I know, I know. It has become all so popular: "I just don't make New Year's Resolutions. Silly custom. None of them ever got kept."
Well, bah humbug.
I still make 'em. Some of 'em I made years ago I am still keeping. I still smile at the people who are checking out my groceries or my stuff at Walgreen's. I am (almost) always pleasant to those service workers (is that a politically correct term, or what?) who are making my latte, getting my dry cleaning or ringing up my purchase. That was a New Year's resolution from years ago.
I also always take back my grocery cart to the place where you're supposed to drop 'em off. Hey, I'm paying a gym to go walk on a treadmill, but I can't take the cart a few steps back to the right place? What's up with that.
I try to write, or email, one quick note a month to someone who has done something nice for me.
I try very hard to SAY OUT LOUD the words "I love you" to those people I love. Even when it surprises them.
All those things make the world nicer. All those things were resolutions at one time. Practiced, worked on. They changed me. And they changed me for the better.
So, yeah, I believe in the resolution. The fact that they aren't always successful doesn't, in my opinion, give us the luxury to quit making them. Sometimes, we just might succeed.
There are levels upon levels of resolutions. I make low level resolutions:
1. I will keep my food diary.
2. I will go to the gym 3 times per week.
3. I will make myself go to bed and TURN OUT THE LIGHT at a time that will let me get 7 hours of sleep of night.
These kinds of resolutions are good habits I want to put into place for my physical well-being. I've lost 30 pounds or so in the last months. I feel better. I want to continue the process. But I'm past the point, at soon-to-be-52, of telling myself how much weight I want to lose this year, or what size I want to be. I want to be healthy. I want to feel good. The rest will follow, or not, as it will.
Then I make a sort of "mid-level" resolution. I make a resolution about how I want to act toward people. And I try very hard to make this something practical to do--not some high-flying all-holy idea about how I want to be (I'll make those resolutions in a minute!). So, for this year, my mid-level resolution is:
I want to extend the hospitality of my home and table to others 2 times a month. I want to invite people over for supper, or for games and snacks, or for a movie and popcorn, a couple of times a month. We are so fragmented. Most people don't entertain at home. My home is not big, and it's certainly not fancy. But I want it to be warm, welcoming, homey to those who need a place like that. But it won't be, unless I make a goal, to begin with, of getting out of my rut and getting people in the door and around the table.
And then, of course, I always make those "high-level" resolutions:
Lord, make me holy. Or at least, Lord make me want to be holy. Lord, make me quick to forgive and pardon, because it's the least I can do, when I've been forgiven so much. Let me not dwell on people's worst traits, often the ones easiest for me to see, given the cynic and wretch I am. Let me see them as you see them, and cherish that which is good. And please, oh please, let me do the work you have put in front of me to do. With grace. With joy. Without fear.
Happy New Year, ya'll!