New Year’s Day is time when we make promises to ourselves to reform our ways and try to be better people. We decide that we will give up all of our vices and be reborn. We will promise to lose or gain weight, stop drinking, stop smoking, stop eating so much, spend less time on the internet and more time calling friends on the phone, exercise more often and walk 10,000 steps a day. We will stop shopping compulsively on Amazon, Etsy and eBay, We will start eating kale and collard greens and stop thinking that a sip of orange juice constitutes one of the five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. We will only eat one cheeseburger with fries a year. We will improve our relationships with near and dear. We will be punctual, be more frugal or be more profligate after years of being frugal. We will clean out our garages, donate clothes that we haven’t worn in ten or more years, be good about performing delayed maintenance on our cars and homes. We will return library books on their due date, brush and floss twice daily and remember to turn the water off while doing so. We will give way to other drivers when appropriate and thank other drivers for doing the same. We will drink more water, eat less meat, eat more fish and legumes.We will learn a new skill, pursue a new hobby and take an extension course to improve our minds. We will reread the great books and/or read any book, but especially those we’ve always meant to read and never finished, i.e. James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake and Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. We will learn how to play chess, the guitar or the piano and spend more time doing volunteer work. We will also spend more time doing what pleases us and stop worrying about what doesn’t. We will step on the scale everyday or stop stepping on the scale everyday. We will remember that signing up for a gym membership is not the same as going to the gym. We will smile more often at strangers in the hurlyburly of city life. And so much more…..
Now in the middle of my seventh decade, my New Year’s resolution is to stop feeling guilty about what I do and what I don’t do and just try and do the best I can. Instead I hope to start the New Year by simply enjoying each day that I awake and find that I’m still alive. And when that doesn’t happen, none of rest will matter.
Happy New Year to all.