I approach each new year the same way Charles Dickens approached his timeless classic “A Tale of Two Cities” which he opens describing the era under scrutiny as “the best of times and the worst of times.” Because of the complexities of humans, both “best and worse” can exist in the same space. Indeed, if we are to be fully honest, both often do cohabitate the heart and mind in ways similar to conjoined twins in the womb.
The confetti, the menorah, the kinara, the lights and yes even old tannenbaum (German for Christmas tree), have been put away, and we are left trying to figure out what sense to make of this new year that we have been birthed into. Sticking with the womb analogy for a moment….. For some, like a newborn, we were startled and entered 2019 with a high pitch screech and mass confusion about…. Where the time went? Am I ready? How in the world did I end up here? And most importantly Now what? For others, we entered with silent amazement and will need to be slapped on the bottom in the coming hours/days/weeks that lie ahead, so that we may exhibit some form of acknowledgment of life or emotion that indicates that we are aware that some change in the atmosphere has occurred, whether we choose to like it or not.
For those of us in the middle of these extremes, living between panic and malaise, we know that neither complete indifference, nor manic attentiveness will alter the state of time, or dictate, how things will play out in 2019. At my age, I ditched the resolutions over a decade ago, much to the despair of all of the gym membership departments in town. I have since learned that there’s nothing magical about January 1, but rather, the magic lies in the "adulating" that happens each morning that I decide to do or not do, for the remaining 364 days of the year.
Yes yall, I said it, my decisions, my choices, the ones that I make each morning when I wake up, determines whether I make plans to live my best day, my worst day or both. What does that mean, you ask? Well, simply stated, it is advice designed to give you a framework for living that won’t end in your falling completely apart if you quit the diet by January 11th, cease going to the gym by January 18th and pick up that cigarette by January 25th. Please know that I am not advocating an unhealthy lifestyle. I really want to encourage you to make positive changes and to stick with all of your resolutions (or whatever word you are using to disguise the fact that you have given another name to what really is just another term for a resolution). The point is, should you fail, you don’t need to wait till January 1, 2020 to get back on track.
Stop living life in an all or nothing way that says, I either do everything I say, exactly as I say or I am a failure. You know, always living betwixt and between panic and malaise. There is another way to live. Wake up each morning determined to live your best day, in the best way possible. Be your biggest champion supporter! Give yourself the 7am pep talk! Put your affirmations in your purse (or your gym bag)! Pack those sneakers! Grab your Tupperware full of salad and strap on that nicotine patch as you head out the door. Now you are ready and prepared to live your best day!
HOWEVER…..If it all goes to hell by lunch time on any given day and you find yourself ditching the salad for a burger, your sneakers for a nap in the break room and a quick smoke 4 blocks from the office then please know that you are not a failure! You failed to live your best day, but you are not a failure! Tomorrow is a new day and you can decide whether to approach it with the same (or more) determination than you had on December 31st at 11:58pm. Every day can be Jan 1st because every day is a gift of newness, a proverbial do over if you will. A chance to right past wrongs, set the record straight and grab the bull (carefully) by the horns! So, while I know that this is really a better blog post for January 21st, I am giving it to you now, because what I don’t want to happen is you giving in to a spirit of defeat if your best day, turns into your worst day and you break a promise to yourself to do better. By all means, do better! I support your doing better! We can all do better! Do better is trying again and again and again, until it sticks.
Take it from this been around the block, resolution reformer, it will eventually click and when it does, WATCH OUT WORLD!