When my dog came home from the groomer with painted toenails, I started fretting that I don’t treat myself nearly as well as I should.
Her glittering purple nails actually got me pondering my new year’s resolutions. There is nothing sparkling or unusual about them because they are the same ones I have made for years. Get published. Exercise. Learn my camera. Garden. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Same old nails.
I admit, I look forward to the New Year because I like the idea of second chances. I like knowing that if I didn’t get it right the first time around, a new year’s resolution can salve the pain of failure, and I can try again.
But there is the flip side. A new year also means time is up, we’ve hit the deadline for resolutions. Game’s over, people. Did you win? And if you didn’t, what now? Are you a failure? Are you chasing the wrong dream? Did you waste time and energy on the wrong goal?
We give ourselves 12 months to make big things happen. We want to lose weight. We want to get promoted. We want to buy a house. We want to fall in love. We want to get published. But what if we can’t make it work? What do we do with those failed resolutions?
Obviously, I recycle mine. But some people give them up, cast them away with the assumption that if they didn’t pan out in 12 months, it’s not meant to be. So, they strike out on new dreams, new ideas, new goals.
Should I have new sparkling resolutions instead of the same old ones years running? Would I try harder with fresh goals? Would I feel rejuvenated, be happier, with a different agenda? Would I succeed on a new path? Would I be treating myself better if I give myself a break and head in another direction?
It’d be great if all we needed was 12 months to make big or difficult things happen. But for some of us, we need more time, extra chances. Sometimes, we need to fail, try new methods, enter different doors, map out a new route, just to reach that one elusive goal. Those chances, that effort, while they may not pan out in success, are steps toward our goal. They all count, even if they wind up in failure. If you turn your back on failed resolutions, then you’re turning your back on all that effort and all those chances that carried you to where you are today.
I’m all for setting goals. I’m all for aiming for the stars. I’m all for making life better, richer, fuller, happier, healthier. But unless you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you have to take steps to get to your destination.
Even though I’m still vying for a publishing deal and still haven’t broken in my snazzy workout gear, and have a jungle for a backyard, I know that I have been trying. So, now I’m standing on a mountain of failed chances, but they’re chances that have lifted me higher each and every time, closer to those stars.
What is your New Year’s Resolution?