Crackers, cheese ball, sour cream, fresh artisan bread, bean dip fixings, and tortilla chips are all necessities for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Along with the throngs of last minute shoppers, we made our way to the local grocery store. While there, my son saw an acquaintance from his youth who had had a well-publicized tragic childhood. He walked up to him, said “Hello,” and asked how he was doing. The man’s reply was, “Not very good. I’ve had a really hard year but tomorrow is New Year’s and I get to start all over.”
Last night shortly after the clock struck midnight, my daughter suggested we try something different and all write down our New Year’s resolutions, to be placed in a time capsule not to be opened until next New Year’s Eve. Almost everyone gave her a hard time but eventually acquiesced. The little ones were most excited about the proposition, but needed help in writing the words. I asked Dylan, age five, if he had a resolution. To my surprise, with a sparkle in his eye and a smile he quickly said, “Yes,” and before I could put pencil to paper said, “I want to be a better drawer, and play the Wii, and be good to my mom and my brother,” and almost out of breath, ended with, “And be here next year.”
The rest of us had difficulty and were resistant to put anything in writing. We have all been around too many years to commit to a New Year’s resolution, only to fail at keeping it before the end of the month. Nevertheless, we all carefully crafted general goals and resolutions, and placed them in our designated time capsule; the apothecary on my hearth.
This morning I woke up and spent some time, while everyone was sleeping, reflecting on the year that had passed, and the one just beginning. My mind wandered off into the several ways I want this year to be different. “Darn,” I thought, “I’ve fallen into the trap of making New Year’s resolutions,” when I realized, a New Year’s resolution is nothing more than our “higher selves” trying to make contact with (for lack of a better term) our “lower selves.” There is a part of us that knows what’s in our best interest and will bring us the most joy, but life has a way of creating static, disrupting that vital connection.
Static is made up of many things; too much doing and not enough being; listening to the world and not trusting our inner voice; interpreting constructive feedback as criticism; involving ourselves in mindless activity and not developing our minds through learning; neglecting our bodies’ needs, such as sleep and exercise; not taking time to cultivate meaningful relationships; overlooking the power of gratitude, and in my case, falling subject to the comfort center of my brain that loves sweet and salty delicacies (Swedish Fish, to be specific).
My hope for all in 2013, is that we may clear the static that prevents us from being our true selves, by living in the “now” and being available to listen to our own inner voices that will ultimately align us with our goals and aspirations.
Happy New Year Everyone!