No more resolutions

Thursday, January 3, 2008

As I was swiftly ingesting some Christmas dinner leftovers last week, I happened to catch the latest Jenny Craig commercial.

There was Valerie Bertinelli, the new Kirstie Alley, telling me to STOP making resolutions I will not follow through with. She does not need any, because she joined Jenny! As she was speaking to me, and starting to cry mind you, I realized it is that time of year to make resolutions to change something I do not like about myself. So I started to think. I also eased off the leftovers...

Resolutions are always that one thing you never think or worry about until the new year comes around. I never plan any, but will typically think of something before the clock strikes midnight, just to follow with the tradition of making resolutions. Usually it comes off rather nonchalantly, so I know I will never think of the resolution until I am counting down to midnight once again and see that I failed.

So I asked myself, is there anything I want to resolve about myself? Are there any flaws, minor or major, that I want to try to correct this year?

I went through the typical checklist everyone comes up with: money, weight-loss, relationships, friends and happiness in general.

Wait, I thought, I love my flaws! Well okay, maybe I do not exactly love them, but I appreciate them. That counts. I know my flaws make me who I am just as much as the good stuff. And who's to say the flaws aren't good either?

I know, I'm starting to sound a little narcissistic, but that's not the case. I merely came to the conclusion that if there is something I really do not like about myself, I do not need a specified time of year to start correcting it.

This year I decided to take Valerie's advice. I am not making any resolutions at all. And besides, who wants another failure on their hands? Not me.

I found nothing I really wanted to resolve in myself, so instead I'm hoping for more. More everything. Instead of resolving anything, I want to complicate it more.

From television shows to stories in magazines and newspapers, everyone is looking back at the year and reflecting on all that happened. We like to sum it all up to measure and see what the year was worth. Example: the cartoon above this column.

We look at all the tragic, painful things and we weigh it against all the good things. Based on what there was more of, we deem the year good or bad.

If it's a good year, we go on our merry way. If it's a bad year, we try to root out what made it so bad. That will typically drive the motivation of our resolutions because it must have been something wrong with us in the first place, I found my reasonings making me ask simply for more.

Throughout the year I would find myself thinking back to some particular incident, event, person, idea...you get the picture...and laughing. Of course it was not exactly a humorous year, but I really enjoyed reflecting and remembering the good stuff.

The best part was that I had a lot to remember and laugh at. Sure, I may have had some good opportunities, many on pure luck, that made it easier to laugh, but it was not from lack of effort.

I don't regret anything I did this year, because no matter what it was, it helped me grow. Now I just want more. More opportunities, more chances and more adventures.

So before we start making checklists of what to change about ourselves, move beyond what you have to work with and aim for more. Try something new this year!

And thank you Valerie Bertinelli for demanding I stop making resolutions. The tears convinced me. You really helped me out on this one, but I'm still not calling Jenny.

* Tyler Kirkholm, a senior student at Buena Vista University from Storm Lake, is a new member of the Pilot-Tribune news staff.