The celebrations for the New Year are done. Too many Christmas decorations still litter my neighbors’ yards, but they too are slowly disappearing. We’re back at work just as we were before the extended weekend. We’re even telling the same jokes. The most long-standing joke I deals with no one keeping their New Year’s Resolutions. Why are we still laughing when at that joke when everyone knows New Year’s Resolutions are never kept. 

Proclaim your New Year’s Resolutions with confidence to your family, friends, followers, associates, and know that no one expects you to keep them. If they are such a joke, why go through the trouble to proclaim them? If making changes were easy, would we keep or even need our New Year’s Resolutions?

We enjoy comfort. We believe the path we walk on leads in the direction we want to go. Perhaps Father Time whispering in our ears every year makes us look at other paths and wonder where they lead. Will they direct us where we want to go with an ease that will warrant an uncomfortable step across the brush and briar to that other path? Perhaps another path offers of a future where the stars shine a little brighter than they do here, where the air is a is crisp and clear, where rivers flow with mana. Perhaps another path leads to those we will love and who will love us back. Perhaps another path leads not to Xanadu but to loss and pain. How will we know if we do not step onto a new path?

A resolution is a commitment to seek another path. It proclaims our desire for something other than what is at this moment in this placen and with these people. A resolution identifies us as unsatisfied, dissidents, unlike those around us. It recognizes us as different.

So we declare resolutions with a nod and a wink. No change comes. Our current path flows forward with strength and purpose and safety.

And then there is the silent wanton, the loving smile, the fond embrace of comfort, the glimpse of something that might be. Pause, feel it’s presence and wonder. The brush that separates our current path is not so tall that we cannot step over to the new path. It barely tickles the ankles. The briar growing between the paths contains thorns but none that sting so strong as regret. A whisper in the conscience, a breath of new air, an acceptance of what is and the resolution lives. It lives without proclamations, expense of purse, or wanton exuberances. Though we stumble along a new path, we look ahead with wonder and sigh. Another challenge in the path, but we’ve made it this far. How far can we go? 


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