New Year’s Lightening Bugs

Today there are hundreds of New Year’s resolutions floating around the atmosphere, let alone plastered all over the Facebook universe. Some are backed by good intentions, lifelong desires, and even more from spur of the moment interests. Regardless of where these resolutions stem from, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to bottle up all these grand expectations or wishful thoughts or just plain old hopes that are filling the world at this very moment.

What would they look like? Would they look like a bunch of lightening bugs brimming over a clear glass jar? Maybe a kaleidoscope of colors sparkling in eyes filled with wonderment? Or maybe they would be as expansive and bright as the Northern Lights dancing across the horizon? Whatever you imagine, I bet it would be a spectacular sight to behold.

Maybe that’s why childhood is so grand – because as little kids, there are countless possibilities streaming through our heads at any given moment of what our futures hold in store. One minute you could be a pirate princess and the next you’re an astronaut exploring the outer realms of the galaxy. Ideas haven’t yet been limited and dreams are still attainable, no matter what the odds. In a way, being a child is like being in a constant state of New Year’s mentality.

For the first time all year, people are finally forgiving themselves or giving themselves permission to move on and forget about all the problems, heartache, and basic obstacles they’ve encountered over the last year. Like a child, their slate is made clean in the dawn of day and every hope seems suddenly reachable again.

And I like that.

We’ve all heard the jokes that gym memberships peak this time each year and that it’s almost a walk of shame by April, when people face the reality of all the hard work that’s involved in seeing their New Year’s dream come into fruition. Yeah, it can be funny. But it’s also sad. How many of us have made resolutions to lose weight or quit smoking, maybe fall in love or even write a book!

The truth is, we all have.

Instead of tallying the number of people not completing their dreams or pointing fingers at those that do choose the “cheesiest” time of year to start over – why not support them? If you see a new face at the gym come the first of the year, why not say hello and ask them about their story to encourage them to want to come back if not for the workout then for a budding friendship based on getting healthy? Instead of rolling your eyes at a kid brother who wants to write his first novel that is absurdly filled with overly dramatic scenes and crazy weird plot points, why not offer to be his beta reader or get him a ticket to a local writers conference?

I know it’s easier said then done, but what if all these dreams and wishes and resolutions were actually lightening bugs in a glass jar? Would you watch as someone put a lid on them come the end of January? Would you be okay, knowing that while you weren’t personally affected, that there were still little beings of light dying because you simply didn’t help?

So, if nothing else, I’ve made the New Year’s resolution to help others with their resolutions. And, who knows, maybe by doing this, my other personal goals will somehow feel more achievable along the way.

And maybe, when I greet the end of the year once again, my jar of light will still be brightly illuminated and, better yet, accompanied by many others alongside it.

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