Hello 2012. Your predecessor was not particular easy, so I hope that you are a bit friendlier in the changes and challenges that you present.
I have been thinking about the whole notion of New Year’s resolutions, and what they represent. The New Year is a symbol of new beginnings; a fresh start with a clean slate. With that in mind it has always baffled me that the time-honored tradition the night before is to “Party like it’s 1999,” eat with gluttonous abandon and see how you trashed you can get on an assortment of various alcoholic beverages. Followed the next morning by…crawling out of bed and stumbling to the medicine cabinet to down 3 Ibuprofen in hopes that the pain will soon subside.
Don’t get me wrong: I love good food, and I enjoy drinking, however I’ve thought for years that the best way to start a new year with a fresh slate is to wake up on January 1st well-slept and refreshed, ready for a year full of new possibilities clear-headed and full of hope. Instead the majority of us start the New Year feeling about as shitty as we’ll feel all year. Honestly, this is not how I want to welcome a new chapter; I do not want to be spending the day nursing a hangover, eating greasy food and feeling like crap. Instead I prefer a quiet morning before anybody else is mulling about, taking in a crisp clear morning (if you live in SoCal anyway), drinking some tea, and spitting out some small creative nugget (like this blog post).
Now, about the resolutions themselves: Mr. Opinionated Soap-box Guy has also always thought that the tradition of the New Year’s resolution is kind of ridiculous. Resolutions in general are a great thing, but the arbitrary marking of a New Year with the symbolic gesture of “How I am going to be better this year” is invariably doomed to failure. Goals and resolutions should be a constant part of the fabric of our day to day lives. We should always be looking to become better versions of ourselves, take stock in our shortcomings and discover better ways to live more principled lives. I don’t presume to suggest that I know what principles might work for you, but all of us have some internal compass that we live by, a picture of how we would like to engage with the world as we gain more perspective, balance and peace within ourselves.
I have some resolutions –they are the same ones I’ve been working on continuously, and will continue into 2012 (and further) until I feel that I have accomplished them sufficiently, or until they get pushed aside by something bigger. These are some of the ways that I hope to become a better version of myself:
- Leave the past behind and look towards the future
- Be a better listener
- Be less judgmental/be more accepting
- Avoid tension and stress whenever possible
- Avoid anger
- Be meditative
- Disengage when baited
- Stay focused and disciplined