Turning the page on the year can bring a mixture of feelings: relief, anxiety, a welcome sense of change, depending on the events of the past year and what events the upcoming year may hold.
Many people look back on the previous year with a sense of regret, resolving to do better in the new year. Some look forward to turning the page on a year of unfortunate circumstances or bad decisions, welcoming a fresh start to begin anew. Still others appreciate the year that just ended and are glad to begin another, excited to see what’s in store ahead. Almost everyone makes a new year’s resolution, a promise to make themselves better, a plan to be more organized, more efficient, more in shape, more dedicated, or to quit a bad habit, such as smoking, nail biting, or drinking.
Self reflection is good for the soul and philosophical thinking helps us define the way we live and make decisions that shape our values. And none of us are perfect; we can all use a little tweaking here or there to make some changes in our lives. So a resolution for change is not a particularly bad idea. The problem is, however, that many, if not most (all?) resolutions are broken, empty promises that we strive to fulfill but are never able to keep. It’s like trying to achieve world peace when all we really need to achieve is a little peace in our world.
This New Year, I’m skipping the list of resolutions. I’m not resolving to turn critical thoughts into more positive observations, to keep my house cleaner, stay off Facebook and Twitter to make my life more efficient, all of which would be positive changes in my life, my family would surely agree. To be honest, I really can’t keep those promises to myself. I’m critical by nature and, though it’s irritating at best, it also makes me a highly productive and conscientious person. My house is clean but cluttered. I’ve never been a neat freak and that’s not likely to change. The computer is where I keep all of my organization and if I drift off onto social networking, well, it’s welcome adult interaction as a small break from keeping my children throughout the day, no different from those at work taking coffee breaks from their desk jobs. I’m not making excuses, I’m just being realistic here. Making these changes would be about as easy as achieving world peace. At least in my world.
Instead I think I will focus on just that: achieving peace in my world. I’m going to evaluate my decisions a little more carefully. I want to make my decisions based on Love–with a capital L–the kind derived from the Joy leftover from Christmas that resonates through all the way to Easter and carries me throughout the year. I want to surround myself with people that matter and events that are important and effect change in my community. More than anything I want to focus on relationships. I want to nurture relationships within my nuclear family, with my husband and each of my children, and I want to strengthen relationships with some of the precious friends I have been blessed with. I’m going to look for ways to relax my commitments to things that don’t really matter so much and be a “yes” girl to things that do. If there’s a way to volunteer I want to do it, especially if there’s not a way to be recognized for it. If there’s a way to serve, I want to sign up, especially if I don’t have to attend a meeting or be in charge of the project. I want to be the Indian and not the Chief, all year long.
Maybe I won’t be recognized for achieving world peace in 2012. But maybe I’ll achieve a little peace in my world.
What about you? Add your resolutions below!