I’ve long stated that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I don’t believe we should wait until the beginning of an entire new year to make big positive changes in our lives. But I do tend to make them anyway, not as resolutions, but as just “after the holidays, ______.”
December can be brutal! Yes, it’s a time for family and friends and celebration, but that’s not always a positive. For many, it can be downright toxic. I’ve got a pretty great crew in my life. I’d say my worst Decembers were just overcrowded, with holiday parties and family gatherings, including work Christmas parties at multiple jobs, then New Year’s Eve house hopping, then New Year’s Day leftover party, plus pork and sauerkraut, and oh yeah, you people who are rude enough to have December birthdays so I’ve got to fit those parties and dinners in, too! OK, I’m kidding, I love you, and it probably sucks more for you sharing your birthday with major religious holidays all your life … so how about celebrating your half birthday instead? Let’s party all June! Eh?
That’s how my resolutions accidentally happen despite my resolve to not resolve. By the time December is over, I’m heavier on the scale, with my irritable bowel syndrome turned to furious bowel syndrome, and if I’m being honest, my liver is a bit overworked, too.
Come January, I’m so eager to just feel better, that I do choose it to be a time to get back to my healthy eating, and I can, because I’m sick of people and will be a recluse all month and make all my own food. And I’ll get back to exercising, because I’ve got all the extra time now not getting my house ready for gathering after gathering and oh yeah, that recluse thing.
I did try to keep decent balance this December. I said no to things. I spread out the gatherings. I tried to keep things small. I did OK. So maybe December 29 and December 30 I binged on chicken fingers from local pizzerias, but the 28 days leading up to that, I didn’t, and I’ll reflect no further on it. I’m looking ahead.
I like that the New Year came on a weekend this year. There’s that little grace period before going back to work Monday, January 3rd. Because whether I admit they are resolutions or not, I will be commencing with my “changes” and I can start late if I choose. Heck, I could start January 10th if I choose. So can you!
It is important to not try too many changes at once; it’s overwhelming. It’s important to not be so absolute that any waver means failure and abandoning it all.
I think the most important choice is to not look back on 2021 and feel bad about how we lived it or feel like we failed at anything, but instead to look ahead at 2022, choose to be our best selves and try well enough so that we manage to be better selves, without ever being ashamed of our inevitable slip ups and chicken fingers.
Happy New Year and blessings to you!