The Hammer Comes Down
What do airlines and resolutions have in common?
By Linda Hammerschmid
Well, nothing really, except for one underlying premise — help yourself first. Those among us who have ever taken a plane know that during the safety demonstration (or film) we are told to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first and foremost before attempting to help anyone else. This rule (suggestion really) should be applied to our daily lives and can help when setting those pesky New Year’s resolutions we invariably make and then fail to follow.
In contemplating the first column of the New Year, and for any column actually, I have to wait until the moment of inspiration hits and then run to put pen to paper before the inspiration evaporates (yes, I said pen — call me old fashioned!) So, it was 3:30 am one of the last days of December and I knew it was the time to write — for when it is time — carpe diem.
Personally, I have a list that I pull out every year, from my secure place, to cross off what I did accomplish that year and add what I want to get done in the forthcoming year. So far, if I am being honest, I have never fully completed any list I have ever made, but I am happy if I manage to fulfil 2 or 3 of the To Dos on the list. You may think that is not overly ambitious on my part but believe me it is, cause let’s face it, who actually follows their lists 100%? Unless of course they are filled with resolutions that require no effort.
… I am happy if I manage to fulfil 2 or 3 of the To Dos on the list. You may think that is not overly ambitious on my part but believe me it is, cause let’s face it, who actually follows their lists 100%?
So what type of resolutions make sense and actually allow for the possibility of completion? I used to put down such lofty goals as:
• Going to the gym and having a personal trainer, (which in 2004 actually worked until May when I got a bad cold and stopped going).
• The proverbial lose weight desire we all feel the need to include after over eating during the preceding 2 weeks.
• Going on a special trip (which I have now moved to my Bucket list) — so many lists!
• I have however, over the years, accomplished such tasks as, in 2004, obtaining a gun permit (so don’t mess with me) and since 2007, learning to worry less about what I can do nothing about (that I can tell you is an art and one which I have almost mastered for the most part).
The other non-accomplished resolutions are usually carried forward from year to year, until completion or until I realize I am NEVER going to follow through with them! For example, on my list, for several years now, is writing a book. I have, in fact, started many and have, at present, more of an epistolary than anything else, but to date a finished tome eludes me — so back it goes on the 2016 list because this I will do — someday!
Needless to say, cheating the list is always tempting, which is why I try to always include a few easy to finish tasks to accompany the more utopian objectives — like book writing — which carry forward — like income tax losses — from year to year.
Is it a bad thing to have goals that may never be attainable? I guess that depends on what you want from your resolution list. I believe that some goals are just that — somewhat like a light at the end of the tunnel. You may not see it to start, but eventually you will and that alone can inspire you to strive to get to the end of that tunnel. As long as I am quoting well-known axioms — it’s the journey not the destination that is important for our self-development. And often the goal may mutate along the way and end up leading us to even better goals.
… it’s the journey not the destination that is important for our self-development. And often the goal may mutate along the way and end up leading us to even better goals.
So, assuming our resolutions weren’t just written in jest, we should not be overly discouraged if some (read many) are not attained by next December 31st. Just the act of setting down some resolutions is an accomplishment in itself. So take the time this January and set down 5 (or 1 or 10) resolutions to strive for — and if it is but one do not make it “I resolve to never make any more resolutions”!
Seriously, enjoy contemplating where you want to see yourself in a year, set it to paper and seal it away to be reviewed on January 1, 2017 — just don’t forget where you put the paper as I did one year!
And if you are daring, do this exercise with a group of close friends: have each seal their list in separate envelopes – one of you then stores them to be read on New Year’s Eve 2016 — with, hopefully, all those same friends — that alone could be a resolution — and you can all share, in each other’s accomplishments/near misses/failures, before setting down your new set of resolutions for 2017. Could be fun.
Most importantly, Happy New Year and Health above all for without that nothing is attainable.