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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

In With the New

It's really hard to believe that we are just days away from the start of a new year. But I am trying to take a positive view of this, starting with how I worded that sentence. I could easily have written "the end of the year," but that has some negative aspects to it and I want to send a more positive message. And what could be more positive than new beginnings?

I used to dread this time of year because it's a time when you take stock of the things you did - or didn't do - in the previous twelve months and focus all of your attention on the things you want to accomplish in the coming year. That's a lot of pressure. What if you didn't do what you set out to do the previous year? Does that make you a failure? Worse, what if you did - how do you top that in the new year? And whose great idea was it to make New Year's Resolutions anyway? We are just setting ourselves up for failure because we often choose goals that are grander than our capacity to meet them. Yeah, what's not to love about that?

Well, a few years back, I made my final resolution and I'm happy to say that I've kept it every year since. That resolution not make a resolution. Why say I'm going to do something that I'll only abandon six weeks into the new year because I set my standards way too high? Why start the new year off with a failure? I'd rather make realistic, attainable goals. So that's what I've been doing for the past five years or so. Setting out New Year's Goals for myself. The goals may be altered or postponed, according to circumstance, but never truly abandoned. Why? Because I don't put pressure on myself to achieve them like people tend to do with resolutions. Drop 40 pounds by bikini season? But there's still that big party on New Year's Eve, then the Super Bowl - what if my team makes it in, got to have a snack fest. And then there's Valentine's Day - chocolate! - St.Patrick's Day - love that corned beef - and Easter, all that ham and the pea soup that follows and, oh my gosh, I couldn't possibly start a diet until...May. Think I can drop 40 pounds in a month? Oh, why bother? June is the beginning of barbecue season, then there's the big 4th of July feast, and the next thing you know, it's Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas and you're making a resolution you're not going to keep for a new year you're beginning to dread because you didn't accomplish anything the previous year!

So that's why I don't make resolutions anymore. Are you with me? Let's start a revolution - the No Resolutions for the New Year Revolution! Let's start by ringing in the new year with no added pressure on ourselves - just enjoy it. Enjoy the people you're spending it with, remember the people you wish you were still able to spend it with, and be grateful you're still here to see another year ticked off the calendar of life.

Wishing you the very best in the new year, Margay

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