The idea of making resolutions has a different meaning for me as I age. The implementation of life style choices are now often replaced with goals to achieve deeper meaning in the life I want for myself, requiring contemplation and self-knowledge, and better challenges the potential for the growth that I hope to realize.
Every year, my resolutions become more silent, more individualized to the person I am in the moment, in other words, they accommodate my weirdness. The notion that we are a constant identity is a falsehood, proven with the passing of time through the moods and cycles of life. Work, family, and society influence our thinking and demand our presence. We constantly absorb the fluctuations of emotion from the people around us, pulling us out of ourselves and into a larger sphere where sometimes we’d rather not be. Discomfort is unsettling, but maybe that is exactly where we need to go to discover a deeper understanding of ourselves.
I think of the word resolution as a fallacy. To resolve something means to put an end to a conflict, but the most significant and meaningful conflicts have no end. Women’s equality, violence, trauma, aging, mortality. There is a casualness associated with resolutions but they bring no cessation to the conditions that scar us.
This is why I go inward. Self-examination allows me to connect more deeply to the minutiae I can control. Small changes can alleviate pressure put on me by the world which in turn creates a positive impact to those around me. Self-talk can be compassionate instead of critical. Expectations can be softened. I can control a bit more of my time. I can allow myself to be creative. I can be vulnerable.
When I think of what brings the most meaning in my life, I illuminate my priorities. Am I bravely practicing my own values despite opposition? What sustains me? Who? Does my time reflect this? The answers shift with each passing year. Things happen. Life evolves. Central to all of it is the person inside. Whose life would I be living if I didn’t possess my own contribution as my fullest, truest self?
Life is more fun, more courageous, when we’re weird. Dare to be different. Expose vulnerabilities. These are my goals. Wherever your life finds you right now, whoever you want to be, I wish you the freedom and the courage to declare it. Happy new year!