New Year’s resolutions have been around for thousands of years, and while many of us seem to make them, not so many of us seem to actually accomplish what we set out to do. Or not do. Whether you are a fan of making some sort of promise to yourself as the calendar turns over to another year or not, there seems to be a cultural expectation that we make one. 2019 is looming large, and it can be easy to consider the current year a done deal. Too soon to set our resolutions for the year about to begin, and too late to make any for the one about to end.
But this morning it dawned on me that there are still 38 days left in 2018, and in order to have a sense of contentment and satisfaction about ending this year well, I’ve decided to start a new tradition: An Old Year’s Resolution.
When the shotguns go off in our little valley at midnight on December 31, 2018, what would I like to be true?
What would I like to have accomplished?
Grabbed hold of?
Let go of?
If I had the courage, what would I do before ringing in another year?
In his poem, Start Close In, David Whyte writes:
Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
you don’t want to take.
An Old Year’s Resolution is a chance to start close in. To take that first step. The one we’d rather jump over and get on to the next steps. The one we’ve known we need to take, but haven’t found our way to do actually take it.
What is the step I don’t want to take? I’ll take that one.
What is the step you don’t want to take? Maybe you’ll take that one.
There’s still time.
38 days to be exact.