Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash
Here we are, on the cusp of a new year again. The time of year where people turn to making their selves promises to better their selves out of guilt over the gluttony of Christmas, because it is their custom to make resolutions for the new year, or simply for a lark.
They count down to midnight, holding glasses to the sky and looking around for someone to play the age old cat and mouse game of “who do I want to lock lips with and who do I desperately want to avoid at the stroke of midnight, and oh no, is that person giving me a hungry I want to devour you look; eww, yuk, don’t touch me.” Fortunately, those firmly entrenched in romantic-type relationships have a certain sense of immunity.
The new year is often thought as chance at a new start. Out with the old and in with the new year. And for some, their yearly resolution is to adamantly proclaim to not have any new year resolutions.
For a month after New Years’, places offering life affirming, soul searching, and body improvements are to be avoided at all costs lest you lose your sanity trying to negotiate the parking lot in endless circles in hopes a spot will open.
By the end of February, many resolutions are forgotten like that dirty underwear discarded and fallen behind the laundry hamper, nagging at the back of the minds of those who remember they landed there but don’t want to dig them out. you can once again approach the gym without the expectation of spending half an hour or more circling in search of the nefariously impossible to find parking.
I am not much of a resolution maker. I never have been. I have never really seen the point myself.
Rather than making myself a yearly promise to better myself, telling everyone that I must dedicate myself to something I am loathe to do or give up, I opt for more of a daily simplicity.
It is easier to embrace healthy choices when you don’t make it a chore. Vegetables are not the enemy, boring food is. Exercise is an exploration. Don’t think about how you have to plan it, how much work it will be, just make it simple. Simple choices. Chose the positives, not the negatives.
I try to make that a simple part of everyday life. I enjoy food. I embrace it. A good meal does not have to be hard. Simplify. Healthy and delicious, rather than lazily bland and over fat inducing. I enjoy feeling good, not sluggish. Living, moving, not laying about while time ticks by without me.
If I am making any kind of resolution this year, I made it in November, during NaNoWriMo. It is not a pledge to better myself.
My promise was more of a what do I want to accomplish over the next year. Over the next years. Nothing worthwhile comes without some form of compromise. Nothing in life is ever that simple.
I made a choice to focus my effort on finishing works in progress. Choosing a story at whatever state of progress it is in, from the first drafts sitting idle to the partially done. It means sacrificing the nonstop ideas that come up, urgently wanting to be written. I have too many unfinished stories, put aside when the next story begs to be written.
And, let’s face it, writing is much more fun than editing. Creating something new, the story flowing through you with no idea where it will take you; vs. re-reading the same story a hundred times over while you work to develop it into the best thing you can make it be.
So, while the new stories clamber to be written, I will try to focus instead on the new discoveries waiting to happen with old friends as I re-explore the stories to be edited, revised, torn asunder and reconstructed, and to be finished.
And, just for fun, for the New Year’s Eve glorified resolutions and customs fanatics, for your enjoyment …
From smashing your dirty dishes on your neighbor’s door to burning effigies, to fist fights, to who steps first over a threshold, here is a list of 25 strange new year’s customs. As with anything internet based, take it for what it is, unverified and maybe true maybe not.