Parties. Food. Champagne. Music. Dancing. Socializing.
However, I’ve heard it said that with everything good we have to accept the bad.
I’m not sure I agree.
And I don’t know if this is true.
But I do know that for me to enjoy New Year’s I also am required to contemplate, however briefly, the idea of New Year’s resolutions.
It seems to be highly emotional — and not in a good way — and negatively charged for most people.
In fact, most people I asked disliked New Year’s resolutions so much they just won’t have any of it. They simply don’t make any New Year’s resolutions at all.
“Why bother?” asked one lady. “I never stick to them anyway!” Except for this once, a long time ago, when she made her last resolution and resolved to never make New Year’s resolutions ever again!
“Besides, the more resolutions I made, the more weight I gained,” she said. “So I just stopped.”
I also discovered in talking with area folks that there is a big difference between a to-do list, a goal and a resolution, so I was told.
Little everyday stuff goes on a to-do list, like buying peanut butter.
A goal is a long-term project you want to see happen — one day — like getting a new car some day.
But a resolution, on the other hand, is something that you want to change in yourself. Something that will improve your life and make you happier or healthier or more financially secure or more successful.
I was also told that only about 1 percent of people who actually make resolutions, which seems to be only about 1 percent of all people, actually accomplish their resolutions.
Now, I’m not that good at math, but doesn’t that come to about three people? And I do believe I am rounding up at that! Not an encouraging statistic.
In trying to find some enlightenment on resolutions, I tried to find out how the tradition of New Year’s resolutions started. I discovered that most historians agreed that it started more than 4,000 years ago with the Babylonians straightening up their debts and/or returning borrowed items from folks in the old year before they started the new — a clean slate, as it were.
Not a bad plan, really. Start the year off with a clean slate. But I don’t have a slate, so I’d have to borrow one or buy one with my credit card ’cause I probably don’t have enough cash to buy a slate — even though I don’t have a clue how much a slate costs, I’m just figurin’ — and I’d be back to where I started!
In an informal survey of these same area folks, the top New Year’s resolution always seems to be to lose weight.
Other favorites that naturally followed included stop smoking, pay off bills, save money, spend quality time with family, get a better job (which this year seems to have been revised to just plain getting a nice job), drink less alcohol, exercise more, be more “green,” watch less TV, drive more carefully, eat out less often, go to church regularly, be nicer to people, be a better friend, stress less and smell the roses more.
The list was never-ending, it seemed. And always involving something difficult or unpleasant.
But, even so, not a single person I talked with, however, went so far as to list working more as a resolution. Even those who wanted to get a better job or even just a nice job didn’t want to spend their lives just working. Most just wanted to spend their time working just enough and only if they absolutely had to.
I don’t know why, but my list of top New Year’s resolutions differs quite a lot from this list of familiar resolutions.
In fact, my entire attitude toward New Year’s resolutions is a bit different.
It seems to me that everyone is starting off wrong from the get-go.
I’m more on the side of this one younger daughter of one of the mom’s I surveyed. She said her resolution is to start a campaign to get more ladies to wear more lipstick. This little one felt that all women look so much prettier when they wear lipstick!
I like THAT resolution.
So, here are a couple of my ideas to maybe help make resolution-making just a little more fun and a lot easier to stick to.
My first rule of making resolutions is to figure out what I would like and not what others say I should want or do. It’s so much easier to do what I like than to do what someone else tells me to do.
Same with you?
Let me see. Let me start with shopping, watching more movies, going flea marketing, tasting delicious new recipes, singing — even at the grocery store, drinking more interesting flavored coffee, saying “hello” to all puppies that cross my path ... and, did I mention shopping?
That’s just a few.
I’m sure you’ve got a few ideas of your own.
But I’m beginning to think I’m not really in the spirit of all this resolution business.
But, I don’t care.
That’s my second rule of making resolutions. (I apparently only have two.) I don’t care what people think about my resolutions.
I’ve decided I’ve had enough of the serious side of life, the fulfilling of duties, the sticking my nose to the grind stone life.
I’ve decided I want to enjoy life.
I want to have fun.
I want to be happy and I want to be happy now.
Don’t get me wrong. There is enough out in the world that keeps pulling me back to harsh reality. Making these difficult and stern and somber resolutions seems to go against the idea of the original resolutions of clearing the slate of my life.
In other words, reality is going to intrude itself into my life no matter what I do.
At least I can resolve to make my life as lovely and happy and enjoyable as possible. Harsh reality and strict responsibility can resolve to do its own severe work to intrude into my life, but I don’t have to help it with my own harsh and strict resolutions.
Reality and responsibility, you are, as of 2011, hereby on notice.
You are both on your own!
I resolve to ignore you!