Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions: I’ll lose weight. I’ll stop smoking. I’ll spend more time with my partner or my children.
Somewhere around the second week of January, those promises go the way of all the other promises. We start snacking, smoking, and/or spending more time at the office. If we have made resolutions as a couple, one of us is bound to fall down, leaving the other to place blame.
We often make promises that we do not keep. The problem with resolutions is that they assume we are in control. We have learned however, that this is not true at all. Many times the promises are unrealistic, made to impress someone else. Other times, the promises are made half-heartedly, with no real intention of following through. Still others are made with the hope of doing the impossible.
Memories are a powerful thing. Feeling memories of the pain and disappointment of holidays past can overwhelm us so much so that we have come to expect nothing different. Or perhaps, our feeling memories might be so wonderful that we again have expectations of exciting holiday experiences to be had.
If we are so sure that the pain of the past will revisit us, we automatically brace ourselves for it, and we are seldom disappointed; the pain returns because that is what we were dwelling on. In the same vein, if we are so sure that each holiday will bring the same joy of the past, we are bound to be disillusioned if the reality does not favorably compare with the memory.