Looking, Moving Forward Hoping for Utopia
I love to spend New Year’s eve reminiscing over the year that has gone by with focus on the year to come. Prior to my divorce, I loved to just kick back and spend New Year’s eve with my kids, who inadvertently would fall asleep before 12.00 midnight, forcing me to carry them up the staircase to their beds. My ex wife and myself hardly spent New Year’s eve together in any sort of meaningful manner. Typically we would be together physically unless she chose to work (working at night on New Year’s eve means premium pay for nurses) to make extra money for herself. We typically were together physically, but hardly ever actually spent time together in some planned activity — attending a church service does not really count as most of the time is spent interacting with a preacher not your spouse. Anyway, guess it is no surprise we are divorced. The kicker? Only after we got divorced I recognized this pattern of behavior. Makes you wonder how much taking care of four young kids, managing a career, and managing a home in capacity of a father can blind couples to how they are not spending quality time together. Naturally, lack of quality time together translates eventually into divorce.
The point of the divorce diatribe?
If you do not have any good memories of New Year’s eve with your spouse, you perhaps need to start thinking of what you need to do to save your marriage, assuming of course you intend to keep your spouse.
One thing I do not do on New Year’s eve is make New Year resolutions. Never have, never will. In my opinion, New Year’s resolutions are the antithesis of meaningful progress, which perhaps is why people typically have failed at keeping up with their resolutions prior to the end of the first quarter of a new year.
I see New Year’s eve as a milestone of time nothing more. I live New Year’s eve using the exact same principles as I applied the day before, and with expectation of applying the same principles on New Year’s day. New Year’s eve provides me with an opportunity to reflect on successes achieved during the year, areas where successes have not lived up to expectations, and steps I already have adopted in response to learning points that transpired during the year about to come to an end.
I never actually make any new decisions on New Year’s eve. Every decision I needed to make already was made during the year coming to an end. On New Year’s eve I merely reminisce over the sum total of events that transpired during the year with a view to expression of gratitude to my Lord Jesus Christ for successes achieved and lessons learned.
Since 2014, I have lost over 30 pounds, yet I do not weigh myself daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, and do not own a weighing machine of any type whatsoever. I never even have made any resolution to lose weight. I simply have chosen to live a healthy lifestyle, a decision I made sometime during 2014, not on eve of 2014 or 2015. Every time I have weighed myself, it has been because I chanced on a weighing machine while visiting a close relative.
So how did I know I was losing weight without a weighing machine? Easy. My clothes. As I have lost weight, shirts that were slim fits have turned into baggy fits. Trousers I had to squeeze into began to require belts. In these evidences I had the assurance my healthy lifestyle was inducing some loss in weight. The kicker is even if I was not losing weight, so long as I believed I was doing my best to live healthy, lack of any loss in weight would not have made any difference to my personal satisfaction with my actions. The benefit? The weight I lose stays off because it is outcome of a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to frantic efforts aimed at achieving some lofty weight loss target within some short window of time.
My rubric works for me, may work for you, yet may not. I merely am sharing my story as it relates to rituals around transition from one year to another. I hope my words bless you either in generation of new insights or understanding of how some other people approach transition from one year to another.
I wish you a prosperous 2018 filled with right actions, good actions, noble actions, loving actions. These after all are essence of any meaningful utopia, not mindless living in a classless, repetitive task, non-emotional, artificially whitened controlled environment.
But then again some desire a dystopian ending to life on earth, which is exactly what? Mindless living in a classless, repetitive task, non-emotional, artificially whitened controlled environment. An utopia created by those to whom people choose to cede control of affairs of life. But is this utopia or a delusion of grandiose proportions masquerading as an enervating objective?
I hope and pray 2018 is for you and I an utopia created by confluence of mindful right actions, good actions, noble actions, loving actions.