December 30th, 2014. It is a strange day. The last day of this year that I have time and space to write. Today marks 22 years since my father’s passage out of this world and away from tangibility; from touch. I can still remember, 22 years ago today, placing my small, warm hand on his. Cold and heavy. The room, violet dark and filled with tears, has remained a precious haven to me – Now only in memory.
There are times when all I want, all I need is an embrace. His embrace. A father’s embrace. I feel it would help make sense of days like this, in their mingled joy and sadness. Perhaps it would make today feel a little less strange.
It is this memory that is precisely why I have a strong dislike for the concept of resolutions. Even the word itself, irks me. I suddenly feel that I am wrestling inside an itchy sweater, while swatting away at a fly pestering my face. A fly keen on eyelashes, to be specific.
Resolution: A decision or determination; the act of determining upon an action. A solution or settling of a problem.
While the definition doesn’t sound half bad, it’s the implication of permanence that doesn’t sit right with me. As I learned on this day 22 long years ago – nothing is permanent. In addition, the impending consequence (usually utter disappointment and self-doubt) upon failure to conclude said resolutions is what I really don’t like. As far as I’m concerned, resolutions are just ultimatums in a pretty dress.
Believe it or not, this is actually meant to be a message of hope. A message encouraging the creation of lifestyle goals, in place of New Year’s resolutions.
Goal: an achievement toward which effort is directed.
Goals, especially when realistic and attainable, become joyful pursuits. We often set the bar slightly too high, with rigid deadlines and strict parameters, turning our joys into stressors. (Sidenote: Deadlines? Really? Who came up with that word?)
Goals are flexible, pliable, and moldable to circumstance. Rather than a start-finish design like resolutions, goals can be added to, and adapted to accommodate for change. True, some old habits should be cast aside, but many habits simply need to be nurtured and encouraged to thrive. Rather than your focus being “ax that, toss this,” why don’t you focus instead on providing time and space for the things that bring you joy to flourish? As you focus on the beautiful aspects of your life, the unhealthy bits will begin to fade away, leaving behind bright and vibrant YOU.
Happy New Year!