The New Year Resolution

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

( Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809–1902)

Today, I reflected on the new year resolutions I made in the past. As the years turned the corner, I made resolutions as a ritual. I toyed with crafting a ‘resolution’ every year — sometimes more than one. The process always started five days earlier, starting with Christmas.

I usually ended up eating a lot of sweets by the time I was ready for the New Year. I resolved not to eat sweets, which was straightforward. Having eaten a lot of plum cake and rose cookies, a sweet in front of me would look distasteful. I was happy that I could sustain myself day after day for a few days till Sankranti. On the day of Sankranti, my wife made bread with jawar flour and spicy pumpkin curry. She suggested I have a little jaggery to the edge of my plate. My downfall began. Payasam, delicious signature ‘ellu’ ( mix of roasted peanuts, delicate pieces of coconuts, roasted chana dal), followed one after another, and my resolution ended in a fortnight.

In a specific year, I wanted to improve my fitness. I bought a trendy bicycle for riding in the early morning. I fit all the required accessories — front basket, light, drinking bottle holder, a soft seat and a robust lock and key. In addition, I bought a helmet, cycling shorts and a pair of clamps to hold my riding pants in place. On a bright morning, I set out riding. I was delighted to accomplish what I had been planning for a long time. The pleasure did not last long as I had to attend an important meeting on an unfortunate morning. My new year resolution ended, and I did not touch the bicycle afterwards.

I decided to practice meditation as suggested by a friend. The process gave him happiness and brought ‘balance’ to his turbulent life. I accompanied him to the meditation session. I paid a hefty fee and joined the class, spending money on suitable attire. I was overwhelmed to see several men and women, young and old, absorbed in the process, and the teacher asked the participants to share their experiences after the class. The stories significantly impacted me, and I realised that meditation is the right medicine to cure several illnesses. The meditation class came to an end after five lessons. I could not proceed beyond five minutes as my mind was hovering from my breakfast, clothes, holidays, friends etc.

I decided to give up Coffee and Tea in a specific year as caffeine was terrible for my health. I could manage one day without my favourite hot drinks. I wanted to drink hot and bought a massive jar of Horlicks, Bornvita and a unique ragi health mix, and I ordered special milk and cream to improve the taste of these beverages. The routine did not last long as I did not want to miss my hot cup of Tea.

One of my friends suggested that I should start writing. I never wrote in my life, and there was a strong desire to take a shot at this skill. I thought I hit the jackpot with this resolution, and my life would be different. I took an oath that I shall write four hundred words a day. I enjoyed the process for a few days, and very soon, the tank became empty. I was short of ideas and could not continue my writing journey.

I remembered a story from Osho about the New Year resolutions.

Someone asked Osho: What would you suggest to make only one new year’s resolution?

Characteristically, I believe Osho responded:

“This and only this can be the new year’s resolution. I resolve never to make any resolutions because all resolutions are restrictions for the future. All resolutions are imprisonments. Do you decide today for tomorrow? You have destroyed tomorrow. Allow the tomorrow to have its being. Let it come in its way! Let it bring its gifts.”

I decided to go with him.

2021 was a challenging year for the most part because of the pandemic, and it is ending on a foreboding note. I hope 2022 will usher in a happier, healthier and safer start to our lives as a large population gets vaccinated and no new mutations evolve and become more aggressive.

I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!

(Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

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…back to a time when I had time.

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Dravida Seetharam

Dravida Seetharam

Life long learner with interests in reading and writing

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