Vacationing in sunny Aruba during the month of December has only amplified my confusion as the sudden arrival into perfect summer weather quickly robbed me of last week's Christmas, cold-weather related memories. So it was with a certain amount of surprise that, while nursing my sad little sunburn after a morning at the beach, I remembered that today is, in fact, the last day of 2013.
I imagine many of us will be making resolutions today, as we are apt to each December 31st. I hope we'll all be wise enough to document them somewhere so as to check in on them from time to time during the upcoming year. I'm the type of person who tends to make resolutions during all times of the year. I'm also the type of person who tends to abandon them quickly. On the eve of my 30th birthday (a week before TC's attack), I compiled a beautiful list of all the lovely habits I wished to carry into my third decade of life: healthy eating, more exercise, more sleep, yadda yadda. It should be stated with no uncertainty that each of the items on my list was instantly torpedoed out of my life the day I was forced to face the new reality of the impending decade. Slowly, and with much healing, I have been able to recover many of these highly esteemed habits (albeit with limited consistency).
This year, however, I am not interested in list making or self-punishment. I've spent plenty of years engaging in both. New Year's resolutions are a great reminder that we ourselves are the ultimate driving force of change in our lives, but they are meaningless without the resolve to carry them through. This year I plan to resist the urge to set strict parameters for my existence in 2014. It would be terrific to make it to the gym five times a week, for example, but just to move at every possible opportunity, at every impromptu dance party with my son, or morning meeting in my fourth grade classroom, is more likely to bring joy to me and to others.
I'd like to go forward into 2014 without resolutions, but with great resolve. Resolve to live boldly, unapologetically, and kindly. Resolve to shut up every once in awhile and just listen. Resolve to learn more and read more, for both these things broaden my world, take me outside of myself, and remind me that there's a whole lot of stuff out there about which I am quite clueless (which is, incidentally, a great method for squelching self-importance). I have a whole lot to learn this year about the world and I resolve to let those lessons in.
Call me the New Year's grinch, but the only true difference I can see between today and tomorrow is our resolve to think differently and, ultimately, our resolve to let our thinking impact our actions. Cheers to you all, to 2014, and to all the life it holds in store.