Jessica Sieff: This year, never settlePublished 7:14pm Thursday, January 13, 2011
Currently, I’m in the middle of putting together stories for the next issue of Third Coast Living.
Without giving too much away, in the editor’s note I touch on the subject of New Year’s resolutions.
I can’t say I’ve ever been successful in achieving New Year’s resolutions, if any are made at all.
I really can’t remember by the year’s end if I, at some point around midnight 365 days prior made some kind of arbitrary pledge to myself to finally get organized or become more responsible in the matter of my finances.
I have a very good friend who could testify that I am not in any way more organized or more responsible in the matter of my finances than I was last year.
But something struck me as I was looking into the matter of resolutions.
I didn’t bother to look at the most commonly made personal promises, they’re usually the same year after year — lose weight, save money, chase the dream.
Instead, I was looking into the word itself and in my handy little Merriam-Webster Dictionary iPhone app, I found a listing under several definitions a related term for “resolution” as to have a firm resolve. And a synonym listed as “courage.”
The idea of starting fresh on the first day of January with a whole list of hopes and dreams for the coming year has somewhat lost its meaning because, let’s face it, the majority of us forgot what we were aiming at by mid-February if we’re lucky to get that far.
But the idea of resolving something, well, that always speaks to me. I’m a fixer. I like to fix things. I like to solve problems. We can’t always solve the problems or fix the people.
But we can try.
To get back on track, as I pondered over the idea of resolutions, I realized that it’s not so arbitrary to face the start of another day, another month, another year with a goal to bring resolution to that which is undone.
It’s more than just a pledge to lose a few pounds or pay off a few bills.
It’s realizing that those steps lead to new levels. Maybe you’ll hike a mountain. Maybe you’ll see the world from a new place.
Maybe you’ll catch your breath at the summit and nothing will ever be the same.
Maybe you’ll save a few bucks and pay off that credit card you’ve only been tossing the minimum payment due at for the last three years.
Maybe those few bucks you’ll put aside. Maybe they’ll add up to a down payment on a new home or a first-class trip to Greece or Italy or France.
Maybe you’ll take up the language. Maybe you won’t.
Maybe you’ll taste something you’ve never had before.
Maybe then, nothing will ever be the same.
Putting together the next issue of Third Coast Living, in an effort to give people ideas for their own New Year’s resolutions, I found myself drawing inspiration from people who followed their passions and turned those passions into successful businesses, who live the way they love, with gusto and an insatiable appetite.
So here’s a resolution for you — here’s to finding a firm resolve to never settle for less than that which truly fulfills us.
No matter what it is.
And if you need a little inspiration — look around. Because it’s everywhere.
It’s in the people who move on from broken hearts, from the dreamers who become entrepreneurs (and hang on through years of recession), it’s in the new mothers who every day get up and go to work when they’d rather be at home watching their newborns discover the world. It’s in kids who dream of becoming artists or chefs or mathematicians.
It starts with the resolution, the thing that, if resolved, would fill your heart with joy.
It takes a firm resolve to muscle through and make it happen. Beyond all the challenges and the setbacks.
And never settle for less. Because to not settle for less, well, that takes courage. And the world could always use a little more of that.
Jessica Sieff reports for Leader Publications. Reach her at email@example.com.