Now that a major portion of 2018 has thankfully (and rather slowly) left me for the good, I perch myself on my favorite chair in the college library and think of the past year and how most of the resolutions I made never saw light of the day. I chuckle at how I had begun enthusiastically, perhaps, a bit too enthusiastically. On the first day of the year, I sat with my new diary opened (sipping tongue-scalding hot tea to keep myself going)and started listing my aspirations for the new year, one by one. I could think of five very vague, but extremely important ones-
- Stay healthy.
- Score well in college.
- Learn new things.
- Stay in touch (with friends and family).
- Have fun.
But I was not satisfied. How could I be, with just four basic mainstream goals!? I decided to make my goals sound interesting (and I would enjoy working on them then, wouldn’t I?) and began the list again in a fresh page. Now, I clenched my fists, shut my eyes, took a deep breath and tried to catch hold of 12 resolutions. One for each month of the year. That shouldn’t be hard, should it? Shouldn’t be hair- wrenchingly tiring, should it? Well, being surprised doesn’t always seem pleasant. Most of them, I don’t see the point in lying, were hopelessly unrealistic and a tad bit dramatic. I now realize that my “2017 goals” were too high reaching. One of them was, to quote exactly what I wrote in my diary, “Play the violin beautifully”. How exactly would one define “beautifully”? Like Vivaldi? Or perhaps, better than last year- so the word I was looking for could have been “bearably”. But by the end of the year, all I could manage was to slightly tone down the horrifyingly screechy noise that I made with the instrument and learn a few popular song-tunes. The 12 resolutions seemed to be content to stay on paper and not enter my life (rather miraculously)-so I decided that perhaps, it was not meant to be, 2017 was not my year! 2018, I decided, would be mine-and mine alone (like most of the other 7 billion people on earth).
As the new year commenced, there was an almost tangible excitement in the air-as if motivation was simply a low-hanging fruit on a tree and all you needed was to grab and tug at it (Special offer available in the first week of the new year-HURRY!!). I began formulating my list of resolutions once again, 12 specific goals to achieve in 12 months. As a couple of months went by, I realized, this year was no better than the last year-at least in terms of way of looking at it and the unbelievably high goals I set for myself. I tore the list (rather dramatically) and began again. I set just one goal for 2018. I wrote, in cursive illegible handwriting- ”Be happy. ” And gradually, I began doing things that made me happy-I read more books that I loved, wrote poetry, planted saplings and watered them meticulously, and hung out with people that I loved. Being happy not only made me content with myself, but allowed me to work harder. I was better at work and relationships, both. Now, there was no pressure to check off all the items from my list- 2018 was already mine. The rest of the year, and the years to come, too, shall be the same. I smile as I think of the better part of the year waiting in hiding, knowing that there is nothing that I would not do, to keep myself happy-as happy as I am now and as happy as I could ever be.