I mentioned last year at this time (perhaps every year at this time) that I think new year resolutions are silly. Changes don’t happen overnight. And the resolutions generally fall into a few categories: weight loss/smoking cessation, family guilt, saving money. I still have yet to talk to someone who actually made good on their resolution of years past. I imaging that the resolution thing was invented because new years is a nonsense holiday. So you have to remember to write a different number on your checks (yeah, checks, remember those?). That deserves a holiday. If you need a reason to cut loose, get all drunky, and kiss someone you had been hoping to kiss all year, then more power to you. I propose that you do that regularly, not just at the turn of the calendar. Anyway, I propose that the resolution is added to the holiday to make it more purposeful, or more interesting, or something. Because drunkiness isn’t that much of a novelty.
So I didn’t “celebrate” new years. I’m getting over a case of bronchitis. I didn’t blog about it over the holiday because it’s boring and I felt bad and with the snow and all, I didn’t want to sound all whiny. But the point is that even if I had been inclined to live it up on NYE (which I do about every decade or so), it would not have been wise. Plus, I like to be all lucid and sharp for football on the first. Priorities, you know.
Instead of making resolutions for the new year (and let’s be clear, I am always working to motivate myself to get to the gym), I would rather look back on what went well in 2008. This past year was a mixed bag, for sure. I did a lot of the “why am I here and what am I doing?” kind of thinking. I needed to. And then I did some “why am I doing that and how can I stop?” thinking. And then some “how could I be doing this better?”. And then I bought a lot of books and started meditating (which is totally hard when you have bronchitis). That’s my 2008 retrospective. Haha.
So for example, I decided that nobody was going to come to my door unexpectedly, judge the cleanliness of my home and expect to be served beautiful food. I still keep a clean house, but the sense of urgency that has me cleaning house all weekend long is gone. The quest for the appearance of perfection is tiring. Every time I felt like I ‘should” do something, I asked myself why (because if you have to tell you that you should, it’s probably not something you take joy in). Sometimes it was important (I should replace the garage door), and sometimes not (I should put on makeup before I go to the grocery store).
And that was my big change this year. It doesn’t sound big, but it is. I was able to make a lot more time for just taking care of myself and doing relaxing things this year. The goodness that resulted: I went to Australia, I read a number of books this year, I learned how to knit, I added relaxation through meditation (and a little bit of yoga I need to get back to), I spent more time cooking, I improved my relationships with friends, I spent less time gardening (woohoo!) and doing home improvement, and much less time stressing over things I can’t control or that aren’t important.
I can’t pretend that nothing went wrong in 2008, because it certainly had its challenges! My life is not all butterflies and rainbows. I’m trying to shake off my tendency to focus on what is fixable (because that happens to be all the stuff that is wrong) and focus on what is important instead. Yeah, that is a work in progress. 2008 was my transition year to awesomeness.
Anyway, new years resolutions are designed to fix what is wrong. And that feels like a “should” and I am not participating in that business. I’ll be winging it in 2009. But I do wish all of you a happy 2009. Even if you are one of “those people” taking up the treadmills at the gym. Because I know I’ll get them back in February.