Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Come on, make a resolution: you know you want to!

It must be resolution time; I can hear you groaning from here.

It sounds something like this: you hate resolutions. Resolutions are stupid, passé, cliché. You never keep them and it’s pointless to even bother making them.

Yeah right – you don’t fool me.

Why even bother trying to fight January’s annual orgy of self-improvement? It’s hardwired in most of us. Chances are, if you go back a few generations, your ancestors came to Canada or the United States after resolving to make a better life for their families. I know mine did.

And our ancestor’s legacy is our own constant urge towards self-improvement – an urge that is both the pride and the bane of the North American middle class.

Sometimes I hear people say the secret to life is to want less, to do less, to simplify, to stop trying to improve. And sometimes when I feel stressed, when the free-lance work in our crazy business is slow, I lament that I have acquired some many things, a lifestyle and expectations, to which I must tend.

And at those times the idea of a little hut somewhere in the islands, where the sun is bright and life is slow, seems almost unbearably lovely.

But deep down I don’t know if that lifestyle would suit me. Deep down I think it may be the striving on which I thrive.

It’s not that I’m not already happy – I am – so very, very happy. It’s not that I don’t count my existing blessings – in fact I listed them in a rather colorful fashion just a few months back.

It’s just that life is short and the world is big and there are so many things to do and places to go and people to meet and I feel compelled to jam in as much as possible – to gobble up enough experiences to sustain happy memories and crazy stories for those days when I’m confined to my rocker.

And after all, even if it’s wearying sometimes, isn’t the constant striving, the resolving to be stronger, faster, happier, richer, thinner what makes North America such a wonderful place to live? Yes, it’s tiring, but isn’t it infectious, this ever-present idea that things can always, will always, get better, if only we resolve to make them so?

So don’t fight it. Promise yourself that you’ll jump on the treadmill, go for a run, start playing piano, hug your kids every day or cook from scratch and then give it your best shot.

And have a busy, prosperous and happy new year!

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18 comments:

Jen said...

I notice I tend to make resolutions throughout the year. In January, because its a new year, in the Spring because everything is new & fresh, in the summer because I have more free time, in the fall because its a new year of school.

Amy U. said...

Happy new year! I made resolutions this year, too.

Assertagirl

My Ice Cream Diary said...

This post mentions so many things that I constantly fight with myself about. I often wonder why I am constantly making new gials and resolutions. Why do I bother? Why don't I just simplify and call it good?

Thank you for giving the reason, and the permission, to keep on striving even if just for striving's sake alone.

Kristen said...

Happy New Year DMD! You are so right. I felt resistance to the resolution thing, don't want to be a cliche. But I do strive to the bigger and better in my personal life. I can't help it, and why would I want to?

GoMommy said...

So true! I don't think resolutions are chances at failure, just making them proves your attempting to improve something about yourself- and over here there is plenty of room for improvement! Just about anything could be a step up!

GoMommy said...

So true! I don't think resolutions are chances at failure, just making them proves your attempting to improve something about yourself- and over here there is plenty of room for improvement! Just about anything could be a step up!

Whitenoise said...

Well put. Hey, Happy New Year...
;-)

Kelly Malloy said...

It would take me a whole year just to list all of my resolutions! LOL!

Beck said...

I think that making resolutions is an important part of figuring out what you want for the upcoming year! Happy new year to you!

Kellan said...

Happy New Year and I hope it's the best ever - for all of us!! I have a few resolutions - not formal ones - but I always have some sort of goal or list going! See you soon. Kellan

a kelly said...

You inspire me...
I've been thinking about this today and I just may do it.
Not sure if I will post it on my blog!! That is the big question.
Do I want to be held accountable to the blog public? (which includes the people who see me every day...)

But you still inspire me...
Alex

secret agent mama said...

My resolution is to be true to myself, and in that comes exercising, eating better, having more patience, more activity on different levels, etc...

I'm just lumping them all into one category.

OOXOXOX Happy New Year!

Laura said...

Happy new year!

I have posted my resolutions...and hope to sick to them!

I appreciate your tag and promise to post soon!

Best wishes for a GREAT EIGHT!

MommyK said...

I always make resolutions and I've been pretty good at keeping them.

Top of the list this year, qutting soda!

ewe are here said...

Great post! Maybe I'll make a few resolutions after all. :-)

Happy New Year!

OHmommy said...

Happy New Year.

So true, great post. I wasn't going to make one... but now I think I might. I like the hugging your kids idea. Sweetness!

Family Adventure said...

Great post :)

My husband and I write down our resolutions each year (in secret) and then we have the big reveal the next New Year. It's always fun to see where your mind was last year, regardless of whether you kept your resolutions or not.

Heidi

kittenpie said...

Me, I have plans this year instead. Things to accomplish, like finishing the reno, decluttering, and shifting rooms. Its in progress, and I just want to finish that this year. Please!