Resolving Nothing: Part 1

10 Jan

If you do them, I’m not critical of you. I’m in awe, really. That ability to think so clearly in hazy grey of January. To hang your new calendar and assemble action plan. I have tried this many times in the past. I have failed at this many times in the past. Not the hanging of the calendar part. That, I can handle. It’s teh resolving. The ubiquitous New Years Resolution list.

To me, they are a negative exercise. I understand that most people don’t see it that way. Instead, they are energized by the chance to start anew, 365 days to make the year whatthey want it to be. But to me, that resolution list, is like a list of shame.

It says,

  • Here is everything that is wrong with me.
  • Here are the places where I have failed.
  • Here are all of the flaws I want to fix.

And I carry that list with me all the time. On my darkest days I dig it out. I dive into it and let it swallow me. I swirl down the drain of imperfection and am consumed by the muck. It doesn’t help me to go dragging it out every January 1st (and let’s be honest, isn’t everyone’s list pretty much the same every year?). The weight of that is just too much. I have plenty of other days to disappoint myself, I don’t need to construct a list to guarantee that I will.

So, I am resolving nothing.

That doesn’t mean I’m ignoring a chance at introspection, or an opportunity to reflect. I’m just not creating a list that shows everything that I think is wrong with me. Even if I were to create that list, I’d be lying to say that I know what the solution to all of those problems are, simply because it is a new year. January 1st is no more illuminating than December 31st. I’m still the work in progress that I was the day before and will be the day after.

With that in mind, I’m doing two exercises to mark the passage of what is certain to be one of the most memorable years of my life. The first exercise you can read about here. The second, here. I’ll post my responses in upcoming posts.

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3 Responses to “Resolving Nothing: Part 1”

  1. juliepippert January 10, 2008 at 8:11 am #

    Oh THAT’s IT! Yes, it can be a bit like a list of shame. I see how it isn’t for some people, but if you are a perfectionist like me? It’s not quite right to do. That’s why I don’t Why I have a general theme, such as The Year of I Don’t Think So and the Year of Being Worthy.

    Your exercises are a good idea.

  2. Garrett January 10, 2008 at 9:01 am #

    I have never been fond of Resolutions, as such I’ve never made one. I have always felt that a resolution was a pointless exercise. If something is actually important to me, then I will do it ( or at least attempt to ). I do not need a resolution to do what what I need to do. But, what do I know I’m just some guy.

  3. Lynne January 10, 2008 at 3:08 pm #

    I’ve already written my two-cents worth on resolutions. I’m with Garrett – if something needs to be done, start doing it (or at least try).
    Having said that, Andrea’s exercise definitely has its appeals, especially if you’re leaving a particularly traumatic year (or years) behind.

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