Every year, I pressure myself to change just because the calendar has rolled over.
I try to list out resolutions, things that I should just be able to do all of a sudden because a new year is a new beginning.
Is it really a new beginning?
Other than the revelries, what makes Dec. 31st that different from Jan. 1st?
In years past, I’ve asked a lot of myself at New Year’s. I’ve made myself lots of promises about being thankful, trying new things.
My resolutions have ranged from “I am going to run two hours every single day even though it might be snowing and dark,” to, “I am going to remember to feed my goldfish every single day.”
This year, I do have new things that I’d like to try (after all, if I make a list of things I want to try now, I’ll have 12 months to do them before I get to make another list):
1. I want to go camping more;
2. I want to learn to cook.
And the list goes on.
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve made myself a list of New Year’s suggestions. It’s a flexible list. It’s a list that I hope to complete before next January, but sometimes goals need to roll over with the calendar.
Making a big commitment, such as deciding to change one’s lifestyle, or deciding to take up a new hobby, or change jobs, those aren’t necessarily things that can be done in 12 months. Twelve months sounds like a long time now, but am I the only one that feels like we just had New Year’s?
I don’t think that New Year’s, even with its supposed fresh start, is a time to cram all of my hopes and dreams onto an iron-clad list. The older I get, the faster a year goes by. It wouldn’t make sense to wake up on March 1st and decide that I should change everything about my life and myself.
My life is pretty good. So while I think that a new year is a good time for starting new things, I think New Year’s is an even better time to reflect on my goals and think of ways that I can get closer to achieving them. I don’t want my January to be full of pressure and maybe even disappointment all because I didn’t put a check mark next to one of my New Year’s resolutions.
There is a lot of pressure on people my age to make big decisions. The always dreaded, “What are you going to do when you graduate?” comes to mind when I think of questions I still don’t know how to answer, even though it’s a new year and apparently, a new beginning.
Even though I wished for it to happen, I didn’t wake up on New Year’s day with all the answers. Just because I’m in Grade 12 and it’s January doesn’t mean I’ve got everything figured out for June. I’ve got a few months left.
Even though it feels surreal, it is a new year. There’s nothing wrong with resolve, but sometimes resolutions, especially if they aren’t achieved, can lead to disappointment and feelings of depression.
It can be daunting to face a new year, but going into it with intentions instead of promises, can make it a little bit easier.
I still have to face the fact that this is the year I’ll turn 18 and will be moving out. This is the year I could finally vote and change the fate of my nation.
This is the year I have to choose a school to attend for the next four years.
All these pressures looming over my head – and I haven’t even bought a 2018 calendar yet.
Worse, I just realized that I forgot to feed my goldfish. Again.
Marlowe Evans is a senior student at Thomas Haney and head delegate of the Model UN Delegation who writes about youth issues.