I decided it might be best to address the issue of “New Year’s Resolutions” well after the cabbage and ham had settled, the Mummer’s announced their glitzy winners, and after any ill-effects of beverage combinations and/or Andy Reid’s firing which are now ‘things of the past.’
Someone asked me today what my yearly ‘resolution’ is. Wittily I replied, “My resolution is to make no resolution.” This, of course, is not as clever as my real response.
Having had far too many decades of these ‘never to actualize’ goals, I’m thinking of trying something new.
Right now fitness finders are flocking to local gyms for the annual membership onslaught while prying themselves into spandex exercise clothing that was 50% off. Bodies are making ready for tanning beds and spas are offering special body reviving treatments which would have made the punishments during the Crusades seem pale in comparison.
Other earthy folks are visiting local organic food stores; stocking up on anything gluten-wheat-peanut-allergy free no matter the lack of flavor. Others try to ‘go green’ by purchasing celery hearts and alfalfa sprouts which will undoubtedly remain in the crisper longer than they should.
Some new-year-anointed people try to return to the ‘fold’ of what inspires them spiritually; something which will fill the deflated void of 2012 with incense, meditation, prayer and/or chanting and drumming all while holding a perfectly balanced lotus position.
By March, the shine is off most of the above tried and not-so-true attempts to improve one’s self, to make yourself look better, or just to live long and prosper. We try in vain and with misguided expectations to ‘make the grade’ in adopting these ‘life changing’ resolutions. And, year after year, we fall into the Catch-22 that is the promise of a new year: the fact that although the year is new—we must be new as well.
New doesn’t always mean better. Wrinkles and gray hairs represent one’s individual and earned history. In fact, we are a combination of all our past experiences and are works in progress which would essentially suggest that we are always ‘new.’ But, always seeking to be better? Why should the measures be something others can see? Something external we can assess? Some lofty, invisible benchmark which we set ourselves up for disappointment?
So, this year, I invite you to join in me in the ‘newness’ that is already you. Recognize who and where you are and honor how far you’ve come. Forgive past mistakes and accept what you can’t control. Look in the mirror with new eyes at the complete you and realize that the best resolution you can make is to yourself and for yourself. Look in the mirror and say, “I am all this and it took me this long to be this.” Then smirk and say, “I don’t need no stinking resolution! I am already good. And maybe, this year, I’ll laugh more, smile more, be sillier, worry less, fear less, and love more.”
Trust me, the only person you’ll ever have to answer to is yourself---and that mirror.