Melancholy. That’s the word. I’m finally able to put a label on it. This is what I typically feel the entire day on New Year’s Eve, from the moment I wake to the stroke of midnight. It makes me uncomfortable. I never know if I should look back or look forward. Or do I just stay in place in the present, business as usual. Do I look back at the successes, the failures, the happys and sads of the past year, or do I look ahead to the new year in anticipation of wonderful and exciting new things and make resolutions like most people do? My mind can’t fully reconcile this conflict on December 31st; it can’t process the dissonance. I have a feeling of being in limbo like I do when I fly. I’m neither here nor there as I cruise above the clouds in a big metal bird, 40,000 feet above the ground.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions – I believe they set you up for failure. Instead, I try to set reasonable goals. There is a difference. I know I will reach some of them, others not. And that’s OK. Although folks give it the old college try, unfortunately the majority of people don't keep their resolutions, oftentimes because they are unattainable, making them feel defeated. For example, I see it at the gym. My favorite treadmills with a bird’s eye view of HGTV are all taken in January and February. Come March, the majority are empty and I have the pick of the litter.
I don’t resolve to run a ten miler this year, but rather I’ll set a goal of running at least twice a week and keep track of my progress. Accomplishing short term goals means you have a better chance of accomplishing long term. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right?
Today, on this New Year’s day, I will take a drive down both familiar and unfamiliar avenues and enjoy the beauty of nature all around me as I do all throughout the year. I’ll look up, look down, all around. It is always uplifting, always satisfying, always inspiring - never melancholic. It is my unfailing antidote. There is no conflict here, no struggle. No need to look backward or forward. I am certain I must stay in the present.
Happy New Year!