In one year and out the other. We welcome each new year with pledges…promises…resolutions. We await the first exciting moments of 2011…the infamous NYC ball drop against the vivacious single-life backdrop, the eagerly anticipated first luscious lip-lock of the year, the glass of bubbly responsible for making us…uh… “bubbly.” As we anticipate these iconic symbols marking the onset of a new year, we dance a flirty samba with the new year’s most intoxicating, most alluring symbol of all…Hope. We reflect on good memories, bad memories, accomplishments, failures, regrets of one year…and limitless possibilities of the next. Fingers crossed!
In the days leading up to that momentous midnight marker, we imagine an “ideal” us…the us we’d like to be, but recognize as “lost” in some sideways universe. We’d like to stop procrastinating, get our butts on that treadmill we’ve been passing off as interpretive artwork in our living room, lose 2 jean sizes, stop smoking, eat healthier, get out of debt, go back to school…essentially, conquer all of our weaknesses, forsake all traces of imperfection, and become “master of our domain.” Of course, this is about as likely as waking on Christmas Eve to find St. Nick making whoopee with the Easter Bunny on our couch, our love for candy forever tainted. The sweet tooth may never recover from that Santa marshmallow “peep.” 🙂 We’re all painfully aware that an ideal us will never materialize, but we can dream…can’t we?
We dream, therefore we survive…and thrive.
We look forward to the upcoming year with hopes and ambitions to somehow tap into our “ideal” selves. How do we become tangibly close to our mirror ideals? So close we fool even ourselves? Simple! We make resolutions. We determine the one or two things we’d love to change…and we assert that we will, indeed, change those things…change us.
We mean well, but that’s where we draw the line…somewhere between hope and intention. Psychologists say of those who make New Year’s resolutions, an estimated 80% fail to follow through with them. Why? Because we never intended on follow through to begin with. New Year’s celebrations are about hope…not intention. We hope for changes, but don’t really expect them and aren’t committed to executing them. That’s work, after all. We can pay to have ourselves lifted in the rear, but shifted into gear…not so much. Luckily for us, the declaration of intended change, alone, gives us what we seek…immediate gratification for our self-perception. Much in the same way as the glass of bubbly, the first kiss, and the firework eye candy provide immediate gratification for the senses…taste, touch, and sight. Once we “decide” to change, we feel empowered, walk taller, and emanate success. The false intention to change is like a drug to us. A hallucinogen. It’s an illusion…granted, a fun illusion, one that allows us to feel superior to our old selves…but an illusion just the same. And like a hallucinogen, the illusion is fleeting.
So why bother? Are New Year’s Resillusions worth the consumption of our brain cells?
5…4…3…2…1…Yes! We need our illusions. Ironically, they protect our sanity, stroke our egos, boost our self-esteem, and sometimes, nudge us in a productive direction. The assertion that our present self is as good as it gets is downright depressing. It keeps us from pushing the envelope. Drowns us in our own personal whirlpool of self-doubt. In essence, we surrender to our own negativity. But positive thought, hope, and ambition…even in deceptive form…keeps us pushing the envelope. Whether we barely make contact with the envelope…or push it into oblivion. Once it stops moving, so do we. In order to improve our present self, we need hope for our future self. So lick it, seal it, and give that envelope hell!
And before you begin the countdown to a new year of possibilities, dare to make New Year’s Resillusions. Dream… and dream big. Because, as we all know, size DOES matter! 😉
Resolve to hope. 🙂
Happy New Year!
“Hope is the dream of a soul awake.” ~ French Proverb