Resolutions: New Year, New Meh
first ass-end of the second week of January–
(Okay… admittedly, I am a tad slow on the resolution uptake. In my defense, I am just now able to catch a glimpse of the real world through the emotional grime tacked on by the holidays. So give me a damn break.)
–A new year, a new opportunity to create lofty goals for yourself to accomplish in the long term, with little to no prior preparation or ability. Resolutions abound, and, at least where I’m from, individuals decide to change things, do things, add things, make plans to be better, and, thus, come one step closer to achieving their personal vision of perfection.
Me, I’m starting a website. I am going to write a lot of stuff that you probably want to read, either because I am a good writer, or because you once thought I was a good writer (before I got it in my head that I should start a website and prolifically post on it) and enjoy watching trains wreck. On top of that, I would like to lose, like, 50 pounds. And finally catch some Zen, too. That would be nice.
Now, considering that my inaugural post has taken two weeks longer than I had hoped, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the majority of the above will be half-heartedly pursued, at best. Personally, I am not very good at setting realistic expectations for myself. I’m a brilliant, momentary flare, followed by a fizzle, a choke, and five to seven days of existential ambivalence.
*Ahem* Anyway, moving along…
Here is my thought on resolutions: We’re doing it wrong, my complicated little snowflakes.
I have been pondering a lot on the word “resolution”. What makes it? Does it require “resolve” to make a “resolution”, just as you must “solve” a problem to achieve a “solution”? Or is it the state or quality of “resolute”? Is there even a difference? What the hell am I rambling on about?
The word ‘resolution’ comes from latin by way of Old French, and essentially means “the process of reducing things into simpler forms”. It comes from Latin resolvere “to loosen, loose, unyoke, undo; explain; relax; set free; make void, dispel”.
Huh. That sounds distinctly different from adding tasks to an already hectic schedule to make oneself a better person.
In fact, it wasn’t until roughly 300 years later that the noun form of ‘resolve’, with an arguably different meaning of “determination, firmness or fixedness of purpose; a determination” came into use.
‘Resolute’ also went through a similar change, from “dissolved, of loose structure” or “morally lax” to “determined, decided, absolute, final”.
While I like to blame The Man and rich, elderly, white pedants for seemingly arbitrary language change (and most other things, if I’m being honest), perhaps they were onto something about making resolutions.
We hear it all the time, “You have to do it for yourself, not someone else.” As though our vision of what would make ourselves better people is not firmly grounded in what our societies and cultures (other people) determine to be “right”. We need to be healthy, happy, smart, independent, attractive, caring, organized… the list goes on and on. However, I do think that there are variations in the valuation of those specific items for individuals, and I think that this is where our focus needs to lie.
So, making resolutions… It should be about breaking it down to the bare bones and guts, and dissolving the convoluted complications of everyday life, in order to figure out the truth of what we need to focus on to become a more complete “absolute” human.
Maybe we don’t really need to write three ultra interesting blogs a week that everyone will love. Maybe we don’t need to become ultra svelte and strong. Maybe we just need to figure out what is going to help to make each of us the most peaceful at the end of the day, and focus on that.
That being said, you can totally stay tuned for my inspiring weight-loss/mindfulness/probably, like, knitting or something dumb/blogging journey!