Hi! I'm Sarah Raplee, and I write scary, funny paranormal and steampunk romances. I write because I can't help it, and it's more fun than most of the alternatives. My short story, The Telltale Heart, was published this month in GIFTS FROM THE HEART from Windtree Press.
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you’d kept all your past years' New Years’ resolutions?
Your first reaction may be to think your life would be perfect, full of butterflies and daisies and unending sunshine. After all, we make resolutions to try to improve ourselves and our lives. Making them makes us feel powerful, in control, as if we’ve caught a magic bullet. If only we can hold on to the magic long enough, our problem(s) will be solved and we’ll float off into the future as thinner, healthier, calmer, more accomplished, more spiritual versions of ourselves who are married to our equally perfect soul mates and have a fat retirement account and great health insurance.
What’s wrong with this picture?
It’s a fantasy, an unrealistic figment of our imaginations. Change is hard work. It takes commitment and perseverance, and many, many small steps to achieve a major goal. Success depends, among other things, on being able to forgive ourselves for moments of weakness as well as a willingness to accept the tests and difficulties life throws at us with grace—because railing against them is like whining about the weather, a useless waste of energy.
But like unanswered prayers, unkempt resolutions may produce a better outcome than we can imagine. If I had been able to easily give up chocolate and caffeine, I not only would have missed out on their (at that time undiscovered) health benefits, I guarantee I would be a grumpier old woman!
If dieting and exercising had come easily to me, I would have had much less compassion for other people’s struggles. Failure helps us to be less judgmental. It is a humbling experience.
If I’d spent as much time cleaning house and exercising as I thought I should, I never would have finished writing two novels and a slew of short stories—not without neglecting my marriage and other important relationships.
Writing has taught me that baby steps, perseverance and an acceptance of the things we can’t control or change are more likely to produce positive results than a lifetime of New Year’s resolutions.
Have you failed to keep a New Year’s resolution? Did something positive come from that failure?