Ah, New Year’s Day. The day when we all get to be shiny and new. Yesterday we promised that next year, we would be better: healthier, happier, kinder, more forgiving, more generous, more thoughtful, more organized. Today is the day most of us try our best to fulfill that promise. Tomorrow is the day most of us give up.
We’ve gotten used to instant gratification. Practically everything we could want is available the moment we want it. But changing yourself takes more than a day. It takes more than a promise, or a hope, or even a commitment. It takes work. That promise, and your commitment to it, will need to be reevaluated and renewed. Every single day. Change is inevitable, but if you want to be in control of where change takes you, you have to choose to be so. How many of us are familiar with deciding to work out more often? And when we make the decision, we are so determined, so full of the rush of knowing this will help us feel better. Then we get caught up in daily routines, stressed about work or family or money, and even though we’ve been working hard, there is a day when we don’t stick to our plan. No big deal, we can pick up tomorrow. But then it happens again. And again. And in a while, we realize it’s been weeks since we have actually worked out. We aren’t sure how it happened, but there it is. And now it’s starting over from the beginning, and that’s just plain exhausting.
This is why I say we have to decide to change, every day. There is just too much going on in our lives, we are all moving too fast for a lesser commitment to be successful. Time moves so fast, and in order to make the most of it, we have to take charge.
2014 was a hard year for me. I went through some really rough times, lost some important people, and perhaps most importantly, lost a part of myself. It’s taken me most of the year to realize I will never get that part back. The me that was can never be again. I have become a new shape, smaller in some places and larger in others, and I have to choose how to fill that shape in. And this is a constantly ongoing process. In the midst of all my struggles, I started a career that so far has been an enormous blessing. I’ve moved forward in so many ways. I already started my New Year’s resolution. Two weeks ago, I decided I was done with feeling weak and out of shape. And every day since, I have done something about it. I am very out of shape, so nothing is too strenuous, but there is yoga, and stretching, and the beginnings of boxing practice again. Every day, I tell myself I will do something. And there have been days it almost doesn’t happen. But because I make that promise to myself, it does. Sometimes it is just a little stretching right before bed, but it is something. And slowly, that will grow into something more. Big dramatic promises don’t work for me. I am changing slowly, a little tiny bit at a time. And I am taking charge of how that change happens.
So, my not-so-new friends, I wish you the best of luck in 2015. Whatever your goals, your dreams and desires, whether or not you turn them into resolutions, I wish you the strength and determination to see them through, and to take charge of your life. Blessed be.