So this is the new year
And I don’t feel any different
As I sat down to write today, these words from Death Cab for Cutie’s song The New Year came to mind. Irony and cynicism abound in the first song on their Transatlaticism album (a personal favorite). They do in most Death Cab songs. But I love their music all the same. I don’t share the band’s outlook on life, but they describe it with such poetry and somehow evoke happiness and sadness within the same notes and melodies. Quite a feat. But I digress, the point is that this song got me thinking. Made me ask myself whether I agree. It’s the new year. Do I feel any different?
Not really. But why? Is it because I haven’t had time to consider the whole “another year is gone, a new one has begun” thing? Because the holidays were nuts, and New Year’s came and went with a blur of food-preparation and people-hosting? Because all I could muster the day after celebrating the 1st was a three-hour nap? Maybe so.
So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned pennance
For problems with easy solutions
I made no resolutions this time. I don’t often like to, because I hate to say I’m going to do something and then not do it. I hate that sense of failure, of being a flake, of my word not meaning a thing. So I only make them if I mean it. If I think it’s reasonable and probable with some effort. Which means I don’t make many. But I usually at least think about making them. I do a little self-evaluation and consider what I could work on in life. I decide what steps i could take, and weigh whether I would actually take them. And I come up with something.
For me, though, unlike Ben Gibbard, I don’t think of it as pennance. No one is making me do it. I don’t think it’s anything as dark as paying for past mistakes. For me it’s just thinking about how to make myself, and by extension those around me, happier, less stressed, more involved in living life well. What the heck is wrong with that? Not all problems have easy solutions, but there’s always something you can do to make things better, even in tiny increments. Or at least make a go at it. Any endeavor in life takes evaluation – running a business, child-rearing, marriage – to see what’s working, what’s not, how things could improve. Seems like one’s entire life could use the same. It’s just logical, really. And I’m a fan of logic.
So I’m going to make some time this week to think. I’m going to carve out a bit of quiet for some introspection, now that things have slowed down. To see what needs tending to. What’s working great. Who and how I can love a little better. For now I resolve to decide what to resolve. That’s as far as I’ve gotten in 2014, but it’s something.