For those of you who know my mother, you may have had the pleasure of sitting through one of her elaborate meals. And when I say elaborate, I do mean elaborate. To the point where you have leftovers for a week. Now imagine my mother's cooking during the holiday season. It's enough to feed an army, I tell you. And so, I'll be honest, right now, our fridge is pretty much overflowing with food. And who else will eat the leftovers besides us? Not that I'm complaining. After three months of cooking for myself, I was beyond eager to eat my mother's cooking again.
And so, I've been perpetually eating.
All the time.
I've been home for two weeks, and I'm pretty sure I don't fit into the pants I came home in.
Now, for most of my life, I've always been eager to make New Years Resolutions. Listmaking always excites me (I know, OCD tendencies). When I was eighteen, I resolved to become a vegetarian. When I was nineteen, I resolved to commit to a weekly exercise regime. When I was fifteen, I resolved to minimize the amount of TV I watch (sigh, this was the hardest habit to break). When I was twenty, I resolved to eat a more balanced diet beyond rice three times a day (What? I love rice).
And the result? At the moment, I'm neither a vegetarian, nor an avid gym attendee. And clearly, after stuffing my face for most of the Christmas break, I eat more than the required three meals a day, failing miserably on my quest towards a more balanced diet. And let's not even discuss the TV situation. Doot doo doo doo...
In short, I failed. Every year.
Each year, about a week after New Years Eve, the determination to fulfill those resolutions began to wane. The motivation slowly died. And I turned a blind eye to the Resolutions list I heartily committed myself to just a week before. For shame, for shame.
However, I still think there's a lesson to be learned here. Don't get me wrong, despite my past failures, I'm still making resolutions for 2011. Several, in fact. Much of which involves less procrastination, a balanced diet, discipline and, um, the elusive motivation to start going to the gym regularly (believe me, after all the Filipino desserts I ate over the break, I need to hit the gym. It's pretty necessary).
And yet, will I actually follow through with all of the above resolutions right away? Probably not. Will I fail? Probably. It's January 2nd, there are 363 days left in the year to fail and fall short of my (admittedly grand) own expectations. But while we may not perfectly reach our grand expectations at the outset, I don't think that should stop us from trying. Realistically, we will fail. But that shouldn't stop us from being optimistic about the eventual results of our resolutions. Because while failure is disconcerting, we should gather ourselves up and continue anyway. Dust yourself off, push forward, and try again! Our efforts are only as good as we make them.
And so, dear friends, whether you're making New Years Resolutions or not, I encourage all of you to continue pushing forward to accomplish whatever you have on your list, despite setbacks, failures, or the weary thought that you just can't do it. Perish the thought! Friends, it's a new year! Success is a product of effort, determination, with a good dose of optimism in the midst of any setback.
And I promise, I'll cut back on the carbs. Pinky swear.
Happy 2011, everyone! A brand new year ripe with opportunity and, if we put in constant effort, success! Let's get to it!
P.S. What's an Optimistic Realist? Click here. Yup. Good old, trusty, Urban Dictionary.
P.P.S. Inaugural blog post of 2011! Woot.
“When you reach the top, keep climbing.”
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
- Abraham Lincoln
"Now there are more overweight people in America than average weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means, you've met your New Year's resolution. Done!"
- Jay Leno
"I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me."
- Anais Nin
"I resolve to stop complaining."
- Leonard Bernstein