can probably be filed away now. It would have been a kick ass speech. FYI.
Cheers to all of you in 2016. May this year hold everything you hope for. I hope your year is filled with goodness. And if not, just start over on any day, at any time, at any minute. Get back up and just try again. Have a new idea in April and try it out. Forgive someone in October. An average Tuesday can be an astonishing start to something fantastic.
No ‘theme of the year’ necessary.