Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Resolution

N.B. This isn't quite what I'm driving at with the rest of this post.
Ever since I started attending grade school, my family and I would have a little tradition.  It's probably not unlike yours, unless you're the kind who gets invited to a New Year's Eve party every year: the TV would be on, tuned in to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, my parents would be running around to get the Martinelli and its appropriate fancy glasses (or they'll watch the TV and make some amazed comment about how old Dick Clark is/looks), and I'd have the job of running and getting pens and paper.

Pens. And paper.

Why, you ask?  To write down our resolutions, of course!  Promising we'd be better people every year, accomplish something amazing--you know the drill.  Around the time I hit middle school, though, that latter tradition kind of, well, died.  We didn't sit down and write resolutions anymore.  And once I got into blogging, I started just posting my resolutions instead.  Which is kind of what I'm doing now.


My resolution this year?  To not have a resolution.  I think I once remember reading with my mom in People or some like magazine many years ago about an actress (possibly Hilary Duff, but I can't remember for certain) who said that her resolution was to not make one at all.  Back when I heard that, I was bewildered.  Why would you want to do such a thing?  Resolutions are fun!  They're great!  They make you a better person.

Call me jaded or whatnot, but I don't think like that anymore.  Actually, to be really honest, I stopped thinking like that since last week.  I thought about what resolutions I wanted to make for 2012, and the "resolutions" that ran through my head were the same exact ones I had last year.  Ones I didn't accomplish, such as finishing my novel, reading a gazillion books, exercising more, blogging more (though perhaps on this tenet I've improved a wee bit within the past few weeks)...and it just got me more frustrated than anything (I was also probably suffering under this weird stress-anger thing from a wee mental/nervous breakdown to do said novel I was writing, but that's a long and different story).  Of course I've set goals for myself--I'm not an aimless person.  But I've realized that resolutions don't always make you a better person.  They don't always push you as much as you wish they did.  And when that ball drops in Times Square, you're not going to suddenly have the urge to accomplish much more than you did a second before.  Make goals for yourself, sure--but why limit to a year?  The difference between one year and the next is a mere minute: make lifetime goals, ones you know you can accomplish.

I still like watching the last seconds of the year tick by on TV, and I like clanging glass cups with my family and drinking Martinelli's or soda afterwards.  And yes, I still would love to be able to exercise more and perfect playing "Hallelujah" on the guitar and finish that goshdarn novel.  But if I'm going to accomplish them, it won't be just to check off a resolution.  It'll be because I want to accomplish it gratify a lifetime goal.

As a side note: If you're one of those people who REALLY take your resolutions seriously, I congratulate you, and please don't be offended by my post.  It's just that I don't know many people who do, including myself, as I find, and I think the only way to really have and fulfill a resolution would be to set mini-goals for yourself throughout the year in each month to fully accomplish it.  But who really does that?!  Again, if you do, cue the applause.  But you, like, save people's lives everyday, too, or something?

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