Now that the gift giving portion of the holiday season is behind us, it’s time to look inward. New Year’s Resolutions are being crammed down our throats from every direction. Diets, gym memberships, self-help programs and other ways to improve ourselves in the coming year. The message, of course is one we don’t need much help with: You are not good enough. If you are not on good terms with yourself, don’t wait till the end of the year for self-examination, get on it in June when you first realized you were going down the wrong path. I am not judging, because we should strive to have enough self-awareness to correct things that need correcting. This is a wonderful time to kick back and relax during the short days and long nights, not beat yourself up. Instead, we turn on, or tune into, a recap of the year which makes us run an internal film on our own life. Plus, we have Facebook memories to help remind us. (I turned my reminders off. My husband loves this feature, it’s his favorite part of Facebook.)
I am at a point in my life where change comes slow and reluctantly. Losing weight doesn’t happen within the money-back guarantee time frame on the diet programs being promoted. Self-examination happens daily, I don’t need a book or online program to make me feel better, or worse about myself. What I do like about this time of year is the ability to have quiet reflection on all that is good, not bad, that has taken place. Seeing the good in life takes practice, it doesn’t happen naturally, for me anyways. I see commercials and posts about wanting the year to be over already. I started this blog to help me slow things down and take notice of what goes on in life when we stop, listen and look. I don’t want the year to come to an end quickly, it will get here soon enough and faster than I want it to. Turning the page means I am older and my kids are older. It’s a blessing to grow old, so I will look at it that way instead of looking at the wrinkles on my face and the extra payload I am carrying around.
The New Year’s resolution dates back some 4000 years, according to the History Channel, we have the ancient Babylonians to thank for the celebrations held around the new year. For them it began in March, not January, when it was time to plant crops. A 12-day festival was held that honored a new king, and all were encouraged to make promises to the gods. In ancient Rome, Julies Caesar changed the calendar to establish January 1 as the start of the new year in honor of the two-faced god Janus who looked backwards as well as into the future. Romans, as history suggests, offered sacrifices to the gods and made promises to be good in the coming year. Christians marked the first day of the new year with a tradition of thinking about past mistakes and resolving to get it right in the future.
It seems we are hard-wired to examine where we have been and where we need to go. This is a good thing if we don’t take it too seriously, or make too many demands on ourselves. I am not into making myself sad about what I failed at. I look at it, as it wasn’t the right time to accomplish this. I tried, and I learned. So, go ahead and make resolutions, if you can keep them, great, if you can’t, you can’t. There’s always next year.