Goeun Park: Resolutions are a good start but may have to revisit in July
If Christmas sounds like sleigh bells and church choirs, New Year’s sounds like a yoga class.
Not the new-age yoga that includes abdominal circuits and Jay-Z in the background, but the sleep-inducing kind where a lady in the front repeats, “Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale,” for an hour.
While that’s not the most pleasant sound in the universe, New Year’s is my absolute favorite holiday.
In my experience, New Year’s can be a difficult holiday to be crazy about. For one, it’s right after the most wonderful time of the year. People are too stuffed to be in the mood for an oversized infant like me going around in circles and repeating, “It’s January 1st! January 1st. It’s kind of a big deal!”
I know, rationally, that New Year’s is an inevitable date set by some Romans and a pope to insure calendar companies never go bankrupt. Nothing special actually happened.
Jesus wasn’t born, Saint Valentine didn’t die, and no one signed the Declaration of Independence on Jan. 1. It’s only notable claim to fame is that it happens to be the first day of the year.
And that, just that, is worth celebrating.
It’s the start of a new year! A fresh start to 365 days of wonder and wrinkles.
In South Korea, the New Year calls for eating traditional rice-cake soup and showering money to children wearing hanbok. Everyone ages a year on Jan. 1 rather than on their birthdays, making the holiday impossible to ignore. It’s one thing to shrug off New Year’s, but it’s another thing entirely to not acknowledge a plus 1 to your age.
Now, you may be wondering, “Goeun, how does one celebrate New Year ?” Good question! You make a New Year’s resolution, of course.
I know, skeptic reader. New Year’s resolutions don’t last. It’s all a hype. But please, indulge me for a minute and read on.
It’s my strong opinion that New Year’s resolutions aren’t actually about crossing things off the list. I repeat, it’s not about accomplishing goals. It’s about having goals.
Every New Year, I sit down with a piece of printer paper and a pen and spew out an obscenely long list. Fortunately for me, making New Year’s resolutions happen to encompasses two of my favorite pastimes: making lists and fantasizing about the future.
I don’t have very creative goals. My list is always something in the lines of, “Eat healthier, exercise more, sleep better, complain less.” In January, I keep up with this. By March, the New Year’s resolution is a far memory and I’m back to where I was on Dec. 31.
But that’s OK. Because maybe in July, I’ll find this list and I’ll give it another go. Later, when I think back to the beginning of the year, I’ll remember all the goals I made and that will be another step forward. And then another step. And then another. And that’s a good start.