“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was” – Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out among the stars.” – David Bottoms
Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when the local gyms fill with folks who have promised to make that fresh start: to ‘get in shape’; to make a budget; to get out more; to stay in more. Usually the resolutions tend to reflect whatever was most pressing in their lives in the time leading up to the new year. And with the way we spend money and eat during Christmas time, I’m quite sure financial promises and exercise are topping the list. Honestly it would be more beneficial if we were to make a tradition of changing the batteries in our smoke detectors on this day rather than making hollow promises to the one person we fool most consistently; ourselves. The typical resolutions are remarkably similar to a recipe; if Dr. Frankenstein were jotting down notes about the form of his new creature I can imagine it would read something like a typical resolution list. A list of what you intend to do, and not do.
In point of fact, there is nothing different about January first of any year. The earth spun about its axis just like normal, its orbit about the sun continued the same as any other day of the year. It’s just that our calendar has been set up such that this day is a little different. When we used to buy wall calendars, it was a new calendar. When most of us wrote checks, remember how hard it was to write that new year on the check? Now it’s even less of a difference, we tend to pay our bills online; our calendar is on our computer and switches automatically. The recent hullaballoo about the Mayan calendar should have demonstrated how antiquated calendars can be. But antiquated or not, we celebrate this calendar event and a part of this tradition continues to be the resolutions.
But when the ball drops, we are the same person we were moments before. And most of us are quite exceptional people. We do some rather awesome things if you stop and think about it. We have jobs, we have families, and we go out into the world and make it a place worth living. This fabricated ‘new year’ is nothing new in life. We have the same baggage we had moments before, but we also have the same strengths. This is what we should all focus on. But still, our lives should be an almost continuous self-assessment; this is how we move forward, not with hastily, and typically drunkenly, mumbled resolutions. We should almost always be asking, “Who am I now, and who, or what, do I want to become?” Am I unhealthy? If I am, then what do I need to do to correct that? If I smoke, then I certainly need to stop. So I stop; If can’t stop, then I seek assistance in stopping. Resolutions are nothing more than half-made decisions with absolutely nothing to back them up; emotional checks that will bounce because they are written on an account lacking actual resolve. But if you take the “you” of you, or rather I should say the “me” of me, and use this momentum we have called life, and apply small corrections… Then we will have something. Then we will get somewhere.
Happy New Year folks, now let’s continue be the awesome people we truly are!
I love you all.