The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life. – Leo Tolstoy
The arbitrary ending to the Gregorian Year and the calendar flipping to yet another year in the common era has come to pass yet again. 2012 is over… 2013 has begun.
The reality is though, what has actually changed?
Assuming you put some kind of stock in the calendar change as a life marker for your accomplishments then hopefully you look back at the calendar’s last twelve months are producing some benchmark you’ve previously set.
Honestly, for me, nothing changed as yesterday ended and today began. I still have the flu. Same as I did yesterday. Same as I’ll probably have tomorrow. The calendar changed nothing in that regard and it does little to act as a set of qualified mile markers in my life. If I really wanted to judge my yearly accomplishments the anniversary of my own birth seems as if it would be a much more effective place to benchmark from.
Actually, anniversaries in general are, to me, more effective in that regard because they represent the passing of specific life events individually rather than attempting to qualify all life events equally among one day.
Resolutions are Bologna and Bullshit to be honest. The reality of change isn’t in resolve, it is in the accomplishment of actions and action have meaningful starting points that evoke the necessity of change and are founded on a benchmark from which we will accomplish from and with milestones from which the accomplishment of will result in the determination of success.
For example, I woke up next to the same awesome person I did yesterday and plan on waking up next to tomorrow. We met several years ago now and the anniversary of our first day seems infinitely more important in marking the changes in our relationship and success over time than the change of the de facto Western calendar. As a matter of fact, we will be adding anniversaries to our relationship forthcoming, the celebration of our moving in together, of our engagement and once we wed later in the year, the celebration of that as well. Obviously, the marriage will for cultural reasons probably surpass all others but that doesn’t mean that the continued anniversary of our first date won’t determine some element of how we are progressing as a couple. I see the progress of the last “year” of our dating in that we got engaged and planned the majority of the physical elements of our marriage and are making some concrete steps for preparing the philosophical, spiritual and emotional elements of it. But the calendar changing has little to do with the determination of success.
I will go to the same job I’ve worked at for the last ten months. When I reach the year anniversary I will be much better able to take stock of my accomplishments and the fulfillment of my goals and set effective new ones based on the status of the products I’m working with and my own experience in working with them. Within the job because it is a product based position, I look at the product life cycles themselves and the different product anniversaries hold special places from product inception to product launches it’s not that much different than say what my interpersonal romantic relationship might be judged in having independent anniversaries under the overarching heading. The turning of the calendar had little to do with success, or achievements, compared to other, more important time occurrences that are forthcoming to assess from.
Taking the concept one step further, later in 2013 will represent 20 years from my high school matriculation and 15 years from my undergraduate, six from my graduate and two since I began my current certification track. As each of those anniversaries will pass in 2013 I will take a look back at the goals and aspirations I had at the commencement of each and reevaluate my life’s successes and next steps. It is easiest to see that despite unemployment and major life changes I am essentially on track for completing my certification’s six-to-seven classes within the prescribed goal since that anniversary is right around the corner as is signing up for the last class(es) to make it possible. Less obvious today are the feelings of success I will feel come mid year when I evaluate my accomplishments looking back at other anniversaries.
Of course, my career has additional anniversaries to review, such as the changing of the guard from a marketer to a product manager, and from a traditional media to the digital world, and so on. Those are a little less fixed and a little more flexible and perhaps something along the lines of the calendar change is fortunate for judgement. If I look at my words, say from last year’s New Year’s Evolution I probably have been quite successful taking my career on the whole into a new direction. I returned to work with people I’ve worked with in the past at a new incarnation of a company I once helped build in North America to drive some of the North American product decisions for growth in the 2.0 environment. It sure beats unemployment, or working double hard for a smaller percentage of a pay check than what my efforts were worth, and finds my self-satisfaction in my career and the compensation for my efforts becoming more aligned. It’s by no means perfect but in the scheme of yearly feedback it’s more than good, so my “past self” can be proud of.
And so, on that note, have I lived up to the arbitrary benchmarks I set? Well, we know I’m employed, engaged and nearing matriculation … plus the Subaru is unfortunately gone too. But those have little to do with the flipping of the calendar.
Sure, I wrote more recipes and even though there were some gaps in the blog with them, I kept them up on paper for other references and wrote more on the blog in general. I kept shooting pics, a lot and when I post them on FB I get much more than just the occasional friend like for them and I feel even more excited about being the official documentary of family life through the camera lense. I’m not playing drums as much as I would have hoped but a recent trip to Philly was thoroughly invigorating just having the opportunity to tune a kit and jam for a few minutes on some old beats I thought I’d long forgotten, reminding me of the importance of all the tapping I still do on a daily basis. My past self would be happy at the goal accomplishment and the fact that even unprompted, I joined a gym (we’ll discuss the success of such when I hit that anniversary, ok) and have been actively doing dietary cleanses and working toward more natural, healthier eating (again, we can discuss along the same)
In the meantime, I refuse to waste my breath making a resolve for cultural expectation that has little to do with the reality of living life to its fullest in each of the aspects of life that exist as they present themselves. I won’t judge my abilities of being based on Janus’ two faces looking out over my life as I subscribe to my own path, the one I so choose, the one that lies itself forth based on the elements of life itself and not that of some paper maker needing to sell me 12 more sheets delineated in Gregorian idyllic comfort. I have better things to do January one, like get over this flu and love the person I’m with and clean the turtle tank, the last of which is supposed to be dictated by the turn of a calendar page.