Every year, I hear the same chatter around the office, the coffee shop and on the street: What’s your New Year’s resolution? What are you going to do differently this year?
Well, I may be getting older than I actually am, but I already feel indifferent. My friends use “bah humbug” as a description of my attitude. I must have become the cranky old guy that I used to avoid in the neighborhood.
I reject the idea that I should use the change of a new year to promise myself to improve my deficiencies that I ignored during the past year — I’ve been trying my best to improve myself on all fronts as a general practice.
Why is there this yearly drive to see what others are going to do to make the new year better? It seems depressing to think that the past year was somehow wasted.That, in some measure, I have failed to be the best person I could have been in the year already passed.
I’ve achieved more than I ever thought possible in the past year. I know my friends have, as well. I like to think I have the whole thing figured out.
I’m well-known for rejecting holidays in general. I’ve never been one — with the exception of having my children around my house during Christmas and their birthdays — to embrace any holidays that the general public embraces (other than the Fourth of July).
I don’t need Valentine’s Day to prompt me to be romantic or show my affection toward my special significant other.
I don’t need Groundhog Day to know that the weather is probably going to be iffy and longer than expected.
Thanksgiving has always been a large dinner with a chance to visit family that you may or may not want to be near.
So I find this New Year’s resolution issue just as irritating as the other holidays.
I always try to improve myself, every day, every hour, every month.
To me, a resolution seems like a generalized “do-over” for those who feel their life’s achievements were woefully inadequate during the past 12 months.
I’m also the guy who cringes when that one co-worker asks if I have a case of the Mondays.
I would rather give gifts to those who deserve them when the opportunity arises.
I would rather hug those I love daily, and hand out boxes of candy and a bouquet of flowers to these special people in my life.
As for personal goals?
I always want to lose more weight.
I always want to improve myself.
I always want to help others.
I may even stop with my not-so-endearing bad habits.
I doubt it, but I’ll give it a couple of minutes of thought.
I hope that whatever you need to motivate you to be better works.
We all could always do a little better.
I’m not making any resolutions, but I will continue to help my friends, family, strangers and maybe even myself during this next year.
I won’t be disappointed at the next calendar change, though. I sleep well knowing I always try my best.
Lee Giles III is the staff photographer for The Peninsula Gateway and the Herald in Puyallup. He can be reached at 253-358-4156 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_lee.