The Wide Angle: Accounting for being short on virtues
The new year.
It’s a chance to reflect, a chance to look ahead with hope — a chance for change.
I’m terrible at change.
This could, in no small way, be the reason why resolutions are such a hassle for me to follow. Of the many things I’ve sworn to do over the years, about the only thing I’ve accomplished is to swear more.
Is this the sweetest form of irony? I doubt it.
I’ve tried aging my patience over the years, but patience is a virtue and I’m dangerously short on virtues anymore.
Over the last few years, I’ve eyed resolutions with the shifty eye of skepticism, always marching into a promise with an idea that it probably won’t come to pass. I may not know much of value, but I know myself and I’m often distracted by bright, shiny things of the now rather than the benefits of the long game.
Believe me, I’ve tried the long game, but when patience is a fault rather than a boon, the long game really doesn’t play.
It’s like my golf swing in a way. I try my best to look the part of Tiger Woods, but when the ball cuts right or left — should it leave the tee at all — my interest wanes.
Perhaps this is a bad example, though. Golf is a silly game in my opinion and I haven’t played it in years for the very reasons I stated above. Again, I do not fancy the long game.
Ultimately, I find resolutions a tedious exercise in improving one’s self when ultimately improving the self should be a daily exercise. Let me explain.
Working out, being a nicer person, giving of yourself more are all laudable goals. In some form or another it all comes about to the betterment of society through the betterment of yourself. After all, the best way to improve yourself is to alter for the best those things around you either directly or indirectly.
However, I do not think resolutions should be the start all of your betterment. I’ve always looked at them as anchor — an anchor that can get cut far too easy.
Come on, don’t hide this from me. You start the season all gung-ho to maybe starting running. That first month you feel great, if not weary from the sudden exertion, but ultimately it starts to fade away.
I too have done this. I once thought to take up running as a resolution only to come to a conclusion that there was no axe-murderer chasing me and that I have cars to take me places.
Man, I succumb easy.
These things never worked out well, not because I didn’t have the will to follow something through — believe me I’ve anchored myself in painful situations before and weathered storms unnecessarily all for the sake of thinking something might get better. Sometimes only change helps that.
Regardless, making yourself a better person requires dedication and this shouldn’t be tethered to one thing at one time of the year. The spur of the moment often doesn’t last.
So, I have a deal for you. Let’s both you and I make a resolution together, but let’s go about it a different way. We will agree, that we will keep the door open to betterment, however that takes form and on our terms throughout the year.
Patience, will indeed be our virtue.