Welcome to the New Year. Odds are you’ve already messed it up. As usual, you thought that this year was going to be different. Yet barely a day into it, you once again sullied the fresh snow of new opportunity. Now it looks as appealing as Mr. Sprick’s yard on a snow day, and he has 5 kids, a few dogs, and a mule. Have you ever seen how much mules pee? No one wants to look at that yard, much less do anything in it.
Now you’re going to have to wait a whole new year to get a fresh snowfall, and meanwhile you have plenty of time to consider all the ways you went wrong. Why didn’t everything change at midnight like it was supposed to?
One of the more glaring problems is that you have remained the same person. Your new, sequined dress and hair-do for New Year’s Eve didn’t make you lose weight, and you never looked like Gwen Stefani. Furthermore, whatever glamour hocus pocus you attempted wore off rapidly as the evening progressed, like it always does, leaving none for the morning after. You awoke New Year’s Day having retained many if not all of the habits and excuses from your former life of 2 days ago and you still find it difficult to do the things you should do and accomplish the goals you put off when today was tomorrow. Most unfortunately, you’re still yourself, and that has always been your biggest problem.
Another monkey wrench in your New Year’s plot is the fact you had one at all. There is nothing special about New Years. It is an arbitrary day assigned an arbitrary number that has arbitrary meaning in a society you were arbitrarily born into. There is no magic in it that will make your wishes for change come true, especially if you do nothing, as usual. Magical New Year’s fairy dust won’t make you the person you want to be. You can’t sprinkle it on a pile of books you want read or a treadmill you want results from or a human you want to friend and expect those things to happen. It’s just skin cells and dirt, like dust always is, like it was yesterday and like it will be tomorrow.
Perhaps one of your biggest mistakes was that you thought positive life changes can only be implemented on a specific date once a year. This is a common misconception, and you’re not alone in such convoluted thinking. However, research has shown that these kinds of changes can take place regardless of the date. Science has thus released us from the prison of miniscule timelines and disposed of our archaic excuses. Thank goodness.
And finally, you may have unfortunately bought into the idea that transformation happens instantly. This is a most inaccurate notion. A large pine tree grows in my front yard. It was not always large. It has grown over the past 15 years into a respectably sized organism, just as you have. Family dysfunction that has festered for decades will not disappear in a month. Bad habits you’ve practiced daily since college will not take kindly to being abandoned. You are still yourself, after all, and that includes everything you would rather not include.
So yes, you have failed to become a new person overnight, the person you should, can, and want to be. You ate another cookie, cursed in front of a child, or vomited into a friend’s shoe. Nothing has changed.
But don’t despair yet. There’s still hope, and it’s not because next year is another year, or tomorrow is another day. It’s because every day you have a million chances to right your wrongs and strangle your bad habits. You have a first, second, fourth, and eight hundred and sixtieth chance to get it right, and that’s just today, after which there will likely be a tomorrow. But there’s no reason to wait. Screw New Year’s Resolutions.
Lastly, I would like to apologize, as it appears I’ve just written an inspirational blog post.
I just loved,
“You ate another cookie, cursed in front of a child or vomited into a friend’s shoe. Nothing has changed!”
“You awoke New Year’s Day having retained many if not all of the habits and excuses from your former life of 2 days ago and you still find it difficult to do the things you should do and accomplish the goals you put off when today was tomorrow.”
Both of those should be bumper stickers! (six foot long bumperstickers, I’ll grant you, but bumperstickers all the same.)
I love the way you think! 🙂
I think the solution would be to have bigger cars….thanks for reading!
Holy crap. If that’s inspirational, warn me before you do a dark post – I want my popcorn to be ready before I start reading.
All true and couldn’t agree more.
Though I did accomplish one resolution – when I bought my surfboard in September, I promised if the weather wasn’t brutal, I would be out surfing on 1 January 12.
And I was.
Growing up on the great plains, we didn’t get a lot in the form of encouragement, and I suppose I’ve inherited those hard-scrabble ways. Some might call it berating, but for me this is on par with a hug.
But congratulations on accomplishing your NYR…well done. You’re one of the few, I guarantee you. I haven’t made any goals yet, but I already have countless to do lists. I think those count. Happy New Year!
No, thank you!