I HATE New Years Resolutions

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Yeah, I said it. And I’ll say it again…I hate New Years resolutions!!!

Most of all, I hate what they’ve become in our culture. A way to mostly look at the superficial qualities of our lives and think that somehow we’ll be happier if we change them. Oh, and there are usually tons of products we can buy that will “help” us achieve them, so its now time to pony up.

Secondly, I don’t think anyone really changes as a result of resolving to do so – at least not in the long term. Most changes that last come about as a result of fearless introspection combined with time and lots of patience.

I’ve written before about the limits I see to willpower. But there is something even more insidious about how most people approach resolutions. For some people (not all), this becomes a time to unleash all of the “shoulds” that have been rolling around in our heads. Most often, these are the shoulds that others in our lives or culture have laid on us as baggage. To resolve to meet those shoulds is usually not only doomed to fail, but negates our own true desires for ourselves.  

Well, now that most of you have probably labeled me the Scrooge of New Years, I think I’ll back off a bit. I do think this time of year is a great opportunity for reflection. I especially like to take some time to think about what I’ve learned over the last 12 months and celebrate any small incremental changing I’ve done.

As I do that today, what strikes me the most is something Nezua wrote this year that became an essay of mine.

We are always new. Every moment is new. No moment need be like anything that came before, even when the resemblance is striking and our imagination lacking. And yet, of course we must learn from who we once were. But to let a lesson that once helped inform every step forward is to walk an old path, and to preclude the sight of new horizons from our view.

Because life is not like a series of books in a course on …anything. It fluctuates. We fluctuate. We are not a being, but a becoming, as Friedrich once said. And sometimes ideas are hammered out and we draw lines and walls and are told we fall on one side or the other and so do our thoughts and so does all that follows from them…and so it goes. We buy into these illusory borders, too.

I am far more comfortable navigating the in-between than I am in any Place. I like no thing as much as the coming and going from one to another. It is on the purpling beaches of dusk and the roseing gauze of dawn that my true eye shines lidless and I see so much more than in broad daylight. In the falling away of my tired husk I remember my shape can only be held temporarily. And to cling too tightly to it is to rot.

Being sure is but the borderwall we place around a heart to ward off the skinstripping wind of the next living moment.

I have a hunch that in 2009 we might all be facing some of that “skinstripping wind.” I just hope that I’m open enough to see the “next living moment” that is laid bare.


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    • Edger on January 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    and instead tell people who tell you that you should do this or you should do that that they should remove should from their vocabulary and grow a sense of humor instead?

    I think they should, anyway. 😉

    • Robyn on January 1, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    …for tomorrow evening.  I haven’t tried to think beyond that.  In fact, I haven’t actually managed to accomplish that one thing I have thought about.

  2. and accept it. Easier then kicking around the striving for perfection that doesn’t exist and would be a real drag, one man’s perfection and all.. Change happens no matter what you do and to contemplate to long to hard just stops the action/ momentum needed for change. . I hate them too I should try reverse psychology and resolve to be a real asshole, maybe my brain will rebel and I’ll be a ‘good’ person. My grandaughters word of wisdom ‘Were all only human.’ the trick seems to be to define human. My ponying up involves looking at perfection in new eyes the ones I seem to have not yet found. They won’t come by strife internal or external they are just around the corner, and waiting, they are accepting and full of the moment.  

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