Balloons can easily be mistaken for jellies (aka jellyfish), especially through the eyes of hungry sea turtles. (In case you didn’t know, jellies are a huge part of a sea turtle’s regular diet.) My love for marine life collides with my family’s New Year’s tradition of releasing balloons at midnight with our resolutions attached. I cry a little on the inside for every turtle that’s effected by our murderous balloons but I cry more over my messy life. New Years resolutions certainly aren’t admired for their success rate and yet people make them year after failed year. By partaking in the tradition every year, I’m learning that I can’t wish upon a balloon for everything to float into place.
In Joseph T. Hallinan’s Kidding Ourselves, he explains the many ways we can deceive ourselves. I’ve taken a multitude of new perspectives on the human brain through this book. An observation that really stuck with me is the human mind’s ability to rationalize anything and convince ourselves to create the outcome we want. Hallinan has a chapter dedicated to those who believe specific rituals will help them – even though the ritual and the situation have no real connection. Thus, I am convinced that part of my messy life and failed resolutions are attributed to the fact that I don’t believe enough in the New Year’s balloon ritual.
Now, I can’t share my resolutions or else they won’t come true. You can call me crazy but since I’m aware of my irrational superstition, I think I’m sane. So, let’s say one of my “goals” is to reinvent myself! (Oh goodness, I never liked the phrase “reinvent myself”. I can already feel the that-is-so-cliche death stare.) How about: “I’m going to evaluate my past mistakes, strive to reorganize my life, and build the person I want to be around my new productive habits!” Hmmph, that isn’t immensely better but you get the gist.
I am a strong advocate of the handy To-Do List. So, my New Year’s To-Do List shall consist of awesome do-it-yourself re-decorations, much needed naps, and plainly going forward in life. I’ve spent to much time focusing on a past I can’t change. I refuse to be tricked by some jelly impersonating balloon. Not only will I conquer my jellies, I’m gonna ride the waves on them.