New Year, Old Me

Is anyone else sick of the “New Year, New You” advertising that happens this time of year?

I understand that the commercials who want to make me “new” just want me to drop a few pounds or buy a new pair of shoes–both of which I could probably afford to do–but why do they insist on using the “new you” language? And, why does that approach work on us? And, what would I really lose if I got rid of the old me?

Think about it for a second. What would you lose if you traded in your “old self” for a new you? Relationships? Experiences? Wisdom?

It’s almost painful to think about, isn’t it?

Not to mention, they’re setting everyone up for disappointment when December 31, 2011 rolls around and we realize that there isn’t anything new about us. Surely I’m not the only person who has thought this on New Year’s Eve: Here I am, again. Same haircut. Same clothes. Same interests. Same attitude. Same ability to inhale cheese dip at unnatural speeds. Same old– but newly cranky– me.

Yesterday, my pastor told a story about a man who– inspired by a sermon given by Martin Luther– told Luther that he wanted to serve God. The man asked if he should join a monastery and become a priest or if he should go to seminary and become a pastor. Luther responded by asking the man what he did for a living. The man said he was a shoemaker. Luther told him that to serve God all he had to do was to simply make better shoes.

Hopefully in the new year, I can learn to “make better shoes” and appreciate it.

Happy 2011, all!



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