I tried to count up the number of New Year's resolutions I've made in my life. Discounting the first few years when I couldn't say the word resolution, and overlooking the years I decided to simply forego them, I could probably still come up with two dozen or so during my 53 years.
They're silly, if you stop to think about it. Waiting until the final hours of the fading year, one determines that they will quit smoking, lose weight, stop cursing, start exercising, cut back on spending.... the list is endless. And, within a few weeks of the new year, almost everyone has failed to follow their new direction in life, and they return to life as usual.
Major life changes, rather than being decided in the final minutes of a passing year, are better situated to be made over the course of the year. If your resolution is to lose weight, then a more practical approach would be to start by changing your diet. Add in physical exercise and less time spent in front of the television. Slowly incorporate healthier foods in smaller quantities. And, finally, making those dietary and exercise changes a permanent part of one's lifestyle.
As I write this column, yet another "new year" is occurring. Today is the end of the Mayan calendar cycle. Contrary to many doomsayers, the Mayans were not predicting the end of the world, they were simply noting that it was the end of their calendar period (b'ak'tun). The current b'ak'tun ends today (December 21, 2012) and the next one will end on October 13, 4772. So, by definition, that makes tomorrow (December 22) the Mayan new year day!
The Chinese don't follow our calendar system with their counting of time, either, so it's not that difficult to understand that these are simply differing calendar systems. Even our own calendar has undergone many changes and adjustments over the recorded history of man. Even that concept (years, centuries, millinnea) are artificial constructs of man. When we read the account of the creation in Genesis, many take the concept of seven days as literal. However, we forget that God's time does not have anything to do with the conceited concept of time that we've developed. Seven days of creation could have been billions of year for our omniscient creator!
When this paper comes out, on December 26, there will still be a few days remaining in 2012. It has been a year of great highs and terrible lows. There were births, deaths, awards and punishments. There were winners and losers. In short, it was a year like so many other years. It would be difficult to classify 2012 as a better or worse year than 2011, or 2010, or of the upcoming 2013.
Life does not follow a calendar. Life is an ongoing series of successes and failures, highs and lows, good and bad. We quantify life by how old we are, how long we've been married, how long before we retire... All numbers and dates that mean something to us only, and that are a passing flicker in the grand scheme.
But, there are some things that are constant.
Our relationships with our family, our loved ones and our friends. Our connections to other people and to our pets. Our interactions with people and creatures. All of these things are part and parcel of what constitutes life. We could lose all material goods tomorrow; but, if we still have the people and pets in our lives, we will be able to continue living.
2013 promises to be another year. Nothing more or less. There will be challenges; but, there will also be achievements. There will be loss, and there will be bountiful blessings.
So, go forth and celebrate! But, remember that it is how you live from day to day that will make you better, not how you end or begin a year. It is the relationships that you develop over time, not the ones you create for a moment, that will last. The good will go on.
Happy new year!
It’s all just my opinion.