Days passed into 2022, but not too many that I couldn’t slip in a quick resolution, and yet I remained steadfast.
As a kid, I would make secret resolutions but never carry through – little whispered promises to myself that I’d inevitably forget by April. Be nicer to my sisters. Keep my room clean. Be more patient. (Just how realizing my youthful resolutions have aged spectacularly well and could still probably be applicable, hmm…)
But as I got older, I resisted the tradition, not even indulging in secrets told only to my heart – I knew that there were things I could work on about myself, but I resented the arbitrary deadline.
Though, maybe the deadline was not as arbitrary as I once thought: the practice actually originated millenia ago, with the ancient Babylonians. In return for promises and prayers to their gods, they sought good favor and healthy crops for the year ahead. And under Caesar, the ancient Romans were guided by the god Janus (for whom January is named), the two-faced god that peered simultaneously into the past and the future. Inspired by the duality, they used the occasion of Janus’ namesake month to reflect on the year gone by and share hopes for the future.
By the 18th century, the practice had evolved to include acknowledging mistakes made with the intent to do better, and a more active practice of resolving change for the upcoming year. This was usually tied to religious services; over time it’s become a wholly secular thing, equally celebrated by everyone around the world.
Listen, I think we can all agree that’s a lot of pressure for one day just because it changes from one number to another.
And anyhow, the way I see it, every day is a chance to resolve, to try, to do better. To take chances, to make changes. Every day I try to be more present. To take a breath. To witness the world. To be less impulsive. To avoid regret. To enjoy life. To be challenged. To experience beauty. To love.
Because at the end of the year, those are the moments I’ll be glad for. Not worrying over the gym or being more organized – though both are worthy endeavors in their own right – but I want to know that I tried to experience each moment fully, no matter what I was doing.
So I guess after all this I do have a resolution: To live this one wild life the best way I can. It won’t always be perfect, but every single day I try.