Listen, I love life and goals and achievement as much as the next person. I really do. Reach higher, and all that.
In fact, to those who are refreshed and enthused by this change of year (what are you on?), I fully support you. Get it. Accomplish! Or don’t. I’ll still love you the same.
But this year, unless the resolution is to keep surviving, count me out. I’m nearly out of craps to give, so I’m holding on to the ones I’ve got for things that really matter.
It’s not that personal growth doesn’t matter; we just know New Year’s resolutions rarely manifest it. I wrote about that the same year I made a resolution, so by all means, I understand the thrill of irrational optimism.
Hope in the face of doubt is a drug. But my stash has been running low (blame the supply chain) since the proverbial poop hit the pandemic fan.
Since I can’t get high by flipping the bird to chance, I’m trying out a different approach: The anti-resolution.
Do you want to know why? Because we don’t need to change. If you are reading this, you are living. What a remarkable feat that alone is!
I mean it. Life right now, despite all the spoils of modern technology and convenience, is no cakewalk.
Things are expensive. We all fight a lot. There’s this raging pandemic. Earth is hurting. We’re expected to do stuff. And Mondays happen (weekly, no less).
It’s a lot.
But, to have even exhaled a single breath is to have contributed to the world. And when we can make it through a day causing minimal damage, that is a success. To make a plan or make any progress is an absolute triumph.
It occurs to me that instead of collectively deciding, during the coldest and darkest part of the year, that we’re not good enough, maybe we could try something less terrible.
Like what if we honored stillness? Or, if you’re on a roll, celebrate the momentum you’ve generated? And if you’re feeling like you want to blossom, there are 364 other days a year when that’s also possible.
Some might suggest this goes against the American work ethic grain or is a departure from typical optimism, and I’d respectfully disagree.
We are human beings, after all, not human doers. So, just because ladders exist doesn’t mean we all need to be climbing them.
There has been some painful loss of life in my world over the last couple of weeks and I can tell you that it’s not what those humans accomplished that makes us ache for their presence. It’s how they made us feel. It’s the time we won’t get to spend together. Resumes and trophies are a lot less comforting than a big hug.
I know there is a lot to do in the world, and we’ll get it done or we won’t. But I suggest we separate that from our measurements of value and worth.
That, and weight. Don’t let diet culture tell you otherwise.
So, [insert whatever feelings you’re having] New Year to you. You’re enough.
Marina Gomberg is a professional communicator, a practicing optimist and a lover of love. She lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey. You can reach Marina at firstname.lastname@example.org.