No New Year Resolutions.

I have no New Year Resolutions, not a one. I stopped torturing myself with those things ages ago. Every year I would start out with a list of things I wanted to do. Most were self serving, like losing weight, and some were grandstanding, like I will not let others tell me what to do. Of course, they were destined to fail, leaving me feeling like an idiot. I mean, how can one be so stupid as to always let themselves down, every year, on a regular basis?

After failing so many years in a row, I finally realized that I was simply setting myself up to feel like a loser. I hurt my own feelings, and made myself mad at ME, all for some stupid non-tradition that is encouraged by popular demand. Why? I don’t know, maybe it was just a desperate attempt to fit in, to succeed, to find something worthwhile about myself. But it always worked just the opposite from what I planned.

So, a few years ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to give in and make impossible resolutions about my life. Because, you see, life doesn’t stick to a plan. It has a way of making its own path, and we are pretty much along for the ride. I can’t control life around me, only myself. Most of the time, life around me is on a whole different page than I am at any given moment! How can we resolve to accomplish anything in a measurable way when it comes to feelings and thoughts? If it is something concrete, for instance, completing a course at school, going to the gym, or getting a promotion, perhaps we can make a plan. However, you might get sick, and miss a lot of school. You might be too tired, busy, or bored to go to the gym after a week or so. You might be downsized at your company and have to start your own business to survive. There is no getting around it, no matter your resolve, life just keeps happening while you plan. And it almost always throws a spanner into the works to muck everything up.

Now that can be a good thing, making you move outside the box and do something different and new. But, it means that you will have to forsake your resolutions – again – and if you are emotionally tied to those resolutions, it can make you pretty miserable. Or not. Depends on how much you have invested yourself in the process and plan. I suppose, one should be flexible with resolutions.

I know many folks out there in the world managed to stick with a resolution come hell or high water. No matter what life throws at them, they stick to the plan. But, have you ever wondered what would have happened if you went out to your friends dinner party instead of going to the gym? Maybe you would have met the love of your life, or, if already with the love of your life, maybe you would fall into romance all over again. You see, your choices always have a possibility of at least two outcomes. If you stick to the plan, you know exactly what will happen. You will be tired, smelly, and sore from a workout. But, maybe the second or tenth outcome, well, it might be magical enough to change your life forever.

Now, in my crazy life, I no longer set myself up to fail. Because I have finally figured out what a New Year means. It isn’t a do over, remake, new start, or second chance. It means that you get to change course, learn from last year, and make a choice to be flexible in all that you do. All the New Year does is to make it easy to switch paths, change gears, explore something new, or simply stop always doing and just be. A New Year is a date on the calendar. Nothing will be any different on the first of January than it was on the thirty-first of December. All your problems will still be there, the difference being, that after the holidays, time with family and friends, maybe you have a clearer vision of your life.

No New Years Resolution means I am not locked into a plan. I can do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and with that flexibility, I cannot fail. I can only move forward, just like the path in front of me encourages me to do. Happy New Year everyone, I hope you find it magical.

‎Big Fish, Small Fish, Fisherman or Cat?

‎”Some people like to be a big fish in a small pond, some a small fish in a big pond. Me, I would rather be the cat that knows the fisherman.” KJC

In an exchange on a social network, I posted the above. It was simply something that fell out of my head and engendered a bit of conversation.

So, to explain it in a way that made sense, I started applying it to areas of my life. The more I thought about it, the more I could find metaphores that fit the example.

‎1. Poltics: The cat, one can go for either fish. A good fisherman, like a cat, is independent and thinks for him or herself. They both tend to go their own way to do what they want to do. However, the fisherman can be lured away to a different fishing hole by promises and stories. He or she can also be tempted to use a different bait than usual so that the fish bite less, but if they are big enough, he feels he has a good return. The cat still gets to eat, either way. So, in a political situation the only one who comes out ahead, without compromising its position or morals, is the cat.

2. General Life: However in other areas of life, a cat is simply someone who stands above the fray, keeps a calm head, and does what has to be done. Those who do well tend to think smart. have a plan, skip the big pond and other competition, skip the small pool and the big fish, because they will all be food for the fisherman. Who, once he catches them, will clean the fish and leave behind food for the patient cat. Be prepared, be patient, and be strong to succeed.

3. As a religious metaphore: the Fisherman is the Savior, the fish in the large pond are lost souls, and the fish in the small pond is evil. The cat is the wise person who knows that as long as he is friends with the Savior and stands by his side, then he will be spiritually fed.

I get it. My brain works in weird and weirder ways as I age. But, hey, it works for me.