Everyone does them: New Year's resolutions. I'm not sure why it's deemed necessary, on the last day of each year to make some declaration to better ourselves in the year to come. It just seems to be expected. Tonight, in my journal, I will make such a resolution. The question I'm asking myself now is what to resolve.
Most of the more popular resolutions such as losing weight, saving money, being a better housekeeper, or friend, or spouse are all ones I have declared in previous years to mild success. They are all noble ones and goals I continue to strive for.
The problem with New Year's resolutions is that focusing on just one or two aspects of my life for any length of time is unrealistic. My existence is complicated - even more so now with all the electronic gadgets vying for my attention - and committing my focus to specifics only adds to the stress. Maybe I should resolve to get rid of all the electronic gadgets? No, I could never stick to that one. My livelihood is now linked to computers and cell phones, and my leisure time to DVR, DVD, Facebook and video games. I have so far resisted the texting thing and the blackberry thing; frankly, I don't get why anyone feels compelled to do either. And my leisure time is dreadfully minimal. So, I guess I'm already ahead in that department.
The economy is already forcing me to be more prolific with my work. Writers have to work twice as hard as other people anyway, because we're never sure if what we're slaving over is going to be accepted by an editor as "good enough" to get paid for. The economic situation also makes it necessary to be more frugal with money, electricity, heat and credit cards, so any determination to change any of those daily habits is already dictated by necessity.
I certainly don't think of myself as a perfect person. Age brings wisdom, it is said, and if that's true, I'm still a teenager. I strive to be a good person, caring and helpful to family and friends, but that is a lifelong process that can't be delegated to a once-a-year promise. Likewise, I make a consistent effort, I think, at taking care of myself physically.
So, how about this? I'll resolve to stay positive. There's a tall order, but in a way, a redeeming one right now if I can stick to it. Stay positive during the worst economic plight since the Great Depression, with coffers bare and outlook for work bleak. Stay positive inside the stress of everyday existence, with a myriad of distractions and never enough time to deal with them all. Stay positive when bombarded daily by headlines and advertisements that give innumerable new ways to worry about ailments I might have, grave issues I wasn't aware of previously, or standards I'm expected to strive for that I wasn't aware were important to my daily life. I would certainly enjoy a much happier 2009 if I can keep this resolution. And it fits every aspect of my day-to-day existence, so I can't help but be reminded of my promise at every turn.
"Stay positive" it is. I look forward to the rewards of success with this one. It conjures up images of a better year, no matter what - if I'm steadfast in my determination. I'll keep you informed of how well it's going.