From Years to Days. Rethinking the Resolution.

A friend of mine posted an apologetic, or perhaps, defiant, New Year’s resolution blog yesterday. I think she was reluctant because of the possible backlash from those resolution nay-sayers who feel that we never keep our resolutions or that there’s no point or that the “New Year” is a totally arbitrary point in time.

I pointed out that I felt it was a perfect time. We go through this period of time around Christmas with intensity. A frenzy of commercialism followed by a day or two of calm with family and friends is like nothing else that we experience throughout the year. It gets you thinking. About stuff. About commercialism and food and family and community.

Of course, Christmas and New Year’s, the artificial constructs that we put up trees and wear funny hats and drink bubbly for are evolutionary offshoots of something very real and concrete. The Winter Solstice is an undeniably physical event. Its coming can be measured down precisely so that we know that at a given moment, we turn around and head back toward days of light and sun and warmth. Where trees turn green and water runs free and we can shed the layers of clothes that keep the winter chill out.

As someone who loves the change of seasons (all of them), I love this one the best because it is so amazingly tangible to see the days get longer and to feel the hope that, yes, winter will be over. I think it is a great time to do some bellybutton gazing. To look within at what we need and want for ourselves for the coming year.

I’ve had a bit of a challenging fall and I’m not even sure what to put it down to; mild depression, overwhelmed at work, self neglect, and maybe a bit of not being sure what to do with myself after being used to a sustained level of hurtful and brain-rotting drama over the last few years. I’m ready to accept that some work needs to be done for me to climb back up on the path that I want to follow so this season seems like the time to make such commitments.

There is a lot of interesting stuff happening. One child is hitting 20 years old this year while another will become an adult. We’ve got some fun renovations going on at home. Our band had probably our most successful year effort in terms of the quality of the gigs we’re getting and the quality of the performances we’re putting out with more good stuff on the horizon. I’m reaching out to new friendships after hiding away for years (due to aforementioned drama trauma). And we have an important election coming up in 2015 which I’m interested in because of my involvement with the Green Party and Fair Vote Canada.

So I want to be present for these things. I want to be there for my kids and help them along their path. I want to learn new music and learn more about being an entertainer. I want to be re-engaged with my work and enjoy it, or at least appreciate it, without burning out and letting it consume me.  I want to be able to contribute my time to the Green Party campaign and to Fair Vote’s initiatives. I want to revitalize old friendships and make new ones. Oh, and I want to get in better shape. I think that getting in better shape is a mandatory component of the NYR thing, right?

Lofty ambitions.

And yet, I feel I’ve had a reasonable amount of success in my life. So all that I want isn’t necessarily just wishful thinking.

Some of that success is dumb luck. Some of that is amazing opportunities provided by parents, teachers, friends, and employers. Mostly importantly, much of that is because I get out of bed each morning and figure out what the next best right thing to do is. Even if, occasionally, the next best right thing to do is to fall back in to bed.

This thought brings me to a place of clarity and intent. I know what I want to do and what is important. Having reviewed those things as part of the whole New Year’s process, I’m clearer on that now.

So the only real resolution that I have for this year is to get up every morning with an increased awareness of what I need and want for myself and an awareness that I can make choices, every day, to be who I want to be.

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