Every year on this exact same day we look back and vow to ‘do better’ in the coming year. We beat ourselves up over all the missteps, the extra pounds, the lost time, the missed opportunities, the bad relationships — Jesus the list is simply endless.
We let our Inner Critic loose on a complete rampage and then tie it all up in a neat little pile and label it — New Year’s Resolutions. It’s our To Do List for peace, happiness, love, and enlightenment for the next twelve months.
And as we all know by now — it’s complete bullshit.
How about this New Year’s Eve we try a different tactic. How about instead of fifty lashes with our mental cat-o-nine-tails we look at all the things that we did right last year? How about we look at everything in our lives which bring us joy, and love, and peace?
How about we look at all the ways we fucking rocked 2018 — and say “WELL DONE!”
Gratitude — not New Year’s Resolutions — is the key to changing your world in a most profound way.
When you find yourself content with all the gifts you already have in your life — you find peace. When you find yourself blessed by the people you surround yourself with — you find love. When you accept yourself just as you are — you find joy. When you find yourself thankful to have another day of Life — you become enlightened.
Need help making out your own New Year’s Gratitude List? Let me get you started with a few items which are on mine.
I am grateful for my family. For my daughters who love me and glided so easily from my child to my friend with so much Grace. For my granddaughters who are truly the very loves of My Life. To my sons-in-law who are such very good humans. Good husbands. Good fathers. Good sons. For my siblings and my extended family — whom I don’t see often enough but still form the foundation of Life. The building blocks who helped me stand. And stand tall.
I am grateful for my friends. The Tribe. The people who love me even though it is not required of them. Their support through All. The. Things. Their light in my darkness. Their shoulders to cry on. Their strength in my weakness. Their hope when I had none of my own. Their belief in my ability to survive.
I am grateful for the new — not so new — relationship I am in. I had never thought to find a compatible Human. Yet here he is. Unflinching even at my most brutally honest self.
I am grateful for the physical comforts I enjoy. A clean home. Heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. It has indoor plumbing and sturdy walls. Perfectly sized for me. It is my shelter against the harsh reality of The Too Much World.
I am grateful for my work. I have a most wonderful career which I love. I have been blessed with exceptional coworkers and bosses through the years. I have also had the opportunity to work for an institution in which I can place my trust and be extremely proud of. Their generosity in pay and benefits allows me the freedom to be Real Ann.
I am grateful for my freedom and all that comes with it. I am thankful not to be shackled to The Inner Critic who insisted I must be liked by every being I ever encountered. I am thankful I have a temper and the courage to use it. I am thankful for the boundaries and shields I possess. I am thankful for the sharp sword of a tongue I have that matches a nimble brain.
I am grateful for all the New Year’s I have spent on this earth. I have lived longer than my mother did. I have seen more, done more, enjoyed more of this life than she had a chance to do.
I am grateful for my physical body. I am grateful for my stubborn 10#. I am grateful for the disease that makes me move slower and rest when I need to. I am grateful for strong arms to lift my grandchildren and strong legs to play tag with them. I am grateful for the flexibility of mind and body which my yoga practice has provided.
I am grateful for seredipitous moments like The Grace (short for There But For The Grace Of God — Go I) and also for The Lovely (when Life is so unbearably sweet it takes your breath away). I am grateful for parking places that appear out of nowhere and schedules which magically move around to accommodate my needs.
I could go on — My Gratitude List is immense.
So this New Year’s Eve — I will not tell The World about all the ways I’m screwed up and need to fix myself. I will tell The world all the ways My Life was a Gift in 2018. I will tell The World how grateful I am for All. The. Things.