I’m going to put myself out there. I make New Year’s resolutions almost every year — and I rarely keep them. If I had, I’d be in fabulous shape, a great cook, faithfully dedicating five hours per week to volunteer service, never in any consumer debt, earning $1.5 million annually, going out twice a week to find Mr. Right… you get my point.
When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, I’ve done it all.
I’ve written the names of people and things I’ve wanted out of my life on slips of paper and burned them. I’ve cleaned my house with ammonia and sage. I’ve brought in the New Year on my knees… praying (get your minds out of the gutter) for changes, miracles and other holy feats to help morph my life. I’ve partied like a rock star with gal pals. I’ve laundered every piece of cloth in my home. I even spent one New Year’s Eve in bed sleeping! (It was 1999 and if life as we knew it ended, I wanted to be out before the count.) One thing remained constant; no matter what I tried to leave in the old year, I always brought the same ole gift to the new one: me.
New Year’s Eve is kind of like prom night, at least to me. It’s so hyped up. Most years I’ve succumbed to the “okey doke.” I make plans for the night to be perfect. I want to be in a special place… with divine people… to set off a fabulous year… you know the drill. Over the years I’ve become adept at creating superb scenarios to “guarantee” the pendulum will stay on my side for the next twelve months. I’ve spent that magical midnight hour with currents, exes, and hopefully “nexts” trying to cosmically ensure love would linger. I’ve socialized with movers and shakers for business luck; bumpers and grinders to will more fun into my life; and prayer warriors to help bring God’s blessings closer.
This time around my New Year’s motto is “enjoy the journey.” I realize that I’ve spent so much time hoping, wishing, praying and negotiating for something better, that I don’t always take the time to simply be. You know, be present. Be happy. Be grateful. Now my epiphany isn’t due to any sublime insight, but rather a humbling admission: Every year, regardless of what I vow to change on December 31, I’m still me. And you know what? I like me. I’m not perfect. I am improving.
No amount of prayers, tears or mildly tipsy booty-shaking — hey, I’m not always totally square — has ever helped me usher in dramatic changes starting on January 1. In fact, there are only three things that have worked: faith, deeds and a bit of luck. All of those happened with the same ole me. Finally, I feel like I get it. I know my higher power doesn’t just check in at the end of the year; he’s with me every day. And I am willing to do the same: be with myself daily.
Today, I am working every day to do better, and be better. I accept that change happens in the moment — every moment and each day. There is only one time to make a difference in your life: right now. I don’t need to wait for a magical date or sublime time. I must work hard to improve daily. Accept my faults daily. Appreciate my blessings daily. Guess what? I think I just made resolution after all — the only thing is… it started yesterday.
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