As I’m typing this, I’m looking at the date in the right-hand corner of my laptop. Saturday, January 14, 2023. The year 2022 went by so fast, I’m still struggling weeks into the new year to write “2023” onto paper rather than 2022. Looking back on the past few years, I think we can all agree that they have all come with struggles. In 2019 our world began to face a deadly pandemic that has infected millions and killed thousands. Four years later we’re still facing it and every few months, a new strain of the virus emerges sending everyone into a panic. In 2020 those murder hornets appeared and then the year following, the media began publishing articles of the growing potential for a third world war. In 2022, our country received nuclear threats from Putin. Since 2019, it feels as if the world becomes more divided every day. This new year, I haven’t heard one person say the famous line: “This is going to be my year.” It got me thinking about New Year’s resolutions.
For the past 4,000 years people have adopted the tradition said to have been created by ancient Babylonians, who began the tradition to make promises to their gods to pay their debts. It was said that if they were to honor their traditions then the gods would bestow a favor upon them but if they failed to honor their promise then they would fall out of the gods favor. Now centuries later, people look at New Year’s resolutions a little differently; they’re more of a personal goal (some big and some small). We tell ourselves we want to make a change for the new and when we make that statement, we always have good intent to keep our promise.
As the days pass, our post-holiday schedules become more hectic and life gets in the way, those promises made to ourselves get pushed further and further out of our minds. I asked a few people in the community what their New Year resolutions were for this year. Mary Rudine said she would like to do a plank every day. Nikki Bowling said she wants to stop stealing the sharpies at the places she works at. Scrapper Bob’s resolution was to try and stay alive and get healthier.
I believe that any resolution is good. It shows that we intend to make improvements in our lives. Listening to these resolutions, it made me realize that what I want to hear isn’t the resolution itself. I miss hearing, “This is going to be my year.” Our country has endured three years of constant loss, whether it’s illness, death, financial struggle, loss of employment, homelessness, food insecurity, gross inflation, etc. As these things hit me I consider the impact it has on me as a teenager and I can’t begin to imagine how much more of an impact it has on the adults who are responsible for protecting and providing. While I enjoyed the interesting resolutions that were shared with me, ultimately, I’m ending this article with an overwhelming sense of anxiety as I consider: Is 2023 going to continue to be the bearer of bad news? So instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I’m setting an intention to encourage 2023 to be the beginning of a healing trend for the world. I hope that each of you will do the same because the only way we’re going to heal this is together.