“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
– LM Montgomery
How many resolutions have you kept this year? A new year, a new beginning and yet, fourth month into the new year, it feels like we make resolutions only to break them.
The problem may stem from the actual meaning. The Oxford Dictionary defines a “resolution” as: ‘(1) a firm decision to do or not to do something’ and ‘(2) the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.’
This can be hard to come by, as many people are not emotionally ready to stop smoking, stop drinking or make peace with that family member. The “Happy New Year” syndrome enables you to impulsively make that leap. But, as the gym classes pile up, one has to ask: how many of those new gym members will still be there by mid-year?
You have to be passionate about what you are changing. Not for him/ her/ them/ God, but for you. You may be have been conceived by your parents, enhanced with God’s talents, but ultimately you are the author of your own destiny.
For ten years, I had “get your driver’s licence” as a resolution… It started growing into an emotional fungus that prevented me from actually tackling it. Reading that resolution year after year made me feel more and more useless.
In 2012, I did not put it on my list and, guess what, 5 months after a few lessons (lessons I had done twice before, but never attempted the test) it was mine. No more fears or mockery from people that did not know the real reason for that fungus: four friends who had tragically passed away in separate car accidents.
I made an emotional choice not to go on limping by their tragedies, but tackle it head on. I broke down mental barriers, which freed me emotionally, spiritually and, of course, physically. Now, the only regret is knowing what I could have experienced and seen year after year…
But, it’s okay. The timing was perfect. Not having a licence made me go on other crazy adventures: trekking around Australia with classmates, trying out the car-pool system in Germany (you sign up online and see how many people are interested in joining you; kind of like ‘couch surfing’ but with transport), taking endless bus-trips to forests, beaches, public pools and other sites I would not have found on my own. The fondest memories come from falling asleep on bus-trips, not understanding Danish and being taken to another city, as well as finding my way back after the wrong stop.
This year, I asked my friends if they had any 2014 resolutions. The answers were seemingly ambiguous:
“Who the f*ck makes those anymore?”
“Of course…I make one small one a week.”
“Stop smoking. It’s been there for 15 years. Maybe next year.”
“Gym…at least for a month, just to get rid of Christmas baggage.”
“Get married to that guy I met at New Year’s. It’s been three days, but I know he’s the ONE.”
“Like everyone else, become suddenly rich. Realistically, that’s a decade-long-resolution.”
“Do something I’ve never done before. You know, no FOMO, just YOLO.”
Where did resolutions originate?
According to historian Bill Petro, they started in Babylon and continued in Ancient Rome, as the Romans worshipped their two-faced god Janus (hence the name ‘January’) who looks on the past with one head and on the future with the other.
That does not give much space to the present, does it? Which is exactly the crux of problematic resolutions, they don’t let you live: you just keep looking back and forth, self-critical and more aware of your apathy.
So, as we already reach the third of 2014 (as I was not able to keep my resolution “Blog more this year”) let’s say cheers to the best resolution yet: “No more resolutions!” Not annual ones at least… Hehe…
As Walt Whitman put it so beautifully:
“Afoot and lighthearted, I take to the open road: healthy, free, the world before me.”