I love new beginnings – new born babies and newlyweds. I even like the first day of the week and the first day of school. To me, they signal the promise of all things good and fair. But the beginning of a new year is different. Instead of eager anticipation, I feel a little anxious … and if I dwell on it long enough, I can even muster up a profound sense of dread. It dawned on me this morning that the difference is about the pressure to list some clever and meaningful ways to better my life and the lives of those around me. And then be required to exhibit the wherewithal to actually keep that list for an entire year. It’s those blasted New Year’s Resolutions.
In my life history, New Year’s Resolutions have turned out to be nothing more than pompous, boring promises that I end up breaking. It’s a real let down. And from what understand, I’m not alone. As a matter of fact, about 75% of the people that make New Year’s Resolutions break them by the end of January. And that got me to thinking that maybe we’re going at this all wrong. I mean perhaps if we have such trouble making and keeping our resolutions, it’s because we are blind to our real best interest – or even the interests of others. And that maybe it’s the little things that make the most difference in the long run.
Like for example, it might be fabulous to ‘Get Organized’ but if keeping that resolution turns me into a compulsive, controlling devil woman and makes everyone at home and at work dread being around me – I’d better not make it. This year, instead of making resolutions that could create a real monster in me (like abstaining from all forms of chocolate forever …) – I think I’ll try some new ones. So here they are, my 2009 New Year’s Resolutions…
1. Make someone smile every single day – Now this is something I feel enthusiastic about and I could get really creative. That’s good.
2. Improve efforts to more fully appreciate Mary Spoon, our yellow lab – Well, okay, I’ll try.
3. Dance and sing out loud when a wonderful song comes on the radio – This one will be easy because I love good music so I’m thinking I’m just taking it a step further. Sing and dance. Yea and I might even drop a few pounds in the process.
4. Abstain from preferring Mike, the black lab over Mary Spoon – This one might be a bit difficult.
5. Look at the sky, take note of the clouds and thank God above – This is super handy because I’m running around all the time trying to get things done feeling all stressed and busy but when I take the time to look up, I almost always feel grateful.
6. Cease and desist lecturing Mary Spoon when she barks incessantly – I know, I know … she doesn’t really understand what I’m saying anyway.
7. Eat a little bit of something that I consider delicious every day – I actually think I already do this. Might just need to work on the ‘little bit’ part.
8. Stop referring to Mary Spoon as the ‘not so smart, annoying yellow thing roaming and pooping in our back yard.’ – Ahem.
9. Keep a journal of prayers answered – An absolute perfect way to keep track of progress and stay thankful too. I like it!
10. Investigate pet / owner therapy – Clearly, I need help here.
Not earth shaking, but it is a start … and I did have a lot more fun with my new attitude towards creating resolutions. I hope you’ll enjoy yours, too. But whatever you choose, have a fabulous New Year!