Do you make New Year’s resolutions? According to StatisticBrain.Com, at least 45% of the US population makes New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like me, you probably think resolutions can be made any time of the year, New Year’s or not.
I make a resolution to change whenever I see the need for it, but I do have a personal tradition of making resolutions on my birthday. I reflect upon the previous 12 months of my life and decide what I want to be different for the coming new year of life.
As a single person, it’s highly likely you’ve noticed the holidays approaching before others because there’s usually some sense of dread attached to them. You might be dreading the usual conversations about why you’re still single and how can the person talking with you help you change that. And you might be dreading the striking feeling of loneliness as you watch other couples celebrate happily. And this brings me to the point of my article: What are you going to do differently this holiday season? What about your typical behavior will you change so that feeling lonely will have less of a sting and a sense of joy will be more real as you celebrate?
Now is the time to reflect upon all the things that might bring you down during the holidays and make a little list of practical ways you are going to change things and make your holiday experience different this year.
Will it be following an Advent prayer guide, such as the popular Little Blue Book For Advent and Christmas to help you focus more on Advent and the Holy Family?
Will it be working harder to trust God with your future?
Will it be receiving the sacrament of penance with sincerity and fervor?
Will it be letting go of the pain and resentment from a past relationship?
Will it be attending your parish Advent mission this year?
Will it be making the choice to enjoy a celebration instead of throwing a pity party?
The options are endless.
One important suggestion I have is taking time to volunteer. If you are in the Northeast anywhere near New Jersey or New York, there are ample opportunities to volunteer and serve the people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Chaz Muth of the Catholic News Service (CNS) recently reported on how the township of Little Egg Harbor and other nearby areas in New Jersey are dealing with the severe level of damage sustained because of Sandy. What is making the difference there are the volunteers who come to help. Muth wrote:
“Sandra Vitelli of Orangeburg, N.Y., said the storm crushed her spirits when she arrived at her Tuckerton vacation house to find terrible flood and wind damage, but the generosity of her neighbors, friends and family who have volunteered to help her clean up has bolstered her faith.”
But there are many ways to volunteer and another good way to focus on others is to visit those who are lonely. So many people have no one to visit them, and no one to pray for them. Taking the opportunity to spend time with these lonely souls can make such a huge difference in both your attitude and theirs.
VolunteerMatch.Org is a great website you can visit to find volunteer opportunities in your area.
Whatever it is you decide to do, make the resolution now. Don’t wait until the day before Thanksgiving when your level of emotion hits like a tidal wave. Greet the holidays head on and with a smile 🙂