I’m not a fan of traditional or cliched New Year’s resolutions. Most of them don’t work. The plans to quit smoking, lose weight, be nicer, spend less all seem to evaporate by mid-April, or before. At this moment I’m not privy to the empirical evidence but, I seem to recall many articles and broadcast stories (not fake news on social media or out of the “administration”) that offered the same conclusion. I think positive change should happen whenever the resolve hits you.
That said, I do like beginnings. In my previous blog I said I sucked at doing endings. I guess that is because I often feel there is not enough time to tie up all the details. Beginnings offer the promise of a tabula rasa. Well, better than a blank slate but, rather, one that contains the essence of lessons learned.
Beginnings represent personal forgiveness. They give us the chance to look back on our screw ups and let us say, “God, I will never do that again.” They are a good time to be introspective and ask what we could do to improve ourselves.
Introspection is an often ignored human behavior. I think it is a reflection of the general fear of acknowledging mental health. People are afraid to look inside themselves and ponder their motivations. They are afraid of being called, “crazy.” This is stupid. I think this is why so many resolutions fail.
For instance, why do I not write when I know it is to my benefit to practice a craft I love, that gives me joy BECAUSE it challenges my mind? Is it fear, laziness, writer’s block, the fact that I loathe my computer? Lately, I’ve been wondering if it is because I believe I am unworthy of feeling the joy. And, if that is so, it exposes another layer. I need to work on my self worth. That’s the real issue. The resolution isn’t that I am going to write more. It is that I am going to start believing that I deserve to experience the joy of expressing my creativity.
I am convinced that if people would just expose themselves to themselves they could be more successful in keeping their resolutions because they would reach a better understanding of their own motivations.
Perhaps the best resolution is to try to better understand ourselves.
Happy New Year.
Bare Douglas Firs in Northeast Oregon. I took this in the mid-1990’s.