I've been listening today to comments about the New Year: Should we or should we not make New Year's resolutions? If we do, will we keep them? Why do so many of us male resolutions and then not make a serious attempt to succeed? And so on.
I think that if you make a resolution because you think you ought to, you will probably fail. If you make a realistic resolution about something you seriously want to change about yourself, you up your chances of success. Especially if your resolution is specific, measurable, and has a time limit.
On the other hand, the idea of making a change at the beginning of a year implies that this is going to be a different kind of year than the one just past.
The only trouble with that is that no one can live a year at a time. You can visualize a wonderful year in which all your bad habits are gone, but you can only live it as you go, one day at a time, or sometimes, one moment at a time.
Now that I am old, I have given up worrying about what I ought to do, and instead am having a lot of fun figuring out who I am, what is important to me in my life, and then living with as much enthusiasm and integrity as I can muster.
I like the Dalai Lama's comment: "My religion is kindness."
If I have a resolution, it is one that is within me this year, last year, and next year: to be kind, kind to myself and to others. I don't mean a sentimental, slushy kindness that condones everything. I mean an attitude of kindness and grown-up understanding in the face of both wrong doing and right doing.
That's what's fun about being old. You can make up your own mind about yourself. Looking back you can see all the lousy advice you got, and followed, from other people during your lifetime, and all the trouble it got you into. So now, I'm just who I am, and am willing to take all the reponsibility for any train wrecks that occur.
I guess that means I resolve to laugh, be creative, help others, and enjoy life even when things go wrong.