I did away with New Year’s Resolutions years ago. I released myself from the pressure of achieving something that I knew would be a struggle to achieve. For many, including myself, that struggle included losing weight, smoking, eating healthier and other such lofty goals that we had vowed to conquer year after year. Year after year we floundered after only a couple of months, if not weeks. As I sit here thinking about it, I had to smile and even laugh at what we put ourselves through for the sake of a declaration that can seemingly be activated only on January 1 of any given year. Whatever happened to “there is no time like the present.”
This year is a little different though, at least it is for me and truthfully, millions more like me. I dare not make a New Year’s resolution. However, the number 1 goal that has remained constantly top of mind since March 2020, is to live. It is not something we actively think about when life is good. But a pandemic is not an experience that one ever expects to happen in their lifetime. Nonetheless, that is where we are: amid a pandemic and thus my quest is to do whatever I am in control of to stay alive.
I need to stay alive for my daughter, my grandkids, mother, brother and sister and my family in general. Having lost my Dad to COVID, it has become so much more important to survive for their sake as well as my own.
I need to stay alive to do more for those who have not fared as well during this test of everything we thought we knew, believed in, and trusted. Who can I help to feed, clothe, or donate to are just some of the things that float to my mind? Not that I have not done these things until now. The difference now is that I must look towards things that are outside of my usual passions or random acts of kindness such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, occasionally sending an anonymous gift card to an unsuspecting recipient or donations to non-profits that appear in my Facebook feed or other sources that appear on my radar.
The pandemic has shone a radiant light on so many more causes that deserve our attention that, like most other things, we take for granted or at least we take for granted that someone else with meet the needs of those that we had not considered.
This year I challenged several people in my circle, who have been blessed more than many, to consider giving as generously as possible, even if only once, to someone or an organization that has fallen upon severe hard times. No need to feel guilty if their hearts are not tugged a little bit to accept the challenge. Afterall, many of them may be in need themselves or they already do their fair share, although I must admit, I do not feel that I have done enough.
During the holiday, I watched the Netflix documentary Minimalist: Less is Now. It is the 2nd in a 2-part series thus far. After watching it, I literally got up, performed an exorcist of sorts on 4 closets in my home. I pulled out items that I have “loved” so much that I had not worn them in years. I pulled out brand new shoes that I have purchased knowing when I bought them, that I would probably not wear them or at least not often. Pulled from my closet are at least 4 coats that I have not so much as tried on in the past 4, 5 or 6 years. I am now on a quest to perform a “waste exorcism” throughout my entire house.
Over the holiday, I looked forward to BuzzFeed lists of this, that and the other and as a result, my Amazon wish list had grown exponentially with things that Amazon and BuzzFeed has told me that “I need.” Seriously, Amazon and BuzzFeed know what I need better than me. So, what is next? My Amazon wish list needs an exorcism as well.
In the end, even to meet the challenge, I must remain alive and all these are reasons and many more, are enough to take all necessary precautions to remain alive.