Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Are you resolved?

My new book--out this month!

Resolutions? Do you make them? Do you break them? Can you take them or leave them?
I never made them as a child--well, as an angsty teen--when all my friends would list theirs. I knew myself. Anything I resolved would become a task. In my early adulthood, I began to think I was missing out on an opportunity because I didn't look upon the new year as a time to start over, so I'd give it a shot.

The new year just isn't a start-over to me.

I finally learned to make the one resolution I can manage to keep because I work at it every day. It sounds kind of beauty-pageanty and embarrassing, but I try to do no harm. I have an ugly temper and a sarcastic mind, but I don't use them in anger. I think twice before I say whatever pops into my head. Most of the time. You know how something sounds funny in your mind, but then once it's out there in the air--not so much? At least these days, it's usually some nerdy allusion that makes me feel like a big, old sore thumb, but I don't mind the "what are you talking about?" look. It's the hurt face that kills me.

My all-time resolution has become more easy to keep when social media makes people so generous with their anger and the right to rant. I find all the bad feeling overwhelming. Frustrating moments that are part of just living suddenly become a soapbox for normal people who wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings in person. I can't do that--probably because I learned a few lessons from the shame of wielding that sarcastic temper. I don't feel smarter or better when I blurt out the perfect response. I just feel bad.

So, this year, I'm resolving the same old thing--not to hurt anyone, not to try forcing my opinion on top of anyone else's, but to accept that people don't think like I do, and I like to know how other folks think. When I'm driving down the road, and I see other travelers chatting, I always wonder what's going on in their lives--what's happening today that feels just as vital as all my urgent matters.

Mind you, I also try not to post personal stuff, and this post feels pretty personal. I'm tempted to delete and start over, but I'm about to ask you what you're resolving this year, so I might as well leave my own feelings out in public.

What is something you'd like to make sure you do? Or something you don't want to do any more?

I'm wishing you all the new year that makes you most happy.

20 comments:

  1. I don't think resolutions come any better than yours, Anna. I don't really make them, but I choose a word for the year. The word in 2013 was "joy," and 2014 was "magic," and I found a lot of both. I'm still thinking of the word for 2015.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz, I do love the idea of your words for the year. I hope you'll share when you find the one for this year!

      Delete
  2. I don't make resolutions, but the world would be a better place if your resolution was broadly embraced, Anna.

    On the positive end of the spectrum, I've often been surprised by the huge smiles I get when I say something nice to a person on an elevator, in a check-out line or just walking along a street--something as simple as "those are great shoes," "I like your dress," or "your dog is beautiful." Not only does it not cost me anything, it makes me feel better for doing it!

    Why not make someone you don't know smile today?

    Best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2015!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kate, I love that you choose to make a connection with other people--through kindness.

      Hope you have a wonderful 2015, too!

      Delete
    2. I am so with you on this, Kate, if we all were just a tad nicer each day to others, a shade more tolerant, this world might be easier to live in. Or am I being a Pollyanna? I like to hope for all the best for all of us especially at the New Year.

      Delete
  3. You hit the right word, Anna - connect! Liz? How's that for a word? Kate - I do that all the time, greet people I don't know, smile at everyone, say Good Morning to the street person walking by. They're so used to being invisible and you wonder if a word of kindness will bring them back. I LOVE your resolution, Anna. Not trying to make this about me, honest, but since New Year's Day is my birthday, I probably feel that newness of resolve even a little more than most people. It's a fresh start, and this year I'll be better, wiser, kinder, stronger. I think we've found the Heartwarming shape for 2015! Happy New Year everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muriel, I don't think I've ever known anyone born on New Year's Day. happy birthday tomorrow!

      Delete
    2. Happy birthday for tomorrow, Muriel! I've never known a New Year's baby either. I would love to pass you and Kate on the street for a hello. And then maybe we could stop for a coffee and some chat! Are you in, Patricia? :-)

      Delete
  4. Great, thought provoking post, Anna. I don't make resolutions unless you count goals which I do. You know, like meet my deadlines...but I do like the do no harm idea. I also like to connect with people as I go about my way, smiling and speaking to people I don't know. Once I was behind a woman at Walmart who was going off on the clerk because her gift card wouldn't work and I suggested they check and see if it had been used. Turned out her husband had bought gas, which she remembered finally and she aopologized to the clerk and everyone went away happy. Well not the customer. She went looking for her husband.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, I should be making at least one of your goals. LOL on the customer looking for her husband. What was he doing with her gift card? :-) But how kind of you to disarm the situation! I am sorry to admit I'd probably have stood there, looking embarrassed!

      Hope you're having a fab New Year's!

      Delete
  5. Anna, fabulous post. Loved every word. I can relate to your sarcastic brain--I try to use mine only for good as well... I will confess to making resolutions, but they are always something broad and sweeping like a few mentioned above. This year I'm going to try to be more organized and make better use of my time. Like Muriel, I am a New Year's baby and enjoy the feeling of my birthday starting off a brand new year and a fresh start! I also like Muriel's word to 'connect' so maybe I'll resolve to do that, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol! That's right! I forgot that we talked about this before. Happy Birthday to you, too! I have a younger brother whose birthday is also January 1st. (Must have been a lot of fooling around in March, I'm thinking!)

      Delete
    2. Carol--here's to both of us keeping the sarcasm where it belongs this year! And I'd like to borrow your goal of being more organized and wiser with time. Happy birthday to you, too! What are the chances of you and Muriel meeting up with your unusual birthdays? Were either of you the first baby of the year in your area? Happy New Year's to you both, too!

      Delete
  6. I don't make resolutions either, but I do set goals. Most of them are writing or accomplishing some tasks that have eluded me. I don't read the rants on social media. If one starts, I skip it.

    When I see someone acting badly in a store and I'm next in line, I always say something nice to the clerk to negate the person behaving badly. Usually, I leave smiling and the person behind me agrees with what I said, so we helped the service person over that hump.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful new year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shirley, you're kind to try to make up for the person behaving badly. I went out to lunch with an acquaintance a few years ago, and she behaved so badly toward our server that I ended up more than double-tipping. What a heinous situation!

      Wishing you a wonderful year, too--with all your goals accomplished!

      Delete
  7. Anna, I wonder why people make resolutions when it's impossible to know what the next year will bring. I have a lot of friends who set goals, but I'm more of a take-each-day-as-it-comes-and see-what-happens kind of person. I like sarcasm which is why I like Bill Marr, John Stewart and Steven Colbert. I try not to use it myself as people don't understand. I like the do no harm idea. And like Muriel I smile and say hello, have a nice day to strangers. If I had to pick one word for 2015 it'd probably be: persevere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz, that's so true about not knowing what the next year will bring. I definitely fare better when I'm like you, taking each day as it comes. I like persevere as a word for the year, but I'm going to wish you some of Liz's words, too--magic and joy!

      Delete
  8. I used to make resolutions, and for the most part, I kept them (because I chose things I knew I could accomplish, easily)! A few years ago, I started choosing Word of the Year, instead...something that would guide my actions, aid in my career path, improve my relationships and overall outlook. This year's word: Decisiveness. I intend to set a few concrete career-type goals, then do everything humanly possible to make them happen! Here's hoping your Christmas was beautiful and that 2015 will bring you only the best of everything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loree, I may be borrowing your word. Decisiveness is not in my wheelhouse right now, and I need it to be. Hope you've had wonderful holidays! And I hope fabulous decisions await you in 2015!

      Delete