Resolutions are funny things. They seem to be a by product of the holiday frenzy which goes on from approximately mid-autumn to early winter, depending of course upon your view of when the holiday season begins.
For the majority of stores in North America, it is the very minute after Halloween signifies the beginning of the “holiday season”. Having once worked retail, by the time Christmas eve rolled around, the songs of Christmas were always present from the moment I woke up in the morning, to the moment I went to sleep…The soundtrack of my day, always there humming in the background was my experience of the holiday season working retail. While the holidays may be a very special, exciting and comforting time for many people, the holidays are also filled with stress, anxiety and a fear of failure (that’s right ladies & gents I see the fear in your eyes).
There an old joke, maybe it’s a saying and it goes something like this “There are only 364 days until Christimas”… Organization, they say, is key with this oh so ostentatious of holidays, with the highly organized amongst us, it is rumored, start collecting for the next holiday season… shortly there after xmas/new years/the holidays…akin to squirrels hoarding nuts to sustain them to the long cold, unforgiving winter. For the rest of us, oh not so organized squirrels, we may see an item here or there, which we would consider, but we think we have time and so we wait…and wait…and wait. If done correctly, this will impart upon us a frenzy of stress, anxiety, and fear on the collective consciousness of all those who choose to take part within the madness of the holiday season. We have been forewarned all of our adult lives about the consequences of procrastination, particularly in the form of the fairy tale with its idealized landscapes and all of its characters encompassing a level of extremely high morality normally not seen within everyday life, many of us falter.
What can I say? Life Happens. We try our best, each and every one of us. By the time we reach the end of the holiday season January 2nd in most cases, we have taken our stress and exhaustion out on our minds, and bodies. The majority of us make it through, relatively unscathed and we can, if we so choose to ignore the fact that we only have 364 days to go…until, you know. In an ideal situation we would all give ourselves a long break from the tyranny of lists and responsibility, but as odd as it may seem, we turn up the stress to an almost unbearable level and we become concerned with setting ourselves resolutions for the new year.
The more I look around the more I notice that we are determined to punish ourselves for eating too much, drinking too much for having too much self indulgent fun over the holiday season (gluttony most likely being a by product of all the stress we had experienced). As a collective, most of us would agree that a good number of people in society promise to diet, exercise, and get rid of all of their bad habits.
I’ve never been one for resolutions. I realized very early on that if I tell myself I cannot absolutely do something, it’s the only thing I want to do. The resolution, whichever one it may be, well, it’ll sit there, tapping me on the skull until I give in. I find it curious that a new year (2014) which is supposed to signify new beginnings seems to be a continuation of the stress of the holiday season.
I admire the conviction with which all of us want change, positive change, and change that could sky-rocket our lives into a life which we may not have been otherwise unable to imagine. It’s inspiring to know that so many of us believe that we are capable of escaping our current circumstance(s); our want to work for something greater. The resolutions the majority of us make in January set many of us up to fail because they are ultimatums. Many of them are phrased in very black”(I will not) or white (I will) extremes, without leaving room for the reality of living within a human body within less than an idealized fairytale-esque reality.
Akin to the xmas music slowly but surely becoming part of my daily existence, I feel that in order to achieve, anything, let alone the resolutions we set for ourselves, we must be somewhat ready for the change (if only on a subconscious level), and it must be something we work at each day. So this is me telling you to take it easy and give yourselves a break. Let your minds and bodies pause for a moment, consider that which you really need. Consider whether jumping upon the band-wagon of new years resolutions suits your individual reality, instead of the collective reality set before you.
If you’re one of those individuals who decided to make resolutions for 2014, you’re a much stronger person than I, and I wish you all the best in achieving them. Resolutions can be the first stepping stones to realizing change in your life. The key is to not let them morph into boulders which will drown you.