Friday, 1 January 2016

Resolve not to Resolve

New Year's is not one of those things I go out of my way to celebrate. Certainly not in any currently traditional manner.
When I was young, I was told Christmas was for kids and New Year's Eve was for adults. Naturally, as I grew older and became what is legally an adult, I had a yen to join in those festivities and pretty much make a blithering idiot of myself. As it turned, most of those around me didn't notice the Idiot of Ed since they were, a) passed out, b) incapable of actually focusing on what I was doing to become an idiot, c) in the midst of becoming idiots themselves or, d) partaking in “b” and “c” until “a” occurred in an incoherent, steaming heap on a shag rug or tiled bathroom floor.
At the time, I felt I was behaving adulty... until the next day when I couldn't see well enough through my self imposed mental haze to find a coffee cup.
Naturally, as New Years Day came and went in some form of catatonic haze of headache, barely edible food, hair of the dog spiked orange juice and college bowl football digested through blurred vision, most resolutions I had made mere hours before were set aside for “tomorrow”. Tomorrow never comes, as the idiom so aptly applies to incomprehensible, drunken promises slurred through blurred synapses. 
Later in life, the throngs of semi-coherent gyrating New Year's Eve revellers became less and less enticing and, as I glance in the rear-view, far less important to brag about. Resolutions soon became less important as well. Those things I would promise myself on New Year's Eve while partaking in some form of alcohol imbued mental promiscuity seldom came to any lasting fruition.
I, like many others, would resolve to change those things I deemed less than adequate about my behaviour, my character or my lifestyle. It wasn't until my late thirties when I realised there was nothing wrong with any of those things so long as my actions weren't harming anyone else. If they were harming me, it was a choice... hopefully made consciously.
That in no way implies I didn't wish to become better or more than I was. It simply means that “better” is a bit of an ambiguous target from the outset.
So, my resolutions became more and more about a state of mind. That is, how did I wish to feel rather than what I wanted or wanted to change. The truth is, if there were something which I wished to change that was important enough to me, (drinking, smoking, eating healthy food, driving slower, using less, recycling more, exercise, etc), I would have done it already. A fictitious line in the sand has little meaning or motivation.
If I say I want to change something or set a goal for something else, I will only achieve it when it becomes important enough to me to motivate change.
It has become far more important to me to focus on achieving a feeling rather than focusing on a thing or change in behaviour.

Of course, there are times when I miss knowing how many pieces of gum were stuck to the under side of the tables at my favourite watering hole. That, though, is a story for another day.