By Charlie Hodge
Seems I’m not the only Kelownian to happily say farewell to 2017 and hello to 2018. Last week’s HodgePodge garnered a number of comments from readers suggesting their previous year was far from stellar.
More intriguing was the number or folks asking what my New Year’s Resolution was. During 41 years of writing articles for the Capital News I do not recall nearly the amount of interest in said ritual.
The question caught me somewhat unprepared. I haven’t made one.
For most, New Years represents a fresh start a new beginning for our dreams, aspirations, secret hopes. It’s a chance to start again, change the landscape of our lives so to speak. It’s akin to the shedding of our skin but from an emotional and perceptive prospective.
There is nothing wrong about that sort of desired fate alternator. Believing a certain change of the calendar or shifting of the stars provides us with the one thing we all need to occasionally rely upon—hope. In reality, that’s what New Years is largely about…renewed hope.
A New Year’s resolution is simply an extension of that hope applied to a task we control which will improve our life.
Like a lottery on life, all of us go through phases of good times and bad, and often it seems we have no or little control over events and circumstances. Of course, we really do have a great amount of say in how our lives move forward, back, or not at all. We have the power of choice—to deal with (or not deal with) challenges and scenarios placed before us. Most of us start and stall only to start again. That seems to be a cycle of life.
A new year allows for a positive turning of the page allowing for optimism to creep back into battered soles and egos. It’s a wonderful start over or reset button. It allows us a chance to renew our spirit, to get back into the fight and grind we often perceive our life to be.
New Year’s allows us a chance to pick up the dice of life and roll them again, to invigorate our lust for life, our dreams of a better new day, and a flashlight of faith to go forward.
When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve everything is supposedly suddenly altered. With a wink and a nudge we clink glasses and enter the unknown.
For some New Year’s resolutions inspire promises of improved behaviour, a changing of the ways, cancellation of bad habits and motivation for good ones. If we repeat those resolutions to ourselves and others often enough we somehow believe that ensures chances of a higher success rate.
That being said, I no longer suffer from the consternation of deciding what my resolution should be each year.
I resolved that dilemma quite simply five or six years back when I made a New Year’s resolution to stop making New Year’s resolutions.
It’s one of the few I have ever actually kept.
Resolving to make no resolutions may simply be a lazy way out of making a commitment —or a pessimistic way of avoiding disappointing myself —but it works for me.
Actually, in truth, I make a resolution of a sort for myself every day. It is one I adopted a few years back and had strongly reinforced the past few months.
When I first wake up and slowly drag my mind and body out of the fogginess of sleep I spend a minute or two simply enjoying the comfort of my warm, cozy bed. Thankful for the fact that I have one.
Then, recognizing that the world awaits regardless of how my physical or mental state may be, I force myself (sometimes begrudgingly or in significant pain) to sit up and then say thank you out loud.
It is a comment largely targeted for the Great Architect of the Universe—but also as a motivation to myself. Not only to be thankful for another day but to start my day off in a positive mode.
Life has taught me that each day holds a myriad of potential challenges and scenarios and should I wish to steer through and/or around them well enough to survive the day, a positive attitude is imperative. So I kick start my positive attitude and within a few minutes the whole world seems a lot better and brighter. That self-inflicted positive energy helps carry me through the day.
Positive thinking and attitude is not always easy. It actually takes work and practice. It is a choice. However with time it becomes a habit, which in turn makes everything that much easier.
It is a self imposed mental, spiritual, emotional and physical therapy which only you can do for you.
So I am blessed. I do not need a resolution once a year to make my world better. I make one every day—to squeeze as much out of each day as I can, while I can.
Give it a try. It’s a habit you will not regret.