I woke up this December 26th with one thought clearly on my mind: Okay, Christmas was awesome but now it is over; let’s bring on the New Year already! Thus inspired, I began almost immediately to set my sights on resolutions, reading up on whatever productivity tips, nutritional research, and other “new year, new you” ideas the Internet decided to throw at me.
Sounds pretty positive, right?
Of course, I’m aware that this waking thought of mine was not an original one. Fully half of my friends have been calling for the cessation and demise of 2016 since round about the time it took David Bowie from us. For the last two months at least, every time something bad has happened, a fresh clamor would arise to curse this year and implore the next one to be more kind.
But is that really fair? Not to diminish in any way the feelings and struggles that have arisen this year, but I know deep down that 2016 itself is not the problem. 2016 is just an unfortunate grouping of accumulated time during which the true problems have coincidentally occurred. To curse 2016 is for me to focus on a false, nebulous enemy that I am powerless to affect – TIME, of all things! – while the real problems that I can stand up to – greed, discord, prejudice and the like – run amok in the midst of my resigned inaction.
The new year cannot save me, but growth and movement can.
Here’s the thing: I still have several days left before 2017 sheds its shiny, clean light on my expectant face…more than 100 hours of untapped potential and opportunity. Why am I so eager to cast them off without a chance? What do the new hours of 2017 have that these hours don’t. (Hint: nothing.)
I am not proud to count myself among the majority of other humans who failed at my New Year’s resolutions for 2016; truth be told, I can’t even remember what most of them were. So, okay, I can’t scramble and put myself together and manage to achieve perfection with these few remaining days of 2016 …but I can achieve something.
Maybe I can’t hike 1000 miles this week…but I can knock out one or two each day.
Maybe I can’t take back a year’s worth of falling off the nutritional wagon this week…but I can eat my full allotment of vegetables each day.
Maybe I can’t compose the great American novel this week…but I can get a couple thousand words out of my head and onto paper.
2016 still has a lot to offer. There’s still time to eek something good from it, to give it the happy ending that it deserves – or at least, that WE deserve. I am resolved to reclaim what’s left of 2016 and finish it well.
What’s your old year resolution?