On January the 1st of each year many people make “New Year’s Resolutions”. This tradition dates back 4,000 years to the Babylonians! They made resolutions, or promises, to the gods to win favour. If the resolution was broken it was considered bad luck. More recently, back around 153 B.C. the Romans placed their mythical King “Janus” at the head of their calender, which thanks to Julius Caesar became our modern day calender, with January 1st being the first day of the year.
Janus was the earliest “Two-faced” individual! Well, they said that he had a face on the front of his head and another on the back of it, giving him the ability to see into the the future and into the past simultaneously. On December 31st, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. They also believed that Janus could forgive transgressions (or wrong-doings), so at the beginning of the new calender year they would give gifts to each other and make promises to one another and to Janus with the belief that he would see this and then bless their life for the entire year. And that, in a nutshell, is how New Year’s Resolutions all began.
I’ve never been one to entertain this tradition. Well, I did as a kid, but gave it up as an adult when I realized that certainly I—and amost everybody else who make resolutions never achieve their goals. In fact recent research shows that only about 12% of the people who make resolutions actually do achieve them. Well, 12 people out of 100 is still 12 people, isn’t it!? So at least some do—and it is that little fact that is motivating me this year to break my decades old pessimistic tradition and go for it! But…I’m only making TWO.
My first resolution for 2010 is to write something in my jounal/blog here on my website EVERY DAY of the year. I recently saw the delightful movie, “Julie and Julia”. Julie made a new Julia Child recipe every day for a year AND blogged about it! A true story! So, if she can do that, I can at least write a little blog/journal entry every day here, right? I don’t even have to cook! So, why not!? Indeed. That’s my first resolution for the year.
My second resolution is a little more personal, and from what I understand quite a common one—that is most commonly broken! Since I was about 22 or 23 years of age I have had the almost nightly habit of having a drink or two… Beer has been my beverage of choice, “IPA” (India Pale Ale) my favourite. If not beer, then wine. Nothing else. I can’t stand hard-liquor. But, after almost 30 years my evening habit has started to sort-of catch up with me. That has led me to the point today of making the resolution that for the next year at least, and perhaps for the rest of my life, I want to drink alcohol ONLY on special occassions, like at party’s, fancy dinners out and that sort of thing, so perhaps only a few times a month at most, and that will be it.
I accomplished my second resolution in September actually, going two weeks without my evening libations, but then was suddenly slammed by my Pulmonary Embolisms (see previous postings). The doctor’s said that my “libations” had nothing to do with my sudden illness…? Anyway, I was a bit worried about all of that for a bit, so delayed my resolve, my resolution till now.
Some who know me might say that I’m quite likely to achieve my first resolution, but un-likely to achieve the second. Well, I’m content to let the skeptical dog’s bark. I know who I am in my own heart. I know what I can or cannot do. Well, TODAY is soon to be over, and I’ve already accomplish BOTH of my New Year’s resolutions! Yes, of course it’s only day 1. But you know, I really believe that there comes a time in a persons life when we finally KNOW what we need to do, and with that “resolve” can come the strength to accomplish it, either single-handedly, or with help if need be. The only absolute prerequisite to the accomplishment of anything in life is first—the willingness to do it, and second—taking the first step. I’ve taken that first step today.
I wish you all a most wonderful New Year.