I’m doing it. I’m falling into the cliché much of the world is currently undergoing. Yep, you guessed it, I’m talking about the end of the old year/in with the new year.
“The only way to spend New Year’s Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears.” ~W.H. Auden
What is there to say about this year?
Let’s just make a list of things my mind finds memorable:
- Graduated college with two degrees
- Moved 1500 miles eastward
- Still don’t have a job
- Fell in love
- Fell out of love
- Learned some parts of the past aren’t worth going back for
- Realized how lucky I am to have people who tell me every day how wonderful they think I am
- Had my first “walk of shame”
- Discovered I live very close to a gay mecca
- Traveled Europe on my own
Even though all of those times were fantastic and have incredible stories attached, they sound so blasé as a list.
Why does the end of the year always result in people wanting to create a list? Whether it’s for the end of the year or the beginning of the year, people make lists. They remind themselves of the past or they look to the future and try and plan it out. It’s the same thing year in, year out. Lists. They are created to remind us about things that need to be done or have already been done. I don’t like lists. I don’t like making them. I don’t like seeing them. Unless, I’m going to a grocery store. I can’t explain why I like grocery lists, but I think it’s because I get a high around food. Go figure. But lists? No. Please don’t ask me to make you a list of my life.
I made the above list to share some of the things that happened in my life that some of you new readers might not know about, but really, I’d rather you find out how amazing those moments were by going into the older entries of my blog and learning about them. That list is nice. Yes, those were some great (and not so great) times. But making a list of happenings somehow dulls the importance each of those moments holds for me.
“Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it’s twice as onerous a duty.” ~John Selden
So, my New Year’s resolution this year is NO LISTS. I know better than to make myself a list. When I give myself a goal, I find I accidentally limit myself. I prefer to dream beyond the stars and the moon and just reach for the infinite universe. Why should I write a list based on my hopes and dreams? That makes it even easier for me to feel let down when things don’t happen. To me, New Year‘s lists are a dangerous thing. We put all this stock in “making ourselves anew”. In some way, every person puts down something that in their mind makes them “better”. Why make a list of ways to get better and just do it? Why do you need a list to “be better”?
“Let me see: I need to get the mail, clean the house, and…oh yes…be a better person!” Putting such things on a list lessens the strength of those goals. Things are put on a list to be achieved and done with. “Becoming a better person” is not something you “just accomplish” and are done with. Every moment of every day in life, a person grows. Most of the time, they are growing better. So putting something that is natural on a list really doesn’t make sense because life never stops.
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” ~Hal Borland
So, like I said, I’m not making a list for New Year’s. I know the new year will bring new things. It will probably bring a job (I’m 99.9% sure I’ll get a job before 2011 ends). It will bring new romances and flirtations. Maybe even a new love. It will also bring new realizations about myself. I’ll continue to become a better person in the ways I want to, and I’ll work away at the parts of me I see needing work.
These are things I accept about life.
I don’t need a list to remind me that life never stops. That the good comes with the bad. That I truly can do and be everything I want to. Lists are for things we can control. You can’t control life. Only what you do about it.
I’ll continue to do what I’ve always done: live life as it comes. My actions are the only thing I can control, and as I grow older and gain experience, I better learn which actions will make the most out of life.
So to all you New Year’s resolutioners making lists, I challenge you to look at that list and truly see what you put down. Is it something that once you’ve achieved it, you’ll be done with it? Is it something that you want to change your life for good? Why did you put it on a list? By putting something on a list, you can empower yourself, but at the same time…it’s also putting pressure on yourself to achieve something. That doesn’t factor what life can throw at you. A lot of New Year’s resolutions aren’t achieved because life throws curveballs that interfere with those resolutions. People try to plan their lives out forgetting there are nearly 7 billion other lives whose own life plans will get in the way.
Are you still going to make a list? If so, I wish you the best with your list. I hope you achieve everything on there and more. I hope you know that just because you might not finish the list doesn’t mean you’ve failed. A list is simply a bunch of ideas and dreams written down. Nothing more. Not finishing that list before the next new year doesn’t mean those things won’t happen. Not finishing a list never means things don’t happen. Everything happens in due course. So, if you’ve made a list, I wish you the strength to grow beyond the list. To know you are better than the list. You are not limited. You are unlimited.
“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” ~Mark Twain
But for me, no lists. I know my life is always changing and to make a list is to try and convince myself it stays the same.
No lists. Just life.
Happy New Year!
Now…where’d I put that list of things I need to do before I go out for New Year’s Eve?
© 2010 Just Another Gay In The Life by Lauren Bornstein
- New Year’s Resolutions (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- 3 Websites to Help You Keep Track of Your New Year’s Resolutions (housewifesutopia.com)
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Skip the Whole New Year’s Resolution Thing (thegloss.com)
- Resolutions: Is a New You Necessary This New Year? (blisstree.com)
- How not to break your New Year’s resolutions: 5 steps to take (boston.com)
- What I Learned This Year (sensicology.wordpress.com)
- Lets change the world, not ourselves (newstatesman.com)
- Second-hand year, first-hand values (theglobeandmail.com)
- 8 Tips to Stay Productive During the Holidays! (cloudave.com)