Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, New Life...yeah yeah.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, including New Year’s resolutions. As the ball drops for 2010, the hearts of all humanity who possess timepieces are transported to a world of new possibilities and fresh starts. In America, we vow that THIS IS THE YEAR we will eat healthier, exercise more, save more, relax more, complain less (maybe), and generally get our collective shizzle together.

But doesn’t every day, every hour, every minute bring this same newness? Flipping a calendar page to a new day is the same motion as flipping to new year, isn’t it? Perhaps, but it is not nearly as sexy as a NEW YEAR. A promise that’s made beneath a backdrop of fireworks and Cool & the Gang is all that it takes for us to say “YES! I WILL_________.  (Fill in the blanks. It's your resolution, after all.)

Of course, ringing in the new year is also a reason to drink, celebrate, and give a formal “goodbye” to a rotten year which may have included a lost job, a bastard boss, or an ex- who finally is out of your hair, your life or your bank account. Those are great reasons to celebrate and to make a solemn promise toward a better life, a better year, and a better (more successful) resolution.

As we close out the first decade of the millenium, I have realized that my New Year’s resolutions from 1999 aren’t so different from today. They are the things I still struggle with, the pesky little “shoulds” I know are somewhat important, but they haven’t (yet) given me cancer, a heart attack or an eviction notice from the Department of Health, so I’m not sure how really important they are. My list of recurring “resolutions” includes, in no particular order:

1) Becoming more orderly. My garage resembles a landfill at certain times of the year. Right now, it’s not so bad. Chances are, however, it will begin to become disturbingly impassable as I try to find a hammer or screwdriver on some February Tuesday. The lack of order and time-suck of not being able to find tools when I need them isn’t the only problem; it’s what the disorderly garage telegraphs to me: “You, my dear, are a pig.” To which, on good-humored days when life is humming and my priorities are in order, I guiltlessly say, “Oink.” But on days when God is giving me a mid-term exam, I am less inclined to dismiss the chaos and what it implies. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then a clean garage for me implies sainthood. This stays on the list for 2010.

2) Taking better care of me. What a cross this is for me! But I am better at it now. I finally realize that “If momma ain’t happy/healthy/sane, nobody’s happy/healthy/sane.” Filling my cup has become easier as my kids have gotten older, more independent and capable of cooking their own meals. This will remain a resolution for 2010 because of new and improved ways to define “taking better care of me,” particularly with the opening of a quality day spa nearby. :)

3) Reading more. I read all the time, but it is never enough. I have vowed to read more fiction and to stop being so damn practical. Enough of current events and new ways to brush the cat. Where is that trashy novel? Gotta find it.

4) Getting rid of deadwood. I am so much better at purging the things, people, commitments and ridiculous self-limiting thoughts that weigh me down, but there is always room for improvement. When in doubt, I just say “No.” This stays on the list for 2010, and will likely remain forever. Deadwood seems to find me, no matter how self-actualized I become.

5) Write more. Or shall I say, write more that matters. I’ve had plenty of business this past year, but I don’t count that as soulfully satisfying, or enriching my self-awareness as a writer. Somehow, writing websites and brochures on the mechanics and cost benefits of solar energy falls short. So, dare I say it? I will blog at least once a week. That’s a new resolution for this decade, and one I can stick with.

Now, dear reader, your resolution must include reading the blog. Deal? :)

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