I suppose resolutions are a good thing for some people. In general, it’s good to improve yourself. Every day in every way I’m getting better and better, blah, blah, blah.
But the whole idea of coming up with, and then attempting to achieve a list of resolutions on New Year’s just gives me the heebie-jeebs. Yes, there are many areas in my life in which I could do better. In some cases, there is much room for improvement. A whole chasm stands between where I am and where I’d like to be.
But to set resolutions down on paper, or in a computer file, makes me quake and shake. Because once it’s down in black and white, I of course feel committed. And for me, commitment always seems to have this little companion named guilt. Once I say I will do something, I will tie myself into knots to do exactly that. If I don’t, then guilt has its way with me.
Not to say I never make commitments. There’s the nearly 30 years of marriage. Two boys raised and off doing wonderful things. The more than 20 books written (and most of them published). Countless hours spent volunteering, usually with great joy in my heart.
But resolutions are different. They come with a complete set of matching baggage. They’re things you’ve wanted to do differently for quite some time, things you’ve repeatedly tried and failed to do. Yet you think that this time, this New Year’s, things will be different.
But alas, there’s nothing magical about New Year’s Day. It’s just a date on the calendar. It’s even smack dab in the middle of winter when it’s hard to feel hopeful about anything. Seems to me that spring would be a much better time to make promises to yourself, when the colors are gorgeous and everything feels new. For that matter, why not make resolutions all year long? Why save all that resolve for January 1st?
Or be like me and don’t make any resolutions at all. Each day, just be the best you can, even if your best is grouchy and cranky. Eventually, you’re going to smile and sooner or later, spring will be here.