New Year, New Leaf?

“What’s your New Year’s resolution?” 

That question was inevitable. Yesterday, after the haze of partying cleared up, one of my cousins asked me this over breakfast. When the question made the rounds of our table, the answers ranged from the more serious (such as ‘losing weight’) to simple ones (such as ‘being more organized’). It seems as if the first day of the first month of the year is the convenient time to ‘turn over a new leaf’, as some people would say.

Others would ask, “Why wait for January 1 at all?” The truth is that many New Year’s resolutions are measures or changes that people can implement at any day of the year. Sometimes they are better off when implemented immediately, instead of being put off for the ‘ideal’ date of January 1. In reality a good change can happen any day, New Year’s or no.

I have begun to wonder though, “Why make some resolutions at all?” While I cannot deny that some resolutions are quite necessary, such as needing to lose weight for health reasons, but there are a good many that seem to stem from a certain discontent with one’s person. Sometimes it seems as if people are always thinking of themselves as ‘not good enough’, or ‘failing’…but in comparison to what? We measure ourselves against our media idols, ideals shoved down our throat every day, or even the standards of the people around us, only to end up disappointed when we come up short.

We have this obsessive desire for self-improvement that sometimes it overshadows a very basic thing—to love one’s self.

And that, I believe, would be a good New Year’s resolution to make, if ever one should make one at all. To love one’s self—to take an honest look at one’s strengths and weaknesses, to give one’s self a break, to take pleasure in the simple things, to be unashamed of one’s passions—that would be a good thing that more people could take heed. It would save the world a lot of angst and comparisons, that is for sure.

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