Onward- not another new year resolution

I spent holidays reflecting on my 2018. I am not a person who makes resolutions in December, draws attention to forty eight likes by declaring it on facebook, and forgets all of them by February. I kind of figured out how my life functions every year and the most important goal focuses on only one thing – keeping the old me alive in a world that kills human souls every second.

I like to respond in the same way to old friends, old wounds, and old unfinished lists. I like to cook for hungry ones, call my friends when they are going through a phase of trial and recovery, give blankets to my best friend when she is cold, add new humans in my life story while keeping the old ones close. I like the way I have been till now.

But some changes are good too. 

I was at the salon getting my hair trimmed for new year eve, when I heard someone saying- “My mom lives in the valley where I lost my husband. You don’t know why I come here every Christmas. You don’t know how love works to wounded hearts.” I am not good at eavesdropping. But I got a gist without trying. 

She was an old soul marked in deep red lipstick, getting her short blondes changed to brunette. Her eyes were swollen, mostly by insomnia. She lost her husband to a young Asian lady who graduated from Stanford two years after their daughter’s graduation.  “Tell me why love grows old but goes after the youngs,” she asked.

The salon lady who was coloring her hair had a story too. Every Christmas she missed her dad who she never met after her childhood. Later she came to America with her husband, and found out her dad had a big second family in a small San Jose neighborhood. “Unlucky I am- He died a year before I moved. Lucky for me- I got a half brother who time to time checks on my health and says he loves me. I remind him the way my father looked- charismatic and very good looking. “

“Oh! You are so good looking.” I heard the old soul cheering for her. I heard their little laughter and loud declarations before they moved to try a new holiday chocolate flavored coffee- “Oh! What a year it has been! Life is pain sometimes.”

In their stories of loss and found, hope and flavored coffees, I found out how I wanted to paint my 2019.

Maybe growing old is not that bad when you are constantly moving onward. Maybe looking back does not heal any wounds. Maybe creating your own journey and being on your path do.

Did I write that some changes are good too?

What will happen if I change my kindness to unforgiving self-love, scrub off some old memories and never give unkind experiences another chance?

Only onward. And upward. Doesn’t that journey keep us more humane?


“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
Mary Oliver

Author: Archita

Musings about life and photography.

14 thoughts on “Onward- not another new year resolution”

  1. The shallow and self-absorbed ones will have never have time for these, and that’s how the world will always be balanced with its chaos. I hope you are having a great 2019 in your beautiful city, Patrick.

  2. Only onward and upward. I am so bad at eavesdropping, but here the conversation was loud and each of them were proud of the battles and the outcomes. Happy New Year to you too, Vishal.

  3. I strongly agree with you. When we see people choosing happiness over pain, finding light after the tunnel- they give us so much hope in humanity. Yes, resolutions are not the solutions because having a path is always better than having a destination. Thank you very much for reading, leaving your note, and sharing.

  4. Happy 2019, Michelle. You have been a big inspiration for me ever since I started writing and balancing the act of creation and be places I want to be. That day was a special day and I had to process those stories to write it here. In my husbands words, listening is the best skill to create empathy in our society- and I think I will work on that more in coming days and understand the world more. Thank you always for reading and leaving notes.

  5. As always, an introspective challenge that touches many. Unfortunately the shallow and self-absorbed have no time to consider thoughts such as these to make our world a better place.

  6. Only onward and upward. You say it with such beauty Archita and yeah I’ve been eavesdropping on conversations in coffee shops…hehe Resolutions doesn’t work with me and find it so daft with people making it something all over the place. Happy New Year. Taking things one at a time makes for a more sensible approach 🙂

  7. When we look around we realize how difficult this world is and pains that everyone is experiencing; we are lucky in a way that we have been spared. I personally think we don’t need resolutions as long as we know where we are going.

  8. Your words have always been like warm soup and a blanket to me–poignant scene you painted. I often listen to stories in airports and jot down what I can. You captured something beautiful in that shop and I’m so lucky that I got to read it. Happy 2019, A xxoxox

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