New Year's resolutions are silly
The New Year is a fresh start, clean slate, and all that other stuff. It fills the heart and mind with all the things that can be. Inspiring, in a word. I go out of my way to make New Year's resolutions each year and for what I consider good reasons. Stop, I can't stand it. It is Jan. 1 ... that's it. Get over it.
There is an old joke I often think of when I relate my feeling about the New Year. "Do you know what Jewish people call Christmas? Tuesday." January 1 this year is a Friday. That may be the only concrete reason to celebrate. It is the start of a weekend.
I guess I get the whole party thing. I am all for arbitrary reasons to celebrate with friends. Who could not use a good throw-down from time to time? The fact that some genius managed to convince Congress to make the day a national holiday is fantastic. So, whatever day of the week, you can stay up late and not worry about work. Yes, not only do I get that logic, I applaud it.
What kills me is the whole resolution thing. Society as a whole honestly feels that there is a natural break in the time-space continuum on the first day of January. Somehow, everything just goes away and there is a fresh start. This is the only time to put the past behind you and "really start trying." No, it's just Friday.
Please don't think that I am bitter. Far from it. I am not trying to be judgmental ... well just a little. Just realize I am not making a judgment call on your morality. I just find it all silly.
To illustrate, let's use popular lines of thought: The economy stinks, everybody knows this. So, if we all try very hard in 2010, it will all go away. No, I mean really resolve to not screw up the economy. Come on, let's at least get the Federal Reserve Board to do it -- it's a lock.
A fat guy resolves to lose weight. This cat really thinks hard about it -- it is a resolution after all. This focus will take place of the need to change eating habits, exercise and make a plan. How can it fail?
A college student resoles to get better grades this year. This one actually has a base in reality. Most institutions of higher learning have a new semester starting in January. So, the D- you got in Chemistry I is gone and you are ready for Chem II. This should work, remember you resolved it. This should make up for all the garbage you did not learn in Chem I. Just try hard with the new stuff, right?
I could go on and on.
George Carlin observed that people who try to better themselves and buy books on how to make money should use the money to buy resume paper. He also pointed out that when you buy a self-help book, it is a sham. The book is not self help -- it's help.
My point is this: you have control over your life. No holiday, book, glee club or even Oprah controls your life. If you want to make it better, do it. If you need to use New Years or whatever to give yourself a jump start, go for it. But make the changes in your behavior that are needed. Change, don't resolve. Take control of your life. If you need help, admit it. Then buy the book.
I was accurate stating that I do make a New Year's resolution every year. However, my intentions are less that pure. Last year I resolved that I would not kiss a hippopotamus on the mouth. You know what, I followed through. How many of you can say that you followed yours without flaw? I thought as much.