I thought of an October 2021 blog post the other day. I thought of the word ‘control’ when my Neurologist informed me I was likely in Parkinson’s Stage 2. Although I don’t feel significantly different from 2021, tremors, rigidity, and other movement symptoms are present. I remain independent, but some daily tasks have become more complicated. And that’s where I’m at: Life continues to be more complex, challenging, and painful. So, although I am still living [I expected otherwise], a friend suggested I make some New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions have a long history dating back to ancient civilizations. The concept of making a resolution at the beginning of the year to do something better or to change a habit has been around for thousands of years. Unfortunately, I’ve never been into New Year’s Resolutions. I break most of them. So, I started a list to accommodate my friend’s best intentions for 2023. Here are the first five.

  1. “I resolve to finally use all the random items in my junk drawer for their intended purpose.”
  2. “I resolve to only procrastinate on important tasks, not just the mundane ones.”
  3. “I resolve to just stick with auto picture mode.”
  4. “I resolve to stop saying ‘I’ll start my diet tomorrow’ and just embrace the fact that I love carbs too much ever truly to commit.”
  5. My doctors advised me to get more exercise. Thus, “I resolve to start exercising by walking to the fridge and back more often.”

True to form, those five will not provide anyone with an ultimate compass. Thus, I returned to the spiritual. Since their messages differ, it is difficult to say precisely what commonality Buddha and Jesus Christ would find in any New Year. Thus, there are no historical records of what specific beliefs or practices each would prioritize. In Buddhism, the new year is seen as a time to reflect on the past and set future intentions. In Christianity, many Christians view the new year as a time to reflect on the past, set future goals, and thank God for His blessings. Other religions have new year celebrations as well.

How religions celebrate the new year varies widely depending on their beliefs and practices. Some religions have specific holidays or rituals to mark the start of the new year, while others do not. In Hinduism, the new year is celebrated during the festival of Ugadi, which marks the beginning of the Hindu calendar. It is a time of renewal and a celebration of the divine. The Jewish new year, known as Rosh Hashanah, is a two-day celebration that usually falls in September or October. It is a time of reflection and repentance.

My faith is a combination of Catholicism, Buddhism, and spirituality. Thus, there are some general themes that both Christ and Buddha might find important in the context of a new year:

  1. Renewal and rebirth: Buddha and Jesus taught the importance of spiritual growth and renewal. The new year should be a time to start fresh and focus on personal development.
  2. Forgiveness and compassion: Both emphasized the importance of forgiveness and compassion. Therefore 2023 is an opportunity to let go of grudges and focus on being kind and understanding toward others.
  3. Reflection and introspection: Buddha and Jesus encouraged their followers to reflect on their actions and consider their impact on others. Therefore, 2023 should be a time to take stock of one’s life and consider how to live more mindfully and align with one’s values.

My Resolution

One day, a man came to Buddha and said, “I want happiness.”

Buddha replied, “First remove ‘I’; that’s ego. Then remove ‘want’; that’s desire. So now, all that’s left is ‘happiness’. Therefore, you are free to pursue happiness.”

This story highlights the Buddhist teachings on the importance of letting go of the ego and desire to find true happiness. By letting go of these things, we can be more present and open to experiencing joy in the present moment. And that leaves my one and only New Year’s Resolution.

I resolve to remove more of my ego and become more compassionate to all.

Thinking about it now, we all need the same resolution badly.