first, a confession. i used to hate new year’s. it always seemed like a forced-fun event. an arbitrary evening to slug back champagne and watch the eerily youthful dick clark on television. or attend parties full of people you didn’t know. new year’s always felt like a competition, an end in the means, an inevitable drunken debacle. but now, i see it differently. almost hopefully. at best, with cautious optimism. a dreamy rebirth.

that is why i have cautiously entitled this post “new year, new you (?)” because i beg those who try to shed their old, their pounds, their particular “question mark” problem to abstain this year, from abstaining itself. i, too, used to think the new year should beckon in the new and improved jacks. one who swore less, was fitter, a better person, smarter, happier, more well-rounded. but i was under the false impression that to be shiny new jacks, i had to give up, avoid, abstain, decrease. this ultimately left me unhappy. trying to shed rather than trying to gain. trying to close rather than open. i’m good at this. shedding to the bare minimums to perfect those while losing sight of what’s more.

last year, i attempted something radically different. i added instead of taking away. i splurged instead of showing restraint. and now i have something ridiculously good to show for it. and it didn’t take much. didn’t feel like persevering. not like a chore. or a burden. but fun. essentially, i got fun for new year’s.

at the end of 2006, i made a commitment to volunteer. i became a big sister. and now my life has a new dynamic that makes me feel good about myself. not too this or that. not not enough. not a work-in-progress. but a real live giver. doer. contributor.

now i tell you all this because i am cautiously, optimistically, breathlessly constructing new add-on goals. not take-away ones. and i’m all giddy with the possibilities. overwhelmed even with the notion that i can choose anything and, as my track record so far can attest, achieve it. that is really a crazy realization.

that i can do anything.

rather than i’m not enough.