New Year’s Reservations, New Year’s Hypocrisy, New Year’s Mistakes

“Tomorrow is the first blank page
of a 365 page book.
Write a good one.”

-Brad Paisley

Happy New Year? That’s what I’m supposed to say, right? I mean, that’s what everyone is obliged to say. The next obligatory conversation is that of the New Year’s resolutions.First day - BrBa Everybody talks about how the New Year will be different, how it is a time for them to change something about themselves. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Right? Have I missed anything? Oh yeah. I skipped a step. First, people will spend New Year’s Eve drinking and celebrating (what hasn’t even come yet). They party. They waste themselves on alcohol, and possibly other drugs. Once midnight hits, they all scream ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR’ and kiss the person nearest to them (usually a significant other, sometimes just a random person). They continue to celebrate, drinking, partying, etc.-ing. They go around wishing people a happy New Year and discussing the clichéd New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions are interesting things. First of all, people spend their last night of the old year partying and going crazy, often acknowledging that they will ‘resolve’ to not do some of that in the New Year. ‘Here, let me do as much of this now so that I will be okay next year when I won’t do it.’ However, when they do all that partying, it makes it harder for them to give it up once that New Year comes. Once the New Year hits, out come the resolutions. People are lucky to make it to January 4th with their resolutions. It happens every year. Step 1: People give themselves a resolution. Step 2a: People completely forget about that resolution in the first few days. Or, Step 2b: After a few days, people feel good about making it so far with their resolution, so they begin to compromise on that resolution. For those who took Step 2b, Step 3: [See Step 2a].

That bothers the heck out of me. Everybody knows from past experience that they are not very good at keeping those resolutions. They make ones they know they can’t keep. They make one, and then, when they can’t keep it any longer, they say, ‘Oh well. I gave it a shot.’ And then they continue living the same exact life they lived before. People wait for New Year’s Eve to attempt at making any new changes to their life. Once they fail, they think, ‘Oh well. There’s always next year.’ And that’s that. The New Year is no longer anything different. After a few days, it’s just like last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, etc. The reason the world isn’t changing? People aren’t changing.

However, I’m not going to say that everyone is hypocritical with their New Year’s resolutions. There are indeed people who New Year Changessucceed. But do you want to know who succeeds? Those who don’t only make resolutions on New Year’s Eve. People can make everyday the first day of the rest of their life. Most people just choose not to do so. However, we choose our actions; no one else can do that for us. We can make resolutions throughout the year. We just have to choose to do so. Another reason that people often fail at their resolutions is because they are impractical. People make resolutions that they know they can’t keep. But they make them anyway. When we give ourselves practical resolutions that will actually help improve ourselves, we can truly change for the better. If we actually want the world to change, we need to allow ourselves to change. It’s cliché, yes, but we are truly our own worst enemies. We are the ones who always stand in the way of our own resolutions. We have the ability to change for the better, but we often prevent ourselves from doing so.

Just a small Catholic tangent: January 1st is aNew Years Troll Holy Day of Obligation. Most people forget that. We celebrate Mary the Mother of God. Why should somebody refuse the opportunity to go to Mass. We get to receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ our Lord. That is so amazing. We get to celebrate and join with the rest of the Church the Mother of God. What better way to start off the New Year than joining in communion with the entire Church (Militant, Suffering, and Triumphant) to celebrate Mary, the Mother of our Lord and the Mother of the Church. We should not see a Holy Day of Obligation as being forced to go to Mass, but rather as an opportunity to join with the entire Church. We get to start the year off right: with receiving Christ in the flesh, so that He may give us the strength to turn towards Him throughout the New Year. When people understand Holy Days of Obligation as taking away their choice, they look at it the wrong way. Holy Days of Obligation (should) ensure us that we are joining with the entire Church that day in communion, greater uniting us as the People of God, giving us the grace and strength to do the will of God, especially in the New Year. Most churches offer a Vigil Mass on New Year’s Eve, though, allowing people to go the night before, not forcing you to wake up after very little sleep to get to Mass. We are urged to get to Mass to unite the People of God in this Mass. I hope to see you in the Eucharist on this New Year.

People seem to always have reservations, though. They are afraid of making those changes, or they think they’ll screw up. On the outside, they make it seem like they have it all together, New-Years-Resolution-Memeslike they are truly determined to make those changes this year. Inside, they are scared. They fear that those changes will do exactly what they are supposed to do: CHANGE THEM. People fear change. They don’t want to become something other than how they are right now. They understand the reasons to change, but they don’t want to do so. People’s resolutions are reservations. They give themselves resolutions too big to accomplish so that they don’t have to change. They make it impossible for them to improve. When we understand that we need to change and that we usually have these reservations to change, we give ourselves the ability to make those changes in our lives.

As this New Year quickly approaches, we can make New Year’s resolutions. However, there shouldn’t be a need to talk about it with other people. When we talk about our resolutions, it can come off as show-offy of how we’re going to become better in this coming year. It’s always good to have an accountability partner, to have someone whom we can trust to hold us to our resolutions. However, we are imperfect human beings; we are going to make mistakes. That is a fact of life. Too often, we can allow mistakes to petrify us, keeping us from trying to make any further progress. Mistakes make us believe that we cannot succeed. However, mistakes allow us to keep in mind that we are finite, fallen creatures. We are not perfect. When we allow those mistakes to keep us grounded, we can use those as fuel to guide us to brighter change in our future. Mistakes prove that we are seeking endeavors that we have not sought before. Don’t TRY to make mistakes. But, if nothing else during this New Year, resolve to accept mistakes. When we make mistakes, it can be beautiful. When we respond to those mistakes, we can allow ourselves to become even more beautiful, becoming who we are meant to be. I’m not perfect. I don’t try to be. But this New Year, I want to accept the fact that I make mistakes, always keeping in mind that those are opportunities to improve myself. I don’t want another year of New Year’s Hypocrisy. I want to stand true to myself and my promises. Understanding mistakes is one way to endeavor on that journey.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things,
trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself,
changing yourself, changing your world.
You’re doing things you’ve never done before,
and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself.
Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes.
Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.
Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough,
or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

-Neil Gaiman

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Duc In Altum

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Write A Good Book « Keitochan Says:

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