Rituals

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So, how have you been doing on those New Year Resolutions?

Have you lost weight/exercised more/become a better person? Yeah, me neither. The difference is that I don’t do resolutions anymore. I just can’t seem to stick to them, even when I try. I know that you have to do something new for a certain amount of time and then it becomes a habit and, before you know it, you’re a new, improved version of yourself. I just can’t seem to get the old, unimproved version of myself on board.

I’m not alone. According to a psychologist in US News & World Report, 80% of resolutions fail by February.

So, I don’t do resolutions anymore.

Instead, I do rituals that mark the changing of the year. Resolutions don’t make me feel like I’m getting a fresh start, but rituals do.

For me, that means a frenzy of organizing. I’m a list person even in the worst of times, but the new year brings lists of lists. Back before electronic calendars, I used to transfer every birthday and anniversary from one year to the next, adding a year so I would know how old people were or how many years they’d been married. People thought I was incredibly thoughtful but I just had a good calendar system. Nowadays, with repeat functions on calendars and Facebook reminders, it’s almost impossible to forget a birthday. So that ritual went by the wayside, but I have others.

And my rituals?

I guess I’m as superstitious and ambitious as everyone else.

I cook the traditional meal – greens for money, black-eyed peas for luck —  but I also shred old files, do an inventory and clean-out of what’s in my pantry and freezer (huh…just how many ginger roots did I think I’d need?!), and I update my death book. You know, the book that has where my will is, where the passwords are, who to call when I die, and the self-deprecating obituary I wrote for myself.

The only thing I don’t touch is the blank date of death on the obituary. I’m superstitious and ambitious, not crazy!

 

 

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