New Years Eve is only two days away; does anyone else find this hard to believe? Saturday starts a new year. And I’m left wondering, “Where did the last one go?”
2010 was a strange year for me. I wasn’t working. I was in a different state. My only local friends were other military families. And the whole year went by incredibly fast. At least it seemed that way, despite some incredibly long days. And the entire year was plagued with the inevitability of deployment. As much as I tried to, I know I didn’t enjoy the year as much as I could, or should, have, because I was so consumed with the thought and worry about my husband going to Afghanistan. And that’s how my year was…sad, anxious, angry: Afghanistan. My husband was with me then, I should have been more in the moment for him. I’m not saying the entire year was filled with bad days, we certainly managed to have fun, and enjoy ourselves. But there were more fights caused by us not knowing how to deal with deployment than there should have been.
And that is how my “new year” will be…Afghanistan. Although, this time, he’s already there, and will be returning home sometime near the end of the year. So, two years of my life will belong to Afghanistan, although in different ways. 2010 was the anxiety of not knowing what to expect. 2011, I predict, will be a little better, only because I have learned HOW to deal with deployment, and I have something to look forward to, instead of something to dread: My husband returning home! It would be perfect if my husband were home for the entire year, but you know, it is what it is, and you have to deal with what is.
Then, there’s this tradition of “New Year’s Resolutions.” I, personally, do not make them. For me, there’s no point. I kind of do my own thing every day, and if I decide there’s something I want to do, to change, etc., I do it. I don’t wait for the New Year to make self-improvement changes. And I don’t use the New Year as an excuse to improve myself. We buy a new calendar, we start writing “2011” instead of “2010” on checks, deposit stubs, letters, and whatever else it is that we date these days, and we go through the months all over again. I’m not a pessimist about New Years, I’m just a realist. If I start gaining weight in May, I’m not going to make it a deal with myself to get the weight off starting January of 2012, giving myself 7 guilt-free months of over-eating. No, I’m going to make the changes then. [Why I went with weight, it seems to be the number 1 resolution people make every year. Maintain your weight all year long, and you won’t need to worry about losing weight come January 1st!] Every day is a new day, why don’t we celebrate that, and not put all the focus on it just being a new year? Every day you’re alive, you’re given the opportunity to make changes in your life, to be who you want to be, to be a better person, and so on.
I’ve made resolutions in the past, but they never meant anything, because they were resolutions made by a me, years ago, who made them because it was the thing to do at New Years. It felt to me, like New Years was cookies, and resolutions were milk…they went together. And the resolutions I made were always the generic ones – lose weight or get in shape, save money, try for straight A’s in school, and so on. They were things I tried to do all year anyways, but somehow there was the stigma that they were all more important because we were changing years. But they never felt like bigger goals to me.
But that’s just me, I don’t make them, because I set goals for myself and I do them all year as needed. If you make resolutions, and truly follow through with them, then I am happy for you. But if you find yourself setting the same resolutions year after year, I think it’s time to reevaluate your goals, motivation, and life, and start thinking about what’s practical. Are you setting the bar too high? We don’t learn to run right after we’re born – we crawl and walk, first. The same measures should be taken into consideration when you set goals for yourself.
If you do make New Years Resolutions this year, I hope you are satisfied with your results, and that you can achieve your goals.
But most of all, I want to wish you all a very happy and safe New Year. May 2011 be better than 2010 was for you.