Berta didn’t make New Year’s resolutions. They were nothing but disappointments and chances to beat yourself up. The year she vowed to lose weight, she ended up gaining three pounds. The year she said she would faithfully workout daily, she sprained her ankle and now had a reoccurring injury. She vowed off men one year and ended up getting married, to the wrong man. It lasted only a few short months then the honeymoon was over. He wasn’t the person he portrayed he was. She found her bank account drained along with her emotional well-being. She made the decision one year to ask for a raise. Surprise! When the first round of layoffs came through the company, Berta was the first to go. The reason? Highest paid, first laid, her boss told her. Berta had grown leery of making any resolutions. Her only resolution was not to make one!
When her friends groaned in dismay after they had broken their fresh starts, she chuckled at them. How foolish of them to set themselves up this way.
After a few years, Berta realized she was no longer taking any chances. Her life was ingrained in the same routines. She hadn’t lost weight, swore off men, gotten a raise or tried anything new. The stroke of midnight meant nothing on New Year’s Eve. Just another day of sameness. She listened to the people say what they were giving up or changing about their lives. She started her same spiel of loving herself the way she was this year when she stopped mid-sentence. How would she ever experience success if she didn’t take a chance? So instead, she told them.
I am going to love myself as I am this year, and I am going to take risks. I am going to travel, meet people, try new things and experience life!
New Year’s Day she was a little hungover. She pulled out her laptop searching for new experiences.
“Zip Lining?” There was a course in Costa Rica, she booked her ticket. Zip lining in Costa Rica was a wonderful experience. She took on new challenges daily. Read books she had always heard people talk about. Ate foods she’d never tried before. Okay, she did get sick on a few. Who knew octopus would make you gag?
After the year was over, she found herself at a new party with new friends she’d made in her new job. Her resolution? The same that year. She realized that making your resolution about shaming yourself wasn’t the best way to start off the new year, but making a resolution to live your life fuller, was.
NOVEMBER 2019 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband Red, two rescue dogs, and a stray cat. She was first published in Dec 2018 in Spillwords. She didn't make the 12 Days of Christmas but has since published over 450 short stories, drabbles, and poems in online ezines and anthologies.