Here comes Baby New Year, dragging a sack full of self-improvement behind him. Lose weight! Exercise! Learn a new language! Organize your life! Marie Osmond, the Rosetta Stone people, and Oprah Winfrey will show us the way.
And so I give in to the urge to resolve. The notion of reinvention is too alluring, like an untouched snow bank. It’s easy to replace my Christmas “to do” list with a list for building a better Rita.
List, shmist. Enough with the addition. I’m moving on to subtraction.
I’m not giving up. I’m letting go.
I still see each new year, each new day, as a repository of possibilities. As 2014 approaches I wonder what experiences it will hold. But I don’t plan to greet midnight with a long “to do” list designed to fix me once and for all.
Instead, I resolve to release a few things. I’m dropping dreams that suited an 18-year-old but don’t fit the person I’ve become---some visions are built to last while others are as transient as leisure suits. I’ll also show those evil Wonder Twins, Guilt and Regret, the door. That one will definitely require divine assistance. I don’t want to become impervious to the convicting power of Guilt, but I’m tired of carrying it without cause. As for Regret, he’s a nasty little fellow who promises to keep his distance only if I manage to live an error-free life, and that’s not likely. Keeping him at bay will require daily doses of grace.
My archenemy, Perfectionism, will not go gently into the night. But I’m learning---slowly---that the secret to winning that battle lies in the small victories. A mug in my kitchen is emblazoned with this saying: “Strive for excellence, not perfection.” I keep that little motto in mind as I write. Only One is perfect and He doesn’t expect me to be. He just asks me to follow His lead and be the person He had in mind before I was born.
Would you like to travel with less baggage through 2014? Don’t give up. Just let go.
Happy New Year!