One is placed in a difficult position to make New Year’s Resolutions when they are living their current life out of necessity rather than choice and have no obvious “get out of jail free card”. I am not, as many are, “feeling aftereffects… of the katzenjammer variety” and vowing to never again let alcohol reach such preposterous levels in my liver. I have also neither eaten my body weight in confectionary, and then pledged an audacious diet and exercise regime. It is nonsensical to proclaim any resolutions that require any physical component and I am therefore limited to the more challenging resolutions requiring me to earnestly analyse my mental approach and reaction to situations. It is unpleasant, burdensome and upsetting to scrutinise one’s character for its imperfections and a gargantuan struggle to address any inadequacies found. I cannot pledge to not cry from pain, to not feel jealousy at friend’s events I am unable to attend or to not feel desperately exasperated. I need to, however, find methods to continue to be able to see a finish line. I must make sure I do not fall susceptible to the temptation to wallow in my predicament. I believe it is legitimate and even healthy to allow oneself to be upset and dispirited provided it does not become my predominant mentality.
Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield wrote a book called “The Loss of Sadness” about how normal sorrow has been over diagnosed by the psychiatric profession as depression. Modern society now view the normal or desired mental state as happy and yet, I certainly believe that it is healthy and reasonable to feel sad some of the time. The question is, where is the line drawn, where is the point at which an individual is no longer experiencing a normal degree of sadness in their life, and is suffering from depression? I am not addressing this topic because I am concerned that I may be suffering from depression, simply that I find it interesting. I struggle with emotion of sadness. It, for me, evokes a tremendous feeling of guilt. I am so fortunate and lucky in so many ways that I am ashamed after periods of feeling blue. Do I deserve to feel sad and is it a sign of internal weakness?
After careful contemplations, I have decided that my new year’s resolution is to attempt to use this situation as a reminder, in the future, to not become completely preoccupied by the petty or pointless. I will try and retain my priorities and endeavour to reduce the extent to which I am self-absorbed.