Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions??

Happy 2010!!

Last night, my fifteen-year-old nephew, Jonathan, and I were the only two still awake to usher in the new year (how things have changed from the parties that used hallmark my every new year's eve celebration!).  Somewhere in the distance, we could hear fireworks going off, marking the moment.

The clock striking midnight brought us to that time of year again: when we think about the year gone by; take stock of our lives; look forward to the new year; and, for some, contemplate new year's resolutions.

For many years in my twenties and early thirties, I compiled lists of new year's resolutions.  Some I kept; most I forgot about before January had expired.  Then, at some point about a decade ago, I observed  that kids seemed to be relatively and blissfully free of the obsession with self-improvement that most adults became preoccupied with around the new year.  I decided that I, too, wanted to be free of the pressure to make big changes simply because it was the turn of the year.  Sure, there are lots of things I'd like to do in the new year: lose weight; exercise more; not let the laundry sit in the washing machine for more than twenty-four hours; organize more around the house; the usual stuff.  But I gave up on making new year's resolutions and was instantly glad about it because I no longer felt badly about myself when I didn't meet the lofty ambitions I'd previously established for myself!

I do, however, tend to sit down and think about various aspects of life around this time of year - it's sort of like maintaining a status report of things like: my role as a wife and parent; my spiritual life; my recreational life/friendships; my professional life; my fitness/wellness life; my hobbies; and so on.  I intend to do the same this year in the coming weeks.  I'll figure out where I'm at in each of these areas, and decide what direction I'd like to take them going forward; if the direction needs adjusting, I try to figure out specific things I could do to make that adjustment.  This tends to work for me - it's a somewhat more thoughtful approach to life than I might otherwise take, but not so intense or ambitious as to daunt me from making some needed alterations.

I'd love to hear about how others spent their new year's eve, and about how others approach the coming year - do you make resolutions??

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