If only there were more than 24 hours in a day…
All of our lives are dominated by thoughts of time. There is always too much time, or not enough time. When things are good, we wish that time would stop. When we are miserable, time stands still. There is always too much time, or not enough time. We have all thought about these constraints at some point, especially while contemplating and (attempting to) carry out New Years Resolutions or even morbid thoughts of the temporality of life.
Not to be a total pessimist, but let’s be real----many of these resolutions don’t hold up past Valentine’s Day. These inspiring goals become trapped within a whirlpool of responsibility and sink deeply into a black abyss. As we see them sinking, we are too intimidated by the strength of the tide to save them from a brutal fate. The further they sink, the more we justify our failure to save them. Soon they are sucked into that dark abyss, where they will stay until the next period of resolutions.
We all start the New Year with an inflated sense of self. We think, this year is the year I am finally going to ______! We feel optimistic and inspired, sometimes even overly confident. Sadly, the strength of this confidence is often not enough to face the multiplicity of obligations and responsibilities we face on a daily basis. We make the goal less of a priority than what was originally intended. When it falls low enough on the list of priorities, it is forgotten.
And now we return to the tragedy of time. The idea that there is not enough time to do everything we want to do. To that I will say, if something is important to you, you will make time for it. Period. And, obviously, if it is something relevant to your future happiness, it should be very, very important to you.
I have sometimes felt like a slave to my commitments (school, work, extracurricular activities), like there is not enough time to do the things that I want to do. But, you're working towards something so you should really make an effort to enjoy the progress you are working so hard on. We always think about the acts we should be doing, rather than those that bring us joy or reframing our thoughts to love/find newness in the everyday.
So when thinking about 2013---remove the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary. We can’t stop time, but time also can’t stop us.
Here are TIME’s “Top Ten Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions”:
- Lose Weight and Get Fit
- Quit Smoking
- Learn Something New
- Eat Healthier and Diet
- Get Out of Debt and Save Money
- Spend More Time with Family
- Travel to New Places
- Be Less Stressed
- Drink Less
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The "Is This Real Life?" Column, Samantha Salis: