Every time a new year comes along, I get a little stressed. There so much expectation in the air. People feel good about the culmination of another year as if it were truly a culmination and not merely a continuation. New Year’s Eve parties are among the most illustrious, in magnitude and elegance. They are so much so that not attending one makes you feel like a social pariah because you’re probably going to spend that night at home eating a pizza and on a movie and TV binge. Hardly something you would want to publish on your various social media outlets.
So, this is the new year and I don’t feel any different. Instead of feeling as satiated as I’m led to believe that I should be, I feel anything but. Not quite empty, but immensely hungry. I suppose that at the end of the year I feel unsatisfied and angry at myself for not having done all of the things I set out to do. In my mind, I want all of the phony “may-auld-acquaintance-be-forgot” celebratory nonsense to be over and for the regularly scheduled program to continue. Off with their heads and on with the show.
Even as a child, I never really understood why people got so excited over the coming of a new year. I always considered birthdays to be a superior marker of passage of time than new years. Birthdays provide us with an arena for deeper reflection. We celebrate but we acknowledge that we are older, hopefully smarter and wiser, and are concerned with making wiser and smarter choices and accommodations for our lives. New year celebrations are just that, celebrations. There’s barely any acknowledgment of age. Technically we are older, but then again we are older now than we were when we first started reading this paragraph. The only thing that really concerns us with the coming of a new year is that of not making the mistake of writing the date wrong using the old year instead of the new one.
Resolutions are another concern that people fill their heads with at the end and beginning of each year. I believe in resolutions. I believe that they are worthless. I believe that they are so because the people that make them stop believing in them and quit. Again, the expectation in the air is so high that it is rarefied. It is suffocating. I do believe in making goals, in small victories that open doors and opportunities; flexible plans that accommodate to your needs and that lead to real change. Our lives change throughout the year and we have to reevaluate them constantly. Resolutions have become synonymous with ending or “resolving” something and bringing it to a final state: resolve my weight problem, resolve my smoking, resolve my workaholism. However, if we look at the true meaning of the word, its origin, resolution means to loosen or release.
If we allow our resolutions to be conduits of freedom as opposed to directions to fixed places, then there would be no obstacle that could hold us back.