Gwen Rockwood: The Rockwood Files

Gwen Rockwood: Don't let New Year's Day be a downer; you're good enough already

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the whole New Year's shtick. A million years ago when I was single, I dreaded New Year's Eve because there was far too much pressure on it. If the evening didn't play out like my favorite chick-flick movie and end with a kiss worthy of an orchestral swell in the background, the whole night felt like a bust.

Once I made it through a disappointing New Year's Eve, I faced the buzzkill that is New Year's Day -- the day I'm supposed to resolve to be so much better than I am. And I'd like to be that idealistic version of myself and I could probably do it, but human imperfection always gets in the way.

These days I don't dread New Year's Eve anymore. Tom and I and the kids usually spend it with take-out pizza and a movie on the sofa -- no crowds required.

But I still don't care much for New Year's Day. For me, it feels as if some big, invisible teacher is handing out assignments that I better get to work on right away if I have any hope of making a good grade by year's end.

January 1st is so heavy with "should's" -- I should exercise every day; I should cut out sweets; I should accomplish more each day; I should meditate; I should get more sleep; I should save more money. The list stretches out like an endless road.

To try to break out of the New Year's Day funk, I went online recently and did a Google search for inspirational quotes about the New Year, hoping someone's words would make the first day of the year feel less daunting. While there are some moving words about New Year's Day uttered by historical figures as well as celebrities, none of them captured what I wanted and needed to hear.

So, I've resolved to write my own. If the words happen to help you, too, that will make January 1st a success for me. Here goes:

"You are good enough -- just as you are, right here and right now. You don't have to completely overhaul yourself to be worthy of your life. Enjoy it. Treasure it. Use it to do good things. But also remember that you're a human being, not a programmable productivity machine. Your worth is not measured in a resume or a bank account or social media likes or a pant size or any of the things the world tells us is important.

If there are things you want or habits you want to change, know with confidence that you can do it -- not because you "should," because the "should's" will suck the motivation right out of you. Do it because you can and you want to. When you want it badly enough, you'll find a way.

In the meantime, revel in the knowledge that no matter how imperfect you are or how many times you mess up, you are still a special creation by God himself. And that makes you good enough -- always will."

From my family to yours, have a happy, healthy New Year.

Gwen Rockwood is a syndicated freelance columnist. This column was originally released Dec. 27, 2013, Email her at [email protected]. Her book is available on Amazon.

Upcoming Events