Comforting Words: New Year Resolutions: Meaningful or Waste of Time?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Year Resolutions: Meaningful or Waste of Time?


I can recall a time in my life when I would make a list of New Year's Resolution. If my memory serves me correctly, I can also recall that most of them I would not keep.

Losing weight was usually very high on the list; in fact, most years it was the first resolution I would make. Then there was the one to stop sucking my thumb. Did I ever share that tidbit - the joys of thumb sucking? One day I will, and yes Miss C in Ontario that is where my big grin comes from -- buckteeth!

One resolution that I would always quietly make, never brave enough to actually write it on my list in fear that prying eyes would discover it, was to 'do and be better'.

Up until I was maybe ten or so, I never thought along the lines of rich and poor. Of course I was aware that our household lacked some of the amenities that the neighbours had, most notable was warmth and affection.

However, my humble surroundings was par for the course as by the mid 1970s in Jamaica, times were really tough economically. The country was also virtually under siege by local political thugs and the more sophisticated ones imported from not too distant shores.

As the entire nation lived through the consequences of having a so-called Democratic Socialist as its Prime Minister, families like my own lived the reality of being borderline poor. One of the political slogans that rang so true for me, as we dined on dumplings and callaloo (spinach) prepared in 101 ways for breakfast lunch and dinner, was "Better Must Come."

It would take another 20 or so years for me to realise how ingrained this notion was, of "better" coming from somewhere external to me and my world. Living in the former Soviet Union as I did and having had the opportunity to travel across Europe and later visiting a few of the great United States did much to help me to realise that better is truly a state of mind, an attitude and a decision.

So for many years now, I have stopped making New Year's Resolutions, especially the ones that were made on the premise that if things changed externally, according to what society considers "better."

For the past three or so years, on New Year's Eve night I offer a prayer of gratitude - for what I have been gifted and blessed with and for the unlimited possibilities that lie ahead.

New Year's Eve night 2004, my prayer of gratitude included a thank you for the unconditional love of my partner and my child, health, strength, courage, food, employment, money supply and opportunities to serve. In 2005, my prayer was answered when:
(1) My partner and I celebrated 15 'through hell and high water' years of being together, defying and making a lie that same-sex relationships are immoral.

(2) My daughter who was partially paralyzed for six weeks recovered with a diagnosis far less frightening than what was previously feared. She graduated from high school and is now in her first year of college, doing her degree in Anthropology.

(3) My own health, although it would benefit from just a little more physical exertion (read as going to the gym), is good.

(4)Despite and in spite of the challenges of being a new Canadian, we found the strength and courage to forge ahead and continue our training. My partner has now graduated as a professional Chef and I have the privilege of being trained as a Chaplain.

(5) We ate well everyday. It might not be steak and eggs for breakfast but we have never gone to bed hungry, not one night, in 2005.

(6) Both my partner and I have been employed, albeit part time, while in training for most of 2005.

(7) Money has flowed to us constantly, sometimes from unexpected and unimagined sources and in the nick of time to pay a bill.

(8) I have met some very wonderful people who have opened the doors for me to be of service to others, namely, through this blog, through my faith community and through non-profit groups here in Edmonton.

This New Year's Eve night, I will say a prayer of gratitude, much in the same way as I have done over the last three or so years. This time, however, I will say "Thank You God, for the people who have read Comforting Words and who have shared their lives with me throughout 2005."

Then I will enter 2006, knowing that miracles will happen.

Will you join me this in prayers of gratitude?

Blessings,

Claudette.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comforting words have kept me going, and going (much like the copper top advertising), and for that I truly thank you. You have been blessed with the gift of writing which has brought great peace and comfort to people like me.

I wish you continued blessings and may Joy, Peace, and Happiness continue to thrive within you throughout 2006!

Yvonne Winkle.

Fri Dec 30, 10:59:00 AM MST  
Blogger Claudette said...

Thank you so much for your kind words and the encouragement.

My partner told me this years ago, when she was working in a more public field, "If I have helped one person, my job was done."

Your comment and that of others make this year a very, very good one for me.

Blessings,

Claudette

Fri Dec 30, 12:01:00 PM MST  

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