I am horrible at making New Year’s Resolutions. Like many, I’m even worse at keeping them. But this year, I really feel the need to make not one but several New Year’s Resolutions.
The holidays are always hectic and often stressful; family coming in from out of town, the expense of buying all those presents, fighting crowds, searching for deals, gatherings to attend and dealing with those bills that seem to pop up out of nowhere to be paid by the end of the year. I seem to have felt the stress more this year since the holidays arrived when I was deep in a zone with my writing. While I feel more appreciative than ever of my family, I am also a creature of habit and like my solitude. I am used the rhythm of my life and to having a routine .
In spite of all that, I do enjoy the holidays.
I love my friends and family. I feel blessed to have them in my life and love spending time catching up with them or picking on each other’s quirks, such as my sister’s germ phobia and my mothers penchant for department store cosmetics. (Before you judge, this is how we show our love.) These things were made even more amusing while enjoying my brother-in-laws special brew which he called “Holiday Cheer”. It was a concoction made up of apple cider, Pino Gris and a caramel liquor and he made sure nobody’s glass ran low the entire day. I later discovered that he and another brother-in-law of mine had a wager going on who would end up in the “drunk room”, which was a spare bedroom that many have sought out in the past to recover from my brother-in-laws “special” drinks.
Have I mentioned, I’m not a big drinker? Well, I’m proud to announce, I did not spend any time in the drunk room…this year.
After the wrapping paper that I had spent hours with had been shredded and placed in the trash, relatives returned home and the leftovers from all those gatherings lost their interest as they sat in my fridge. I looked at my Christmas tree and tried to remember if it’s bad luck to take it down before the new year or not? The Holiday Hangover has begun to set in. It has become time to find my way back into the rhythm of my life, to fill the void that is left after Christmas lights are taken down and the chaos of the holidays has passed and think about what next? Which brings me to my New Year’s resolutions…
What is it that I want next? Do I want to return to my routines of the past? Where I live, the new year always brings with it long months of cold weather, gray skies and very little sun. Everyone returns to their normal life and the gatherings become few and far between. There are no preparations to be made and at the risk of sounding pessimistic or depressing, there’s not much to look forward to. But what I realized is, it doesn’t have to be that way. By making resolutions of things I’d like to change about my life in the new year, that will give me something to focus on. Maybe many of you already realize this but for me, this is the first year that I think I truly get that. I want to spend more quality time with my family. I want to continue writing. I want to push aside fears that keep me from achieving goals I set. I want to push myself to reach more goals. I want to learn more, do more and stretch further out of my comfort zone. In order to do that, I need to be better organized and take better care of myself.
To keep these resolutions I will need to shake up my routine and resist the pull back into what is familiar. But that’s okay. I believe it’s possible to have the solitude I enjoy and the social interactions that I often forget I need. The new year does not have to mean returning to the monotony of a slightly different version of the previous day. It does not have to begin with a Holiday Hangover. It can be starting new routines or throwing routines out the window all together. It’s all in how I choose to make it.