It seems as if 2014 is well on its way.
To where is anyone's guess.
Of course, it's too early to tell whether it will lead us to heartbreak, or if it will give us the fresh start and new direction we'd hoped for when we closed our eyes back on New Year's Eve and made a wish.
Those among you who have made resolutions are busy trying to live up to your clean-slate expectations. Some of you have already given up. I don't judge. After all, it would be a shame to waste the chocolate or toffee remnants of 2013's holiday excess.
It's been a while since I've made a resolution in the formal sense of the declaration.
Not that I don't want to be a leaner, happier, healthier, more energetic and charismatic version of myself.
I'm just a realist.
And as realists, we know buying the membership doesn't mean we'll ever really belong to the club.
People like us know our limits. We know that wanting to change our lives in meaningful ways is like trying to find our “One True Love.”
It only happens when you stop trying.
And even then, what we find is never exactly what we expected.
In these early weeks of the New Year, I tend to think of resolve in retrospect.
It's not vowing to change in the future, it's noticing when change has already happened and deciding to explore it further.
Granted, for me this has meant taking a risk of some kind: Saying “YES” or even a hesitant “OK” to something when all I want to say is an unequivocal “NO!”
It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to accept looking like a fool, but it certainly helps if you accept that what anyone else thinks of your foolishness is really none of your business.
It also means being open to the idea that you may not know yourself as well as you think.
Because using that flawed logic, and the rarely-ever-fruitful child psychological mantra “How you know you don't like (fill-in-the-blank) if you've never tried (fill-in-the-blank)?”
So as I look back over my year I've noticed something. Things I thought I would hate -- things that I thought might even kill me or cause me unimaginable embarrassment – were actually quite enjoyable once I gave them a chance.
I went sledding down the steepest, iciest hill you can imagine. And I didn't die.
I went downhill skiing for the first time in my adult life, and I didn't die.
I started running (without having anyone chase me) and not only did I NOT die, but I discovered it was something I looked forward to doing every other day for a few miles, at least.
I haven't lost a pound, but I feel different. Lighter. More optimistic.
If you could measure such things, I'd say I trimmed the fat on my cynicism by about 40 percent. And not having that doubt weighing me down means realizing I might sometimes surprise myself. In a good way.
So enjoy the New Year, whatever it may bring. Tomorrow might be just another day, but today there is leftover candy.