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Start Your New Life In The New Year!

Sometimes I feel as though I’m just getting to the end of last year’s ‘’Resolutions’’ list, when the upcoming New Year is just around the corner again and it’s time to make a new list. Every year my list is longer and completing each task gets lengthier. But every list always includes the following promises:

1. Eating healthier and taking more exercise.
This is on my list every year, and, every year I begin in earnest. I would start out eating oatmeal for breakfast, fruit for lunch, and lots of veggies for dinner. Then I’d take a brisk walk in the park. Inevitably, I’d pass all the happy people walking their dogs. This of course reminded me of my beloved dog Sydney, who passed away a few years ago (I have been unable to bring myself to get another pet since). So, I’d feel melancholy and head straight for something, anything, coated in chocolate.

2. Have more patience with my family and strangers.
All it took to send this resolution back to the ‘’To Do’’ list was attending the family New Year’s Eve party. Where the party theme each year is ‘’Eat, Drink, and be Weary.’’ Maybe next year I’ll iron out the bugs in this pronouncement.

3. Get out and meet new people!
This is my favorite resolution. It always sounds fun, fresh, and exhilarating. Not to mention the excitement of buying new clothes to go along with my ‘’new’’ social life. The problem is that at the end of each long day, I just love curling up on the couch with the clichéd cup of warm tea and good book. Before I knew it, the whole year had gone by and I hadn’t met anyone new. I’m now digging through my closet trying to figure out what to wear to the New Year’s Eve party at my sister’s house.

And, on it goes. But the end of the year is always a great time of renewal. This means that every year I can review my commitments to my friends, to my family, and myself, and get excited about the new items on my list all over again. Instead of trying desperately to keep these commitments by myself, I can enlist the help of others and make a fun time of it all.

We all have unrealistic ideals about the perfect mate, friend, or family reunion. Sometimes we need to take stock of what we have in our lives now so that we can make the best of those moments shared. Maybe this year instead of declaring an entire change in my eating and exercise habits, I’ll make the resolution that I will take an entire day to pamper myself with spa-like comforts. An entire day devoted to ‘’wellbeing.’’ And when my married sisters ask me, for the millionth time, ‘‘ . . .just how long do you intend to remain single?’’ I can throw my head back in jovial laughter knowing that they really do mean well, and say…’’Is it time for a group hug?’’ as I calmly, but determinedly, make my way to the door.

This year I’ve decided to indulge my dreams of helping those less fortunate and devote an entire year to finding causes where I can make a difference - even if it’s a small difference. And who knows, maybe I’ll end up meeting some new people without having to suffer a social overload. Now, that sounds fun, fresh, and exhilarating!

Have a prosperous, happy, and healthy New Year 2008!



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