I’ve never understood it, frankly.  And this “new” year was even on a Tuesday.  It’s not like our new year began the week afresh.  So why in the world was I reduced to reading everyone’s “New Year’s Resolutions” on Facebook like I was going to have to add brand new friends by the end of the News Feed?  People, please.  We are people.  We don’t change.  At least not much and certainly not in the span of Monday-Wednesday.

When I walked out of the hospital after being in there for 35 days after intense chemo and other modesty-stripping procedures, people continuously asked me if I was “changed.”  Do you stop and smell the roses now?  Do you give thanks for everything around you each and every moment?  Does butter taste creamier than ever?  I was 25.  My secretions had been measured to 1/4 of a fluid ounce every day for over a month.  I had been poked, prodded, plucked, and all other medically necessary Harlequin-like things by total strangers.  NO, I was not instantly changed.  Sure I was glad to be the hell out of there, but I was still me.  What I was lighter from in missing hair, I more than made up for in heavy guilt from the constant inquisitions of whether or not I was a new and improved me. 

(Note to naive 25-year-old me:  YES.  Cancer-free was enough.)

So call me jaded (again), but I find the whole New Year’s Resolution thing revolting.  People are people.  Some are well-intentioned, some are not.  Some vacillate between the two on a regular basis.  No matter – not for me to decide.  I’ve gotten burned by trying to convince myself I know someone one too many times to render myself an expert. 

But what I do know with absolute certainty is that God puts people in our paths at exactly the right time.  For example, last week in tradition fashion, we met at Chels’ house in Columbus.  And by “we” I mean the four of us:  Beth, Beck, Chels, and me.  Friends for over 35 years.  There’s no bullshit, there’s no pretense, there’s no hiding a thing.  It all comes to the forefront whether you want it to or not.  The wine helps a little too, but honestly, we were completely sober the entire time which outsiders would not have believed given the increase in decibel levels over the course of the evening.

The boyfriends we’d rather never remember, the flings we wish we could, the Oh My God you screwed him…really? conversations (full disclosure:  I was the one asking that question, not answering) – it was all very refreshing.  Trips down memory lane can do that to you in a matter of minutes.  More importantly, they can alleviate the here and now, which as you may have guessed by now my astute readers, won’t cause any backlash from yours truly in this season of life.

After spending genuinely accepting and loving time with them, I finally made the connection between my self-conscious struggle in being satisfied (i.e. stop setting higher and higher goals) and my equivalently self-conscious struggle in being well…in this season of life.  My friend Beth literally just got married for the first time 3 years ago.  She was the most experienced dater among us.  Without going into too much detail about her, let’s just say it is rare when she speaks up and even rarer to hear her say anything negative about anyone.  Out of no where she turned to me and said, “Stop liking the wrong ones.  You’ve always liked the wrong ones.  The ones who treat you like crap, the ones who are emotionally unavailable.  Me too.  But trust me, there are better ones out there.  And for god’s sake will you SLOW DOWN?  It just delays everything.” 

I teared up and sipped another gulp of my wine.

I’m sure my desire to achieve constant goals has something to do with pleasing someone / earning their love, attention, and respect as a child or lovestruck moron teenager.  At least that’s what $110 bucks an hour would insist upon repeating like some kind of marathon mantra.

I’m sure my desire to achieve constant goals has something to do with pleasing someone / earning their love, attention, and respect as a child or lovestruck moron teenager.

I’m sure my desire to achieve constant goals has something to do with pleasing someone / earning their love, attention, and respect as a child or lovestruck moron teenager.

Please.  Who am I kidding and why am I throwing money around like I should have something entitled “Writ” after each session? 

We are all just people.  And we are all gonna be just fine.

Happy 2013.  Including all four of its seasons.