So here we are, on the brink of a brand new year. This is the time where we sit back, reflect on what we screwed up on this year, and come up with a plan not to do that next year. Because at exactly Midnight tonight the magic memory ferries come and erase everything from our past. And the only thing we have left behind is that little list that we scribbled things on that we want to do better this year. I guess that’s why everyone is looking to find someone to kiss at midnight.
They’re hoping that the other person is actually having this memory reboot. And when the start-up menu of their lives comes this all-intriguing individual is going to believe they’re deeply in love with the person their new brain awakens to. Sounds serendipitous, right? Well, John Cusack aside, New Years is a chance to think about what we’re doing with our lives. If you’re like my good friend Donald Miller (And when I say “good friend,” I mean the guy I semi-stalk by reading his blog), you’re looking for that stupendous – and fairly fleeting – feeling of excitement at the possibility of a New Direction (Thank you, Glee.).
I am one of those who typically abstains from the resolution cycle. You know, the process by which we do January pretty okay, then fall apart and start binge drinking and/or eating in February through May; only to try again as the summer dawns in June…and then fall apart in July, followed by more comfort food and a plan to do better the next year. Don’t get me wrong, I like the constant changes and adaption that come through this cycle. The idea of starting off with a list of 10 things that gets cut from 9, to 7, to 3, to “well, at least I tried” actually feels like goal-fulfillment to me.
You see, the purpose of the whole process is to cross things off the list, right? So in reality when we cross the actual goals of the list, then we’re really accomplishing something. Yes, the original purpose was to actually complete the goal, but realizing that we’re not going to achieve the goal is its own achievement. Let’s call it a movement towards self-actualization.
Instead of subscribing to the make-and- break cycle of resolutions, it’s time to embrace the Chaos Theory within your heart. Think about it. The most spectacular things that happen in the movies (And we all know that life imitates art, right?) happen by accident. They’re the things that come along while the character is looking for something else. It’s the whole “I’m looking for this to happen, but then this happened” thing. (See, Kathryn Shulz “On Being Wrong”) We love it when the magic box in our living room does this, but we’re not always so comfortable when the big box that is the world does it.
So if you must make a resolution list this year, then do so. But be ready to fall prey to the big boombox moments of your life that will come wholly unannounced – you know what I’m talking about. If you must make resolutions, then make some ginormous resolutions that will fling you into the world of chaos and provide you with moments of beautiful serendipity (Serendipity – “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident”). Anyhow, it’s not exactly “your plan” that’s gonna get you where you need to be.
Be less this year, don’t try to be more. In our weakness He is strong.