A New Year’s Solution

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Resolutions. A time for change. New year, new beginnings. A fresh start. Let go of the old, bring in the new. Promises broken, promises kept, promises made, all celebrated with the holiday. All done with the best of intentions.

Are those really the best of intentions we have for ourselves? Or is it just a half-hearted attempt to save face among the throes of society, so that we feel as though we are included, that we belong? Who really digs deep inside themselves at this time of year to resolute a change that would truly better our being, when we’re frazzled & tired, overwhelmed & stressed out from all of the making gay, merry, & bright with our family, friends, & co-workers alike? It seems that New Year’s has become a time to wish for changes that would better ourselves in the public’s eye, to make ourselves more likeable to others, & blend in better with everyone else. You hear the same old, worn out resolutions everywhere you turn- I’ll lose weight, get in shape, exercise more, give up certain unhealthy vices, get the finances in order, spend less, save more, & break bad habits. All of which will be lost in the day to day shuffle of real-life once the climax of the holidays has fizzled over into a reprieve that’ll be picked up again 359 days later. Why must we resolute to do things we really don’t want for ourselves anyways, only think that we do because we think everyone else does, too? Resolution defined is: a firm decision. Yet, realistically, not one resolution made at New Year’s will be made out of a firm decision to act upon it. Wouldn’t it be something to change that tradition, throw out the word resolution once & for all? Instead, let’s ring in the fresh start of the new year with solutions. Yes, I said Solutions: an answer to a problem.

Everyone has problems, there’s no exemption from this world-wide phenomenon. They come in all different sizes, shapes, & proportions, stretching across every circumstance & situation, every race, culture, & nation. If we all used this time for starting fresh with a fresh solution to a problem we have, I think there’d be more following through than just the same old making of a resolution. Solutions are fluid, flexible in their ability to continuously be adapted to better suit the problem at hand over the course of time. They’re not an unattainable declaration of solidity, made from an unrealistic idealism of oneself, unable to be manipulated with the changing tides. Most people have two images of themselves- the one they view when dealing with people outside of their personal bubble that is filtered for social acceptance & the one they view within their personal bubble that is the true, unfiltered reflection of themself. Resolutions are made with the filter turned on, so they don’t truly speak to our heart & inspire a real follow through as time progresses & life happens. There’s no room for adjustment. And what happens next if that resolution is somehow even kept & made? It’s done, completed, over with, & that’s that. There’s nothing waiting at the finish line other than a few well wishes from those who recognize the completion. Solutions leave open doors & windows at their end, inspiring new paths to be explored, & self-discoveries to be made.

Since not everyone is a self-initiator who can easily find water without being led to it to drink with the horses, most resolutions don’t even make it past the first week of the new year before they’re long forgotten about, filed away in the never ending Things-To-Do List in the back of our minds. There that resolution sits gathering dust, along with the plans to renovate the playroom, the reminders to clean behind the fridge, & the dentist appointment you made a year ago that they actually expected you to remember on your own. When you take the time to think through a problem, coming up with a reasonable solution, there’s already a built-in starting point. A solution comes with an entire plan, because it is a plan of it’s own accord. Shocking, I know!

Solutions to our problems aren’t hard to come by, they just take a little thought & little digging in deep. With the drama & the stress of maintaining the daily grind, comes a gazillion problems- if you can honestly look deeply within your soul & the life that you’ve made for yourself & say that you can’t find not one, single, tiny problem that needs solving, well, then, you cannot possibly be human. No way, no how. We ALL have problems- big, small, gigantic, & miniscule, they’re all problems just the same. It only takes one though, to make a New Year’s Solution for, but that one can have such a significant impact on your life, leading you to places that you never imagined possible before. Has a New Year’s Resolution ever done anything so great before? Not that I’ve ever seen.

In a world running at such a fast-pace, with technology making things speed up even quicker every day, it’s hard to sit back & cherish the moments you do have before time slips always completely. Moments are wasted every day because we’re so lost trying to track them down, we don’t even recognize them when they’re sitting in front of our faces. Can you truly enjoy the amazement of your child mastering a new math equation when you’re always fighting with them about doing the homework because it’s really not the right time in their day or the right learning environment to be doing homework in? Can you really sit back & relax watching a movie with your kiddos, cherishing the down time together, when your mind is going over a work presentation you didn’t put as much effort into as you’d have liked? Can you truly enjoy your dinner as a family on Sunday nights if you spent the time making it fighting with your spouse over finances? The problems lie within, taking away from our time to really enjoy the life we’ve been gifted, waiting for solutions to arise to the occasion & saving us from ourselves. A simple solution to one small problem can pave the way to finding bigger solutions for bigger problems & can stop the wasting of the precious time we have to live. We just have to spend the same few minutes it takes to crack a joke over the hypocrisy most New Years resolutions are made upon, to pick something to start with & come up with a solution.

Who knows what could happen if we all chose to make a New Year’s Solution, instead of a Resolution? There might actually be more time to kick back & cherish the moments instead of hanging onto sanity by a thread, hoping the gym will magically come to you & those last fifteen pounds of baby weight you’ve vowed to lose for the past six years will melt off on their own just by looking at the equipment. I think I’d rather cherish the moments than live in turmoil a minute longer. My New Years Solution is to start using my phone’s calendar feature to write down my appointments instead of continuing use the obsolete one hanging in my kitchen that I never look at except when I write the appointments in- then, maybe, the dentist can find an extra minute to cherish his moments instead of ending up having to schedule another fifteen minute time slot to me because I wasted both of our time by missing the first appointment I was scheduled for.

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First published as a guest blog on How My Brain Works for Cherish The Moments. 12-31-14

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