Five… Four… Three… Two… One… The clock strikes midnight and 2012 arrives. Confetti falls from the sky as Auld Lang Syne bellows through the night. People warmly embrace, wishing one another a Happy New Year. We shed off the skin of 2011, rejoicing in the fact that we can start anew. The page is turned and the next chapter begins.
As the jubilance of the moment fades, thoughts turn to the goals and aspirations we set for ourselves. For some it could be a grand scheme to drastically change your life. Others might have a feat they want to accomplish or a wish to simply be more productive. No matter how large or small these objectives are we all have them and everyone knows it. This inevitably leads to the question, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” I hate this question. Upon hearing it asked the first thing I think of is someone giving a cliché answer such as “I’m going to exercise more” or “I’m going to go quit smoking.” My next thought is that by the end of January the majority of these people will already have broken their resolution. It becomes less and less of a priority until it’s nothing more than a footnote for that year.
That is why I reject the notion of making New Year’s resolutions. I have two major issues with this custom. The first is the idea that the biggest changes you want to make in your life should come at the beginning of the year. If you want to make a change or commit to doing something it shouldn’t matter when you decide to do it. What difference does it make whether it’s January 1st, October 26th or any other date? That leads me to my second problem; the difference between “Should” and “Want.” With resolutions being so ingrained into our culture I think there are many people out there who believe they “Should” make one to begin the year. In other words, even if people don’t “Want” to they feel compelled to make resolutions because that is what’s expected. If you’re not truly committed to making a change then there’s a good chance your endeavor will end in failure. You have to “Want” to make a change. If you “Want” for something, you desire it and honest effort need to be put forth to attain your goal. Do you sit there and think, “I’m going to “Want” something beginning on January 1st”? The answer is no. “Want” is not dictated by a date. If you decide to begin the journey towards your objective on the 1st of the year then sobeit, but there is no rule stating you can’t start “Wanting” to do something at any time. Choose to change your life on your schedule, not at the behest of a calendar.
I raise this issue because for a long time I have gone back and forth about whether or not to blog. There were times when I’d get inspired to do so only to have the feeling wane a few days later. Then something would happen that I’d have an opinion on which would cause that desire to come creeping back. During those times when I thought I would start blogging the question that kept popping up was, “How should I start?” I had many things I could talk about, but nothing that I thought to be a good introduction to a blog. That was until now. What better way to begin than by discussing the tradition of people trying to start new things and making changes to their lives?
Even though I used New Year’s as a catalyst for subject matter to launch this blog, I didn’t suddenly decide I was going to start blogging in 2012 as part of a resolution. I didn’t tell myself that I was going to post entries on a weekly basis or create prose worthy of being published in The New Yorker. To me this is an experiment. This is my chance to express opinions on subjects that interest me. If people read it and enjoy it, that would be great. At the same time if no one ever reads what I have to say, then that’s fine too. It will enter the void with all the other blogs nobody cares about. As for how long this experiment will last? Will it be six weeks? Perhaps two years? Until there’s peace in the Middle East? I don’t know. The only thing I can say for sure is that like anything else a person attempts to do, as long as I “Want” to blog, it will continue.