Happy New Year, my loves. I hope that this year brings us all good health, happiness and joy. Although I fear that this year and the next three will bring incredible challenges that will test many of my fellow Americans, and probably most will be the least fortunate among us, my family and I are taking steps to be more active participants in our society to help others and to protect ourselves.
Meanwhile, my brain has been hovering on the concept of new year = new you. In my old profession, as soon as Christmas was over we would set up the "New Year, New You" tables. Displays filled with diet books, calorie counters, exercise books and the guru of the month guides. Everything to help you figure out how to be a better version of you, focusing predominantly of course on your outside, the facade, because that's all anyone really cares about, right? There might be a token table to learning a new language, picking up a craft or reading a new author, but the major displays left your internal workings a mystery.
I was reminded of this a few days ago when the family went to a local mall to use their holiday gift cards. My youngest needed a break, and honestly so did I, so we grabbed two spots on a bench and waited for the big kids to finish. There was a ceiling mounted television spewing out inaudible commercials over the shoppers, but I could still read the character generated subtitle ... New Year, New You. On the screen, a happy looking nubile blonde was standing behind a table display. She was hawking these snazzy looking Jessica Simpson sneakers, Lululemon tank and yoga pants, Contigo water bottle and a Nike duffel bag to put the whole kit and caboodle inside. Doing the math quickly, I figured I'd need @$250 to set forth on the appropriate track for a new me. And with a pretty shell, who cares what the inside looks like?
I've never cared for new year's resolutions for this very reason. Every day on this planet should bring a potential learning experience. Why wait for January 1st to spur yourself to action? If you want to be healthier, start now. Want to spend more time with friends and family, plan now. New language, go for it. New craft or hobby, rock on. Never tried bourbon, what are you waiting for? Not sure if you should tell her you love her, please do it. Don't wait for the perceived right time or a mandated corporate display table in January. You can do it. I believe in you. And while you're at it, remember the facade isn't the best part of you. It's that beautiful brain of yours that I'm in love with. Schoolhouse Rock! told us that knowledge is power. And we'll need a lot of powerful minds for the road ahead.