I was taking a walk yesterday and it suddenly occurred to me how futile and foolish New Year's Resolutions are. Now, I'm sure we have all heard this before. There is always a proliferation of breakdowns on why New Year's Resolutions don't work (but how to make them work) on every local news channel, morning show and talk show come January 1st. The media world seems to be on fire every year with telling us how to make "this year" the our "best" year. Of course, sadly, tragically the majority of us don't make "this year" our "best year" and the dog-chasing-its-own tail of New Year resolutions, vows and promises to ourselves continues. A new chance, the talking heads of television tell us, for another this year to be our best year.
But yesterday, whether because it was Easter Sunday or because eventually we will come to know what we need to know if we continually strive for self-awareness, I thought, "it's not just the psychological fallacy of thinking an arbitrary date on a calendar can elicit great change within us that dooms New Year's Resolutions. It's WHEN that arbitrary date is."
The calendar is man-made. January could have been called June. June could have been called October. October could have been April. The calendar could have begun a new year in the summer. Or fall.
Or perhaps spring.
When the new year probably should begin if we were taking out lead from Mother Nature.
The calendar is arbitrary but the seasons are not. Seasons are organic. Real. Occurring natural regardless of man's definition of them. You can't plant in the cooling months and harvest in the cold months - no matter what nomenclature we assigns those times. And yet...
Come January 1st, the very dead of winter, we call upon ourselves to elicit great change within ourselves when the entire natural world is at rest. Sleeping. Dormant. New Year's resolutions don't work because they are completely out of sync with the natural rhythm of life!
But spring! Oh beautiful spring. Sandwiched between the dreary months of winter and the excitement of summer, spring seems to be over-looked for the transformative season it truly is. Things wake up in spring. Birth is everywhere. Life is renewed and reaffirmed. Forget January 1st for your "new year's" resolutions! These days now are the time to look within and make the new year your best year ever.
When you are married to an alcoholic, there are no "seasons." Eventually it's just always - emotionally, mentally and spiritually - the dead of winter. It's hard - so very, very, very hard - to feel alive, stay alive, live a life of liveliness and passion while residing in the continually cold and barren season of the alcoholic marriage. And yet...
What other choice do we have?
Don't wait until another January one or any other random date on the calendar rolls around to look at your life and consider its renewal. Reinvention. Your soul's resurrection. It took me a long time to stop defining myself by my marriage to an alcoholic. If pressed, I will tell you it took me too long. I blamed my marriage and my alcoholic husband for everything that was wrong in my life. My anger, my weight, my eating habits, my lack of exercising habits. The clutter in our house, my lack of a independent financial identity. It was ALL my alcoholic husband's/alcoholic marriage's fault.
And truth be told, it probably was. I'll never say the alcoholic marriage isn't like taking a wrecking ball to your life, your soul, your daily existence. But you can't hold that blame within yourself while simultaneously freeing yourself. The blame will imprison you as much as your husband's compulsive drinking and the accompanying behavior.
What do you want for your life? Who do you want to be? How do you want to move through your life? Nature is bursting and blooming with the potential of new life being realized.
Challenge yourself to join it.