This time of year is my favorite time of year. Not only is Christmas my favorite holiday, but because I work in the school system, I get a vacation between Christmas and New Year’s Day. During this week every year, I play with my children, nap, cook, read, and engage in my guiltiest pleasure-morning news television. The morning news programs tell my why my winter coat is no longer in style, what those crazy Kardashian sisters are up to now, which movies I must see, and how to turn leftover Christmas dinner into quiche. However, there is also a darker side to watching morning news television during this week. This is the week in which the segments are filled with tips regarding New Year’s resolutions. Each day I learn how to do more with my money, get fit, and eat healthier. I watch segments on how to be a better parent, a more dedicated employee, and a more responsible citizen.
What is wrong with all these tips? Well, in short, they make us feel lousy about ourselves. Even the term “resolutions” makes me cringe. Just the act of making a resolution sends a message that we are broken and must be fixed. When we feel incomplete, it changes who we are, how we look at the world, and how we interact with others. We exhaust ourselves trying to hide our flaws, appear perfect to the outside world, and find the cure for our hideous imperfections. Every year, most Americans make a resolution, and every year by February, most Americans have already broken those resolutions. We feel terrible for being such weak and horrible individuals and we spend the rest of the year silently whipping ourselves for our weaknesses, only to begin the crazy cycle again next year. Why do we do this to ourselves?
I am calling for the end of New Year’s Resolutions and the beginning of New Year’s Celebrations. We should celebrate that which is beautiful, special, unique, and ordinary about ourselves. Instead of looking ahead or lamenting the past, we should be still in the moment. Sit quietly. Take in all that surrounds us, all that is within us. We should embrace ourselves, our scars, our soft bellies, and our crinkled eyes- for those scars are trophies of that which have made us strong, our soft bellies reflect time we spent lingering over meals with our friends and family, and every line etched around our eyes tells our story of joy or sorrow. Instead of resolving to change, we should resolve to first love ourselves as whole individuals, perfect and unique, ordinary and rare. Wrapped up in all our quirks and 'imperfections,' we are whole, we are worthy, we are special. So I raise a glass and toast to you, for all that you are is all that you need to be in this moment. Happy New Year!