Make No Promises

Here we are in 2008. Is everything changed? Do we all feel renewed and different?

Nah. Didn’t think so.

New Years is always such an odd event. I mean, not just for the drunken revelling and beer-goggle choices in the evening’s partners and the random kissing of strangers, although for the outsider looking in that can all be pretty amusing. But it’s odd because it’s basically a day like every other, except people use it as the start of their life’s “do over”.

So many resolutions are made. People make promises to themselves that the majority won’t keep. They set themselves up for failure, year after year. But hey, at least they get to get all drunk and party, party, party while they do it!

I used to try to make resolutions. I used to say, “Okay, it’s the new year. It’s a good day to start X or Y or Z, or change A or B or C about myself”.

And usually? MONUMENTAL failure. I know that there are some people that can keep their resolutions, faithfully, and change their lives for the better. I am NOT one of those people.

There have been years where a resolution has been broken THAT. SAME. DAY. Resolve to eat better? Yes, well, that was before I found myself mindlessly eating chocolates from the bowl on the coffeetable while absorbed in a movie. Resolve to exercise more? Yes, well usually that train is running out of the station on the first very cold/snowy/rainy/inclement weather of any sort — and I am not running after it, but rather sitting on my butt somewhere. Resolve to lose weight? See the two previous resolutions.

For the most part, though, I can keep a few of them going for a little while. I used to start them with a journal. Needless to say, both the journal and the resolutions were abandoned completely — if I did VERY well, mind you — by March or April or so. Our house is littered with journals, full of fervent writing for the first 20 or 30 pages… but after that, you’re looking at the middle of a great big empty.

But in recent years, our lives have been too up-in-the-air, too much at the mercy of others, for us to even want to make any sort of resolution. We had doctors telling us what to do and what not to do and when to come and go, and agencies telling us what to bring them and when and why. And 2008 is going to be no exception. For the first half, our lives will be at the mercy of decision-makers here and in Kenya and in Ethiopia, and for the second half, they will be will be at the mercy of a little person who — I am sure — intends to rule our lives with a chubby iron fist and a winning smile.

Try keeping your resolve in the face of THAT.

But there are some suggestions I can make to myself that will be easier to follow. I will try to keep my perspective as best I can this year in the face of what will doubtless be some daunting situations. I want to try to be a more organized manager of our home, and a more attentive and more patient wife and pet owner and, eventually, mother. I can try to work toward being healthier and better prepared for the rigours of travel and parenthood. I should continue to try to be a good person, in general.

But those are things that are ongoing. They don’t require a special date to tell me it’s time to start.

2 thoughts on “Make No Promises

  1. I made a resolution not to make a resolution. That is one I can keep. I also have made many of them in the past and as you said they have gone by the wayside all to soon. I think it is better to just try to do the best we can each day. Who needs the stress?

  2. I haven’t made any resolutions. Truth is, I’m too tired to bother with them and too busy to commit to them.

    But, I am proud of you for trying.

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