Another new year has arrived. I say, ” Bring it on; this year has to be better than the last.”
Why do we greet each new year with such anticipation and optimism for better things for ourselves, and even for a better world? Is is just wishful thinking this year will somehow be different? We say out loud or more quietly to ourselves this will be the year to finally lose those pounds, eat healthier, exercise more diligently, get organized, be a better spouse or parent, find that new job, take that trip, go back to college, the list goes on and on.
Why do so many of us continue to make resolutions, sometimes even the same ones, year after year? Why do we set ourselves up again and again for disappointment and failure? Statistics say most resolutions are broken even before the end of January. Why bother making them at all then?
Perhaps it’s because there really IS a chance this year will be different. As the New Year unfolds, we see ourselves finally succeeding at reaching our goals. The new year represents hope that we really can change for the better. Our vision, at least as January begins, is still clear, not yet muddied or clouded by the day-to-day failures or disappointments, which are also sure to happen each year.
2011 feels even more like a clean slate for me. In some ways I feel as if I am quite literally starting over. I’ve been given a “new life,” or at least a new perspective. I’ve learned a lot through the past year, but still have a long way to go. I’m told I’m also supposed to be embracing my “new normal” and moving on.
I’m still not quite sure what my “new normal” is or what those words mean exactly. Sometimes the phrase annoys me. I never wanted a new normal. I never wanted breast cancer. I never wanted change, at least not this much. The phrase is supposed to be inspiring, or help you to accept your new reality, so that’s the way I keep trying to see it. I guess each person, not just those touched by cancer, must define what their own “new normal” is. In some ways I think my New Year’s resolutions and my “new normal” might be interchangeable. I definitely intend to live a healthier life style, no longer for vanity’s purpose, but survival. I want to keep writing this blog. I plan to finish my book (publishing it would be even better), I hope to be a better writer, spouse, parent, daughter, sibling, friend and person in general. I plan to pursue interests I enjoy and appreciate each day. I also resolve to live with faith, optimism and hope that I will remain cancer free.
I will not choose fear and worry (most of the time anyway) because they do not prevent bad things and disappointments from happening anyway.
As we all welcome in yet another year, I hope we are all inspired to envision a clean slate for ourselves, or yet another chance to achieve our dreams. It doesn’t really matter if you call your vision a New Year’s resolution or not. What matters is what you choose to do with the possibility, change, promise, hope and yes the challenges, too, this New Year once again brings with it.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions or look at the new year as a clean slate?