New Year Resolutions
March 13, 2012 by Joyce Richman
Up and at ‘em! It’s a few weeks past the honkin’ and hollerin’ dawn of the new year and I bet you haven’t made out your list of New Year’s Resolutions. Surely there are countless things you resolve to do differently this year; dozens of ways you want to be, think, and do that are new and improved over the not-so-hot ways you did them last year. So, get in gear, pencils sharp, paper ready.
“Whoa, pal. First of all, I’ve still got a hangover from 2003, so speak with a little less energy and vitality, ‘cause you’re giving me a headache. Second of all, what’s wrong with my being content with who I am and what I do? I mean, give me a break. Every time I turn around someone tells me how I have to act and what I need to worry about if I don’t act that way. I’m over it with all this changing and rearranging. I’ve had enough of it to last me a lifetime.
In fact, all your noise about making promises has inspired me. I’ve got more than one promise for you, I’ve got three: I’m going to be me, talk like me, and act like me for all of 2004. While I’m at it, I’ve got five more resolutions for you: I’m going to eat whatever I want, sleep as long as I please; work when I feel like it, drink what I choose; and drive in whatever condition I find myself. I’ve done all the changing I’m going to do, thank you very much. Leave me alone and go wake up someone else with your New Year’s Resolution Celebration.”
If that sounds a bit like you on the morning after the biggest ‘make a promise’ day of the year, you’re in some heavy company. The challenge of seeing the world differently, whether close-up or at a distance, and to change your view of yourself and your role within it, can be more than you can manage.
In fact, the thought of making New Year’s Resolutions rings the bells of frustration and exasperation in the hearts of many. Some have had a very tough year making ends meet while staying employed, and some have been working their hardest getting that way again. Some feel that they have been mistreated by hard-working, well-intended businesses that were powerless to take hard work and good behavior into account when having to close doors and shutter windows.
Some don’t feel that way at all:
“For the life of me, I don’t have patience with all this pessimism and the people who persist in it. They wear me out. Look at what we’ve survived. We’ve survived nine-eleven, and we’re coming back; we’ve survived a lingering downturn, and we’re coming back. There are plenty of things to look forward to and plenty of evidence that it’s going to be there when we catch up to it.
I don’t have patience with people who run others down, or lecture everyone they see on what they should do, and how they should think, to be on the right side of political, religious, and intellectual thought. And I don’t have patience with people who are content with standing still.
I think it’s important to make things better than we found them. Sometimes I work on getting my act together, getting done what I need to do. Sometimes I work on learning something new, thinking in different ways. I’m not content to let things be. If I’m not moving forward I’m sliding backward, and that’s not acceptable to me.”
And there are others, finding their place somewhere in the middle, accepting who they are and where they find themselves; learning and growing, not out of a sense of need or resolution but out of a desire to take action when and where the spirit moves them, when and if it does.
And the rest probably resent the notion of being so narrowly defined, pigeonholed, or categorized, as to be in limited to one place or the other.
So wherever you are and whoever you choose to be, I hope you enjoy a year of safety, security, peace and prosperity.