Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To Resolute or Not

With the new year fast approaching, we all somehow decide we need to make resolutions to carry us through the coming year. Lose weight, quit smoking, be nicer to people, write more, cook less...whatever they are, we always think about making them.

Now, I for one, make them sporadically. Not every year, but years I feel like I've been less than. Last year I had seven. Did I keep them? No, not one. Do I feel bad? No, I do not. Yeah, I'm a little disappointed but you know what -- who cares.

Most of us make unreasonable demands that we can't do, they just sound good on paper. One of my simpler resolutions last year was to write 500 words a day. Sounds easy-peasy right? Yeah, not so much. It was in the 90's and above for most of the summer here and I didn't write a word for most of it. (no air conditioning)

Some of us will take any excuse to fail. (see above paragraph) "It's too hot. It's too hard. I can't do it. It won't work. It hurts. I don't have the time. The kids, the husband, the dog..." the list of excuses is endless.

Does that mean we're failures? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Read those words carefully, my dear ones. You are NOT a failure. To me, it just means we've put that part of our lives on hold until we get a better grip on our reality.

Who in God's name can lose weight with all the leftover turkey and pie and ham and cookies hanging around the house after the holidays? Who can be nicer to people when Mother Nature is making life miserable for everyone? Who can write 500 words a day, every day, when a family member is in the hospital, your son's hamster dies, or the washing machine explodes?

My resolution then is NOT to make resolutions. They hurt. They take you out of your comfort zone. They really don't have any benefit unless you keep them. And most of us don't. So what's the point?

My solution -- Kindness. Just the one word, not too hard to decipher, easily attainable, and works miracles.

Instead of making all these crazy resolutions you know you won't keep (or think you might die trying) just be kind. To people you know and people you don't. To animals and the earth and old people and children. To your mother-in-law and the bitch in the office. To the old lady in the grocery store parking lot having trouble with her bags. To the man in the post office with all those packages. Hold a door for someone. Give the lady in the check-out line in front of you the 17 cents she owes because she can't find it in her change purse. Feed the birds your stale bread instead of throwing it away. Recycle, reduce, reuse as much as you can in this throw-away society. Mother Earth is the only home we have and if we're not kind to her, we're going to be up shit's creek without a paddle.

Kindness my friends is the only resolution I think we need to make. If everyone were just a little kinder to every one else, don't you think the world would be a little more shiny? A nicer place to live?

Pay It Forward.

30 comments:

Jayne said...

I think that is an excellent resolution. A little bit of kindness can make such a big difference. :)

Ariel Swan said...

Great New Years post. It makes me feel better already and I haven't even made my resolutions yet.

Anne Gallagher said...

Jayne -- Just a little bit. Doesn't have to be a lot, but just enough to make a difference.

Ariel -- Well, see, now you don't even need to make any.

The Words Crafter said...

This is completely brilliant and so true! If I could give you a high five, I would.

MB Dabney said...

Kindness. It's a good resolution to have -- that and losing some weight, and writing every day, and sending out seven queries a week, and bathing the dog weekly, and making sure there is always gas in the car for my wife, and not losing my temper with my children, and drinking less soda, and eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising daily, and . . .

I guess I missed the point.

But have a Happy resolution-less New Years.

Anne Gallagher said...

Becky -- *hands up* *smack smack* High Fives!!

Anne Gallagher said...

Michael -- I think first you need to be a little bit kinder to yourself, then we can talk.

Melissa Gill said...

So true. Imagine what this world would be like if we were all kinder to each other and to it.

Great post, Anne.

Happy New Year.

Creepy Query Girl said...

i think that's a fantastic way to be. And sometimes what would seem the easiest- being kind to those closest to us is often the most difficult. Patience seems to go hand in hand with kindess:)

Liza said...

I'm with you. Kindness. Do what you can...and smile. A lot.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wonderful resolution. I'm amazed at how a simple smile from a stranger can uplift one's spirits--whether you're the giver or the receiver.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i typically make resolutions, well more like goals. If i don't complete them, well there's always next year. There's never any point about beating yourself up ove it

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thanks for the idea. I really like it. And I can start by being kinder to myself! I am always my worst enemy (isn't that true for most people?).

Bossy Betty said...

You are so right--kindness is the gift that keeps giving. It helps everyone involved. Loved this post!

Laurel Garver said...

I'm so totally with you that January is a lousy time to start self-improvement plans. I think lent and Easter are better times of year for that--when we at least have improving weather to inspire other improvements. :-)

I love your idea of sticking with one thing, and kindness is the BEST!

MB Dabney said...

Actually, Anne, I was trying to be funny. In reality, I rarely make New Year's resolutions and even when I do, they are never personal goals, i.e., lose weight, exercise more, eat more fruits and veggies, etc.

But I plan to set two writing goals for 2011. And if I achieve them, great. If not, that's okay, too. I won't beat myself up either way.

E. Elle said...

Wonderfully said, Anne. Have a happy -- and kind -- new year. <3

The Words Crafter said...

I forgot! You got goodies on my blog!!!

Theresa Milstein said...

Resolution to not make resolutions? It sounds like a resolution, but one I can live with.

I have goals, but they don't pop up on 1/1. They exist all year:
1) Finish my current WIP
2) Land an agent
3) Have said agent score a book deal
4) Land a full-time regular job until I no longer need to work from the HUGE advance I'm going to get. Or the HUGE book sales. Something like that.

Happy New Year!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Beautiful post! I agree. :)

Shelley Sly said...

I love this idea. Kindness is a resolution that I will definitely make, always. As for writing goals and all that... I'll at least give it a shot.

Hope you had a nice Christmas, and have a happy and wonderful New Year!!

The Las Vegas Writer said...

Great post. I only have one resolution: save for my own house!

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I'm glad you all agree that kindness, even with a few resolutions thrown in, is a good idea.

It can't hurt, right?

February Grace said...

I love it, Anne. Kindness matters and there is far too little of it in the world.

Thanks for putting so much of it out there- something for us all to aspire to.

happy new year!
~bru

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that's a worthy resolution.
And I hate it when the washing machine explodes.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am like you, Anne. I don't do resolutions. Why set yourself up to fail? I hope you have all your publication dreams come true this 2011! Roland

notesfromnadir said...

Outstanding! & remember that kindness spreads so it's good for every1. :)

Clarissa Draper said...

Kindness is a great thing to strive for. I've made some of my goals but I know I won't be too disappointed if I fail. I'm just going to try my best.
CD

Francine Howarth said...

Hi,

Thanks for dropping by my New Year blog post.

Couldn't agree more with "Spreading a little Kindness" and not just for the season of goodwill but for all time. ;) Happy New year

best
F

G.~ said...

Hi Anne.

I agree with you 100%. And being kind to yourself has to come first before we can truly be kind to others. Not making resolutions is a great way to start.

Thank you for this beautiful post.

Have a wonderful New Year and here's to all your dreams coming with little effort. ;)