As the crystal ball starts to descend down the pole on top of the building in the heart of Times Square, I’ll watch with glee. I’ve made it to another year; another day which I wasn’t certain would come. To celebrate, I will make resolutions I know I can keep.
The truth is I could stand to lose some weight but I refuse to resolve to do so on January 1st. Why? I hate going to the gym where strangers watch me struggle to get up to speed, offer unsolicited advice or trying to figure out what’s wrong with me because I walk with a limp and am riddled with. Add to that the fact that my body, which is battling an autoimmune disease, might not cooperate with an intensive workout plan.
I also won’t vow to eat right. Of course, I am aware that doing so might improve my overall health. However, I know the depth of my love of snacks; they’re a part of my every day diet. Sure, I will add in some more fruits and vegetables, drink less soda, and consume more water and less junk food but I am not cutting it out totally.
I could promise to something, seemingly easier, like wear makeup more often, put on more dresses and take time to style my hair; all things that would please my fiancé. Yet, I’m comfortable in my clothes and skin as is. Besides, most days, I can barely drag myself out of bed to make it to work so being glamorous is far from my mind.
No, when the clock strikes midnight, ushering in 2016, I will resolve to do two things. The first is to forgive those who weren’t there for me when I needed them the most. I won’t let go of my perceived wrong to benefit the family and friends that let me down. I’ll do it because it’s important to me to face each day with as little negativity as possible; I need to release myself from the power that disappointment has over me. It makes me doubt my worth and the loyalty of others. By freeing myself, I can shift my focus to being there for those who had my back, as well as staying as healthy as I can mentally and physically.
The second thing I vow is to what Benjamin Franklin reportedly said few of us have the courage to do; that is to own my faults and have the resolve to mend them. I’m honest enough to know I’m not yet the woman I want to be. I need to let go of my fear of abandonment; the belief that those I love will get sick of hearing about my ailments or caring from me and will give up on me. It’s also important for me to relinquish some of my independence so I can ask for help and share my life with others more freely. I’m aware that often times I am too tough on the outside and that pushes people aware so softening the way I talk to and deal with others is crucial to tightening my bonds. Additionally, I swear too much and pray too little. I worry too much about work and too little about making sure I relax. I’d like to reverse both of these things.
I could go on because my list of faults is many but they’re within my power to fix. If I’m successful at making sure I’m a better person on the inside, who I really am will radiate on the outside, and erase any concerns I have about superficial flaws like weight or appearance. And, these changes will ensure 2016 and every year after is a happy new year.
Article originally published in the Huffington Post on 12/28/2015: