Lighten the load…leave grudges behind
I see New Year’s Eve as a line of demarcation. That side is 2012, this side is 2013…or whatever year we’re talking about. But it isn’t quite the big deal I used to think it was. I go to bed, wake up the next morning. I know the ball has dropped, but it did so without me. My biggest task is remembering to write 2013 on my checks.
I didn’t always feel so blasé about New Year’s. As a kid, we always went to my aunt and uncle’s place for New Year’s dinner, with Tom and Jerry’s, roast goose and Grotun Hans, a big German steamed bread pudding. Because Aunt Mart’s geese always scared me, I didn’t mind seeing the bird on the table, even if I didn’t like the meat. But I did love that pudding, and have even attempted to make it a few times.
As I grew older, I felt celebrating New Year’s Day was almost an obligation…dinner out, dancing, perhaps a house party. A couple of years we played cards, which I considered a very boring thing to do. I’m not a card player any time, and especially not on New Year’s Eve.
We hosted a couple of NYE parties in Minnesota, including one that was a “progressive” party, and everyone ended up at our house for stew. My main memory of that was a guy standing on a water pipe in the basement and breaking it. We also hosted a few parties in Rapid City, and I have several other pretty good memories.
As I’ve gotten older, however, the “party” isn’t all that important, and I’m just ready to move on to another day, in a new year.
I’ve never been big on making resolutions…“lose weight,” “become more organized,” etc. If I didn’t do it before, what difference does a day on the calendar make? One thing I do try to do, however, is sluff off resentments, frustrations, anger. I think it’s a good time to leave stuff like that behind, and sometimes it takes some doing, but I definitely make the effort.
My youngest son’s “significant other” called me the other day, and rather unburdened herself about estrangements within her family, especially between her and one of her sisters. She accepted the blame that her actions many years ago brought on the rupture. But she’s turned her life around, and she would love to again have a relationship.
I told her that the best she can do is keep a door open. It can’t be pushed. I suggested that she needs to forgive herself for whatever happened, and continue living as she has been. I commented, “I’ve discovered that life is far too short to harbor grudges, or guilt.”
The problem with a grudge, as I see it, is it won’t change the other person, and it simply weighs down the one holding the grudge. Who does it hurt, except yourself?
The actions of a few people I’ve known truly impacted me…and I did indeed feel “wronged.” But if you harbor that and don’t move beyond it, you’re stuck.
I’ve found sometimes it takes more than one “new year” to get over certain hurts. But my personal resolution is to keep trying.
A new year is time to look for the good in people, in situations, in actions. It may not always work out the way I’ve planned, but it is worth the effort, and the New Year is a good time to start.