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On Resolutions

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December 28, 2010

Trista Cornelius, Contributing Writer
New Year's resolutions are about unobtainable idealism; at least they are for me. I list what I wish for in my life without thought to the realities of limited time, energy, and motivation. Plus, as soon as I say "eat healthier," invincible cravings for tater tots (they're vegan!) and dark chocolate sprout up persistently until the seconds-long resolution is forgotten completely. "Eat less sugar" means I'll eat nothing else for the next few days.

Instead of resolutions for 2011, I am taking stock of 2010. Looking back, I will make a list of what my resolutions would have been had I been able to see into the future. Hindsight is 20/20 vision, right? However, it's not just about accomplishments, and it's certainly not about shortcomings; it's more about what I actually did in 2010, what I actually attempted and practiced during the last 12 months.

Here’s what I mean: many years ago, during a challenging time in my life, my husband (then boyfriend) took me out to dinner. The back of the menu told the restaurant owner’s life story, from poverty to success and benevolent outreach to those in need today. I sighed, then whined a long rush of self-pitying admiration for her, "She has it so together. Her life is so meaningful and focused. She’s so confident and sure of who she is and what she is doing..."

"Your life would look good printed on the back of a menu, too," my man said. He pointed out the 8.5 x 11 inch page, the limited space to spell out a life, no room to describe doubts, second guesses, sleepless nights, bad moods, or downright bad luck.

So, I guess this is what I mean instead of resolutions for 2011. Rather than listing what I hope to do or be, what I should do or be, and focusing on flaws or limitations, I’m going to list what my resolutions proved to be in 2010, what I actually attempted, practiced, stayed the course with, maybe even achieved. Whether or not I succeeded or need to work harder doesn’t matter; it’s about what I tried, what ideals I attempted to live.

I'll use this list to leap into a bountiful, resilient, optimistic, and maybe even idealistic start to 2011.

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