I’ve been thinking a lot about New Year’s lately – how can you not? It’s everywhere: every form of media doing “best of the year” stories and “what’s your resolutions” interviews, restaurants trying to entice you in with three-course meals “and champagne at midnight!”. I find myself reflexively assessing the past year for things that aren’t right, that I can fix with a resolution or two, but this year, I’m having a hard time weighing my life and finding it wanting. Which is after all what resolutions are about, isn’t it? You decide that some part of you needs “fixing”, think about the things that are supposed to make you a “better person” - lose weight, get fit, clean your house, quit smoking – but it never really works out, does it? By mid-January, we’re all back on the couch in front of the TV in a messy livingroom, lit cigarette in hand. Sometimes, I think resolutions are made for breaking.
This year, I’m skipping the quick-fix and the surface renovation. I’m going out on a limb and deciding that I’m OK with who I am. And that I don’t need fixing. That’s not to say that there aren’t things I want to let go of or move towards, but I’m approaching it from a different angle.
This year, it’s about gratitude and possibility.
I am going to take a look at my life in that past year, but I’m not looking for what’s missing. Instead, I’m looking for what I am grateful for. I did a test run and it didn’t take me long before I had a list – a long list at that, but there was one thing. One huge thing. The thing that made every other gratitude possible: I got my life back.
When I got my second chance, I also understood that anything is possible. It might take a while to get where you want to be, but it is as simple as believing in yourself and opening up to possibility. And one more thing.
There’s a joke about an old man who keeps pleading with god to let him win the lottery so he can take care of his family, all of whom naturally are in various desperate situations. Finally, after days of getting increasingly irascible with the deity of his choice, he sobs “god, why won’t you help me? Why won’t you let me save my family?”. And then the clouds part, a shaft of silver light beams down from the heavens and a booming voice says “help me out here – buy the ticket”.
So in 2006, that’s what I’m going to do. Believe in possibility and buy the ticket.
Happy New Year. May your dreams come closer to being fulfilled.