Personally, I think New Year’s resolutions are complete bullshit. And apparently RDJ agrees with me.
I mean, seriously… are you really going to lose that fifteen pounds? Okay, then, maybe you will. Maybe you’ll use your Christmas cash to join a Crossfit gym or something, and maybe you’ll bust ass for two whole months…
But let’s be honest. Are you going to keep it off once the Easter ham and Cadbury Creme Eggs hit the table??
It’s not that I’m hating on people trying to better themselves. I’m not, I swear. My issue is the freaking pressure.
Okay, so 2013 is ending and now it’s time to look back on a year – a whole YEAR! 365 DAYS!! – and analyze what you did and did not accomplish. We will now allow you one day to lament your shortcomings, and tomorrow is the day you reverse it all.
January first. BAM. Time to put those resolutions to work!
Let’s look for a moment at the word itself.
: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something
So, if we’re breaking it down, a New Year’s resolution is literally the act of resolving a problem or issue once the New Year begins.
Yeah. NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING, amirite?
Let’s look now at the usual resolutions: lose weight, save money, relax more, get a better job, take a vacation… Get pregnant.
Okay, maybe that last one is just mine. Either way, a lot of these “conflicts” might be impossible to actually resolve, setting us up for failure before we even begin.
Lose weight? Okay, sure. So the resolution is just to lose it, right? Not to keep it off? Oh… no? So then you’re a total failure if you resolve to lose fifteen pounds, manage to lose twenty, and then gain ten back before 2015?
Save money? …But don’t spend it, right? What if you have an emergency? Your water heater blows, your cat needs a liver transplant, you have to get your car towed 200 miles to a shop that knows what the heck they’re doing while you’re taking your New-Year’s-resolution-vacation… You have to fund fertility treatments out of pocket. Where’s all that saved money now, huh?
That raise or new job you want? Totally out of your control. You can be the best employee ever and still not get to make a single job-related move in the next year…
Vacation? HAHAHA. See *Save Money, above.
How about the relaxation resolution? That’s something you can totally do, right? Spend more time at home, read more books, get a massage once in a while, sleep in on the weekends… Totally do-able.
Except for the fact that now you’re working out at 6am every morning, can’t afford luxuries like massages because you’re saving money for whatever disaster happens next, need to get into work early and stay late in the far-flung hopes that you might get laterally promoted to another menial middle-management position where you might, maybe, get a little paid vacation time, a vacation, might I add, where you can basically stay home in your sweatpants for a week because you can’t afford anything else, largely because you’re spending every last dollar saving money for a medical procedure that may or may not help you with your other resolution: getting pregnant.
FAIL FAIL FAIL.
And so, I say this again: RESOLUTIONS ARE BULLSHIT.
Why put this pressure on ourselves at the beginning of a whole new year? Why make ourselves miserable in the pursuit of… what? Competing with the Joneses?
Maybe you need to de-friend the Joneses on Facebook, that way you won’t have to look at their beautiful, fertile family that runs a 5k together every damn weekend.
And maybe de-friend the Smiths too, while you’re at it… Their social media posts about how they scrimped and saved themselves out of debt and are now taking quarterly vacations to Fiji are not helping you in any way.
Besides… The Smiths and the Joneses don’t have to pay for IVF. Or IUI. Or acupuncture and herbs. Or meds from overseas because they’re just a smidge cheaper than here in the US.
This is what I’m getting at…
We’re all different people. We’re traveling different roads in life. What others have is NOT a reflection of what we have, nor should it be a jumping off point for what we want.
Ever hear the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy”?
It’s simple enough, but so true. Comparing our lives with the lives of others does nothing to better our own life. It only serves to suppress the satisfaction we should be feeling for what we ourselves have managed to accomplish, despite what life’s put in our path.
We are badasses, dammit, and no one else’s badassery should be allowed take away from that!
And that’s why I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like the thought of competing against others for a life that’s not my own. What I need is not what others may need, and what they want doesn’t need to influence how I view what I already have.
And so, in closing, I will repeat once more: Resolutions are bullshit.
…With a few minor exceptions.
I resolve to live every day in the next year for myself and my loved ones.
I resolve to do what I need to do to make that life a happy one.
I resolve to be flexible and open to receiving what life throws my way.
I resolve to look within to determine my needs, rather than looking outwardly and comparing my life to others’.
I resolve to encourage myself instead of pushing.
I resolve to be kind to myself instead of punishing.
I resolve to allow myself to fail without apology.
I resolve to get back up and try again
if when I fail.
I resolve to admire myself for how far I’ve come.
I resolve to be my own hero.
I resolve to live my life, and not attempt to live the lives of others.
I resolve to live my life.
I want to wish you all a very happy New Year, from my home to yours.
I wish you the wisdom to see how much you really have in a world where it has become increasingly difficult to see past the pretentious displays of others’ grandiosity.
I wish you hope today, tomorrow, and for every day to come, and may it not be taken away in the face of failure.
I wish you the clarity and acceptance that comes from looking within yourself, and I wish you to see the inspiration that you are to others.
I wish you peace and understanding in 2014.
And I wish you love.
May you have it in spades, and may others be inspired to resolve to have a love like yours in 2015.