This is the time of year we start to see commercials for diets and gym memberships. Even though we are in mid-winter, the beginning of the calendar year is seen as a time to make changes in one’s life.
I’ve never liked the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. For one, I’m not very good at keeping them. But also, they seem so arbitrary: as if it’s suddenly you can flip a switch and everything in your life will be different. It’s not that simple.
In reality, changes in life happen all the time. Births, deaths, marriage, divorce, new job, getting fired… all mark an opportunity for change. The makeup of one’s family or living situation changes, offering chances to adapt or realign to new circumstances.
The trick is to recognize such opportunities, and take advantage of them. For example, after my first marriage ended, I was able to take control of my finances for the first time in my life. Granted, my emotional balance took a lot longer to recover than my bank balance, but the point remains: a life change offered a chance to improve.
Such opportunities for change are not limited to a personal level. In recent weeks, I have seen businesses close as well as new enterprises come to town. I am seeing hints of a generational turnover in community leadership, and find myself optimistic about local development.
If we must have a New Year’s resolution, let it be this: let us resolve to be open to new ideas, new opportunities, new faces.