A New Year and new possibilities

1 Jan

It’s done.  It’s over.  2010 is now the past and we’re embarking on a new journey we’re calling 2011.

It’s the season of resolutions and new beginnings, and that magical day of eating weird food for “luck.”

So, what are YOUR resolutions for 2011?  What are resolutions for anyhow and why is this the season for making them?

A new year means new possibilities, and we’re also numbering our time of life.  We have just evaluated how well we think we did last year (and all the years before it) and are looking forward to another year.  Resolutions are essentially how we note what we accept as our shortcomings and our plans on how to improve ourselves.

So if you are resolving to lose weight for 2011, you are owning up to being too fat.  If you resolve to get out of debt in 2011, you are accepting the fact you have been living outside of your means.  If your resolution is to be nicer, you are owning up to not having been particularly nice before.

Makes you think about what you are resolving a bit differently, doesn’t it?

So what are MY resolutions for the coming year?

  1. To laugh a lot more.
  2. To show the people I love that I appreciate them
  3. To take the time to “smell the roses” and appreciate the natural world more
  4. To remember to tell the people I love that I love them more often
  5. To keep on learning new things
  6. To exercise my creativity more
  7. To be a bit kinder to myself and not so judgmental of my own shortcomings
  8. To go fishing a bit more often
  9. To not worry about the things I can’t change
  10. To devote myself towards helping make the changes I can in our world

All that stuff about losing weight, getting more exercise, quitting smoking, eating healthier…that’s just the “stuff” we stuff our heads with.  We all KNOW we should do those things already, and they appear regularly on our New Year Resolutions of the past.  Why keep on saying the same old thing?

Each one of mine are changes that I can achieve without beating myself up.  They are positive, feel good changes that are FUN to strive towards.  Laughing, fishing, worrying, being active in pushing for change, learning new things, etc. are all fun changes that are good for me, and highly likely to encourage me to do the not-so-fun things that should be happening already.  We can’t be physically healthier when we’re devoting ourselves to focusing on our negatives and whipping ourselves regularly over our failings.  Face it, the outside world has perfected that art, and most of us could use a great positive boost.  Who better to be a cheerleader for yourself than yourself?  How can you truly be supportive of the ones you love while you are devoted to pointing out your own failings and overlooking your own strengths?

With a list like mine, I’m ready to embark on the journey we’re calling 2011 with a smile.  And heck, even if I end the year fat, smoking, out of shape, and incapable of recognizing a healthy meal…I can always change tactics and make the usual resolutions next year, right?

I will turn 50 in 2011.  That is a mile marker year.  I’m now a grandparent for the first time.  I have EARNED the right to be peculiar, eccentric, odd, and most of all…happy.  I can quit worrying about fashion and figures.  I’m not going to suddenly morph into 20something again.  I don’t have to torture myself with shoes that kill my feet, pants that mean I can barely breath, bras that make deep breathing impossible, and shirts that warn me that sudden movements might result in a “wardrobe malfunction” anymore.  If its uncomfortable…I’m not going to bother wearing it.  If someone doesn’t like the way I wear my hair (usually up anyhow) then they don’t have to look.  Just like my lack of makeup…I don’t need that facade to hide behind anymore either.  I can choose my clothing for comfort and function (and price!)  I can wear my hair for convenience.  I’m old enough that I can be a bit odd and that’s okay, and I can marvel at this new freedom I have achieved and wonder…

Why on earth didn’t I get to be this free at 20something?

I have accepted that I am the captain of my own Good Ship Happiness, and I can drive it anyway I want to.  Nobody else can captain it, and nobody else can tell me where it can go.  Was that true when I was 20something? Of course, but I didn’t know that yet.  I was still young and green and under the misguided impression that I needed to try to conform.  Of course, being me, conforming wasn’t something I did well or particularly liked…but I tried anyhow.

I am anticipating 2011 as being the best year yet.  I’m free, I’m happy, I’m excited, and I want to SHARE!

And I’m a bit amazed…it’s 5 am here in Mississippi…and outside is nearly deathly quiet.  Even inside, the loudest sound is RedDog snoring.  The sun hasn’t come up and I’m impatient.  I’m wondering what is taking everyone so long to wake up…don’t they realize we’re embarking on a new year and there is so much to enjoy!

And then another wave of rain comes through…and I sigh.  It reminds me that the weather is dreary and there are tornado watches for the next 5 hours.  But hey, rain is good too.  It’s a soft and gentle rain, the kind that encourages growth.  And isn’t that what embarking on a new journey is really about?

Growth.

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