We are approaching an odd time of year. It has always seemed that way for me since I was a child. The holiday season slams shut leaving us as babes in the new year facing the coldest days of winter. The holiday decorations are starting to look a little stale and I spend my time picking up fallen Christmas cards. It seemed like a good idea at the time to tape them up around the doorway to the living room but now the tape is getting old and the slightest breeze cuts them loose and they parachute to the floor. The cat is getting jumpy. Over the next few days my neighbors will slink out and take down their festive lights and decorations. It was so much easier putting up decorations when it is fifty degrees than taking them down at twenty degrees. My dad’s birthday was January 6th, AKA Epiphany, so we always stretched our holidays for another week…but we still had to go back to school.
Looking ahead to the new year, we make plans and solemn resolutions. Maybe we do that as a reaction to the abrupt ending of the holidays. I have discovered that my resolutions are almost always the same or they are a variation on the same old theme. Be healthy, lose weight, get more exercise. Of course I am a backslider and usually forget about them by mid-January or early February. I have a nice exercise bike sitting out in the shed…out of sight. It sits quietly next to my unused weight bench. It might get down to fifteen degrees in that shed tonight…I hope they huddle together to keep warm.
I actually did do a few things to promote my health this year — I can hear better with my hearing aids and enjoy talking to people with more confidence. I’m also getting over an adverse reaction to a medication and regaining strength in my legs. I did follow through on a couple other resolutions from last year. I found a new church that I like, which was much harder than I expected. I resolved to show more gratitude throughout the year and I made a reasonable effort, though that is never fully accomplished. This year I’ll probably recycle that one along with the lose weight and get more exercise resolutions.
I’m giving thought to having monthly resolutions. I don’t seem to have the self-discipline to keep a yearly resolution. Monthly resolutions can be more seasonal in nature and fit into the context of my daily routine. I once was a devotee of Tai Chi and managed the discipline of daily practice. I also was a daily meditator so I have not been loosey-goosey my whole life. With monthly resolutions I can probably get back into more self-discipline. Maybe that will be my one yearly resolution — more self-discipline.
Whatever you plan or resolve for the new year or however you plan on celebrating the instant when the calendar turns over….have hope, have health and have joy in the coming year.