The words, “New Year’s Resolution,” seem to either hope, loss, ambivalence…or a blend of all three. I confess to being one of “those people” who actually enjoy reflecting on what I need to improve, what I enjoy and look forward to the challenge that the simple turning of a calendar page brings.
Isn’t it great to have a fresh start, a do-over or just a simple re-centering on life? These “resolutions” give me permission to try new things, let go of the negative, toxic actions and habits that interfere with life, and truly lighten my spirit. Every day is a chance to do something different than yesterday. And yet those words can also create pressure to succeed and then cause depression when we don’t achieve all that we promised.
The January/February 2013 issue of “Whole Living” mentioned Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life, a book by British psycho-analyist, Adam Phillips. The topic is focused on our “so-called mental life where we dwell on missed opportunities and spend time fantasizing about what we don’t have, but wish that we did.” “In our unlived lives,” he writes, “we are always more satisfied, far less frustrated versions of ourselves.” “…to yearn for the unlived life is to sabotage the one we have.”
In making a resolution, am I then setting myself for failure? In my yearning for possibilities and quest for experiences, am I missing fulfillment in this version of myself?
So what promises did I make for 2014? See if you can figure out from my actions. After all, actions speak louder than words.
(More background on the book can be found here on Goodreads. PS… I LOVE Goodreads! It is a magical tool that helps me track my ever-expanding reading list and connect with what my friends are reading. You can find me by searching me out with my real name! )