• Meg Castro

New Years, New Us, New Goals, Ugh


Every year January first comes and goes. And every year we make these lists of how we are going to be a better version of ourselves. We're going to diet, exercise, quit a bad habit, drink less, and whatever else there is to chance. And then we forget them as January becomes February, by summer they are a distant memory.


So Why do we make resolutions on New Years? Why is that a thing?

Well we can thank the ancient Babylonians for the tradition of making a New Years resolution. But it was a bit different from how we do it today. For them the New Year began when they planted crops. They would have a twelve day celebration where they would pay homage to their gods, to their king. They would make promises to their gods and in hope of winning favor with them. And if they failed those promises then the gods wouldn't be too happy with them.

In Rome, on January first they would pay honor to the god Janus (cough cough January). He is the god of transition, of gates, of beginnings. So he's not a bad god to worship at the start of the new year. Janus was a two faced gods, he could see both into the past year as well as into the year to come. Fun note on him, he is strictly a Roman god with no Greek equivalent.

But what about modern times? For the most part many Christians took January first as a day to look back on mistakes from the year before and promise to do better. It's not until the 1740's in England when you get the creation of the Covenant Renewal service. A lot of scripture and a lot of singing as the New Year comes. Resolutions would be made for the coming year.

Over time the secular nature of resolutions shift to being more about self-improvement and less about reaffirming a covenant with a god or gods. (We like everyone from all paths of life so no judging on who believes in what here.) We start focusing on how we can make ourselves a better person. The thing is when you take away pissing off a god if you don't keep your promise, it leaves you with only listening to your own motivation. If you go by research, only about 45% of the US make a resolution and from that less then 10% actually follow through with it.


Do we have to?

I get it we have had over 4000 years of brainwashing that we must make New Years Resolutions? Why so we can feel horrible about ourselves when we fail to reach them? Look I have anxiety, depression, and a mom. I can beat myself up on pretty much everything without adding failed resolutions. Which is why I ..... stopped making them.

The world didn't end. I wasn't struck by lightening. I can't tell you why exactly I stopped, most likely it was because I hadn't thought of one and was asked. I probably shrugged and said I didn't have any, shocking the poor bystander. I'm sure there was a witty remark, not by me, I only think of them after the fact when it's 3am and I should be sleeping.


So how do I celebrate the New Year? What do I do?

I still drink Champagne, because it's champagne and I'm not going to say no to a glass or a bottle of the bubbly. Which on a side note: thank you to whoever started that tradition.

The last few New Years Eve, My husband and I have gone to see the Star Wars movie that is out with another couple. Mr. Dude, our 8 year old son, would go to my parents, and their son would go to his grandparents who live down the road from us. We'd go to a late showing, then come back to our house. Open the bubbly and enjoy having adult conversation. This year no Star Wars Movie, so we stayed home with Mr. Dude. We had a "snack party" as he calls it in our bedroom where we played video games. At midnight we took a selfie of the three of us still awake. Which was more proof that I was awake at midnight. And of course my husband and I drank champagne while Mr. Dude drank his apple juice.

But no resolution was made. Instead we talked about the past year. Which was not the best year for us. I will upload my older posts from when I was on wordpress that get into the nightmare that started in October of 2017 for us. 2018 was about survival for my husband and I. Getting through it without it effecting Mr. Dude. So we talked about how we are stronger as individuals and as a couple. We talked about what we hoped would happen in 2019. There are some goals in there, like me finally getting Shattered Ghost re-published and then working on publishing the first book in a new series. There are the financial goals of becoming more financially stable ( I kind of chuckle at that one because money doesn't grow on trees) but hey we can try to cut out more from our budget. But those aren't resolution. I'm not going to beat myself up if Sacred Dark isn't published in 2019, or if we stay where we are at financially.

I feel like we put so much into Resolutions that when they don't happen for whatever reason we feel like failures. And I feel like I fail at enough stuff already so really getting rid of the whole resolution thing was the best thing I ever did. Because now we celebrate by reflecting on the year that ended and talk about what we want for the year that just started.


That's it for now. Welcome to this crazy train ride that is my life.


Meg


P.S I used history channel for the information on the history of New Years Resolutions. It's where I got my stat's as well.

https://www.history.com/news/the-history-of-new-years-resolutions

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