Look, New Year’s Resolutions are fun. You make a run at something, it usually doesn’t work. Our society has conditioned our brains that an annual tradition is to set ourselves up for failure. We’re supposed to create an unrealistic expectation that you know you could never maintain for a long time, commit to it for as long as you can and then, when you give up, it’s OK–that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for!
What I’d like you to choose as your anti-resolution for 2017 is an attitude, not a promise. I guess you could summarize it in two words: value time.
Seriously, look around. There are all kinds of ways to waste time. Video games, mindless TV shows, being stuck in traffic, waiting in line–all very insignificant things, unless you suddenly find that time has a limit.
This just handed me–it does.
The tricky thing about time is that you don’t know how big the serving is that you’ve been dished. Sure, if you’ve got until 90, you can play solitaire until your heart’s content. But imagine if you went in for a physical, the doctor said, “Oh-oh..” and you were given six months.
We’d all value every second we have and make it count. Well, adopt that philosophy now. Why wait until you’re told you don’t have much left? I’d love to think I’ve got decades ahead of me and, genealogy-wise, that could be. Or, some fluke could happen and it would all be gone tomorrow.
The reason I bring this up is that several people I know (most likely, because I live on one of the coasts) are all but dedicating the next four years of their lives to being upset about the recent election results. Now, granted, there are concerns about the potential directions of the country, but step back and think: how much influence do you really have on what happens?
Yes, you should keep an eye on things and raise your hand on every wrong action. Next election, you can vote for change. But, remember–you had a life. A unique experience of friends and memories and excitement and passions. However, I see too many people deciding that being upset is their choice of a lifestyle for the next four years. How tragic.
Start living with ‘the worst case syndrome’ being over your head every minute of every day and that’s really not much of a life. You can look at the good, or dread the bad. Go see the tulips when those fields come alive in a couple of months in Mount Vernon or wake up every day and be obsessed with what’s wrong or could be wrong with America.
I believe our ever-so-connected, uber-updated world is taking a toll on a lot of caring people. If you decided to try a New Year’s resolution this year, may I recommend focusing on the gift you have right now: time?
There is so much to appreciate surrounding you, that could all be taken away in an instant. Savor it. Love it. Treasure it. Then, wake up tomorrow and repeat.
Have a great 2017. It’s out there, if you want it.