Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Okay. Here it is the 5th of January, and I still haven't decided whether I'm making New Year's resolutions--or not. So what is that about?
Maybe a pros and cons list will help me figure this out. I have come up with the following positive thoughts about New Year's Resolutions--hereinafter referred to as NYRs.
1. I've (almost) always made them, so they're part of my tradition.
2. NYRs give focus to my efforts to improve myself and my life.
3. NYRs are useful conversation fodder at this time of year.
4. If I manage to keep all or most--or what the heck! even some--of them, NYRs can strengthen my good opinion of myself.
5. The exercise of considering and choosing NYRs makes for some pretty deep reflection.
All good, yes? So why wouldn't I make like a polar bear and take the plunge? What's not to love about NYRs?
1. I've (almost) always made them, so they're part of my tradition. (Not so obviously a good thing.)
2. NYRs can limit my focus, and concentrate my efforts too narrowly.
3. As an NYR agnostic, I believe that my human mind is too small to know with certainty that NYRs have anything to do with outcomes, or with the quality of my life in the year ahead.
4. If I manage to break all or most--or what the heck! even some--of them, NYRs can reinforce my low opinion of myself.
5. The exercise of considering and choosing NYRs would require an amount of time and energy (given my perfectionism, which, come to think of it, maybe I should resolve to eliminate) that could be spent actually accomplishing something, resolved or not.
Clearly, neither list is exhaustive. And since I have created two 5-item lists, I can't make my decision on a quantitative basis.
As a fledgling Buddhist, I can see the attachment aspect of NYRs. Not good. But then I could resolve to let go of attachments. . . . But wouldn't that be basically becoming attached to the idea of non attachment?
Okay, now I'm getting a headache.
I have a provisional list of resolutions, just in case I decide to adopt any. (Which makes me wonder who their original parents might have been, and why they decided to relinquish them.)
Revisiting last year's post on the subject of NYRs, I see that my quandary is not new. Apparently, at least some things stay the same. But what does that mean for the question at hand? Resolve? Don't resolve?
I resolve to think about it some more.