I take New Year's resolutions seriously. Most of mine stick. (For example, I started #hotchkiss365 on Instagram almost nine years ago and have missed days only when I was in the hospital.) That said, thinking about what to post at the end of the year seems like a big responsibility because I'm considering what resolutions I should make as I begin 2024. I decided to embrace a way of thinking in addition to several new tasks to add to my checklists.
I was, not surprisingly, listening to a podcast recently (doesn't matter which one), in which the guest extolled the joys of the choose-your-own-adventure books for children. I remember loving those books and appreciating when my daughters read them as well.
For those of you who didn't grow up on this type of literature, as the blurb from a Google search above says, these are chapter books aimed at young readers. Each book uses a second-person (you) perspective and offers the reader/protagonist choices. For example, I'd be reading along and on page six, I get something along the lines of this:
- If you open the door, go to page 18.
- If you walk down the hallway, go to page 26.
Then, the story continues on the appropriate page as if you've made that selection. Any child can read each book several times following different paths.
There's something very satisfying about knowing what would happen if we made different choices in our lives. Many movies have been made with this "what if" premise. We never can know, in real life where the other path (maybe the one more or less traveled by, Robert) would have led us, but that's not my complaint.
Instead, I was thinking about the limits of binary options. In real life, we don't have only two options; we have infinite choices. Sorry, Frosty, but making one choice doesn't always make all the difference because we can circle back. We can often regroup, reframe, and retry. We can ask for or take do-overs. We can apologize. We can work harder.
It's not that we can switch from one path to the other path, but that there isn't a path; there's a whole world. So that's one of my resolutions this year (for now), to think about life as more than a series of either-or options and to wander the route that makes the most sense at any step, given what I know, whom I'm with, and which direction I want to pursue.
(Another one of my resolutions is to learn to make the dark, seedy bread I ate a lot of in Poland. Does anyone have any advice about how I should start this learning process?)
Do you have New Year's resolutions or stories of them you'd like to share in the comments? Do you have thoughts about choose-your-own-adventure books? Or about trying to embrace the non-binary-ness of the world? I'd love to read your comments.