I have compiled the results of my stealthy, unscientific survey of our blogging community’s New Year’s Resolutions. No one will be surprised by these results:
- 1% make resolutions and have a track record of keeping them
- 1% don’t make resolutions and feel no guilt
The other 98%:
- Make resolutions and expect to keep them (only to be sadly disappointed when next December comes into view)
- Don’t make resolutions and feel like guilty slackers
- Relist the same resolutions from the past three years, hoping THIS will be ‘the year’
- Make resolutions and immediately explain why they won’t be able to keep them
- Make resolutions and cross their fingers, wishing for a miracle
Why is this annual ritual such an uncomfortable process for many of us? The common denominator? Resolutions = Improvement, as in “You need to do better!”.
Think about it … December – the month when we eat too much; drink too much; stay up too late; don’t get enough exercise; and spend too much money … that’s the month we ponder the coming year.
Is it any wonder our recourse is a list of vows to ‘do better’ in the New Year?
I write this post somewhat facetiously because New Year’s Resolutions are such a time-honored tradition, and many people take them seriously.
For me, they’ve always been one of many stressors that make December a difficult month. I never made resolutions, but I carried the nagging guilt of not doing so. A couple years ago, I ‘consciously uncoupled’ from my guilt. Doing so freed me to look at the New Year in a whole new light. Not overshadowed by ‘do better’, I could envision activities, studies and pursuits which open windows on parts of myself I’ve never explored.
This New Year’s ‘Envisions’ include:
- Music and Keyboard
- Mapping and Footsteps
- Urban Sketching and Watercolors
- Word Origins – a self study by Great Courses
- Writing Craft and Practice
The ‘Envisions’ are primarily new uncharted pursuits – even writing is largely uncharted because I’ve barely scratched the surface. My desire to pursue these interests is triggered by connections to my writing – either because of inner links I’m uncovering beyond creating words or from sparks that fly when a particular blogsite piques my curiosity.
I will write about each as I dip my toes; it helps me understand my interest as well as co-ordinate my approach to learning, experimenting and practicing. I have no expectations that I will master any of them; only that I want to explore and appreciate what is possible.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to subject you to a slew of neophyte etchings or miscued keyboard recitals.
Maybe a few …
The alternative could have been me droning on for the next twelve months about improving my diet!
Wow, the WordPress gremlins attacked me today! First arbitrarily shutting off comments, then messing with the format of my already-published post. Grrrrr!!
Comments on: "The Art of the Possible" (27)
Since you fixed the comment problem and they’re now open, I had to return to say hi. Hi!
You’re so sweet. Check’s in the mail for that computer consultation 😍
For you, I’ll accept virtual chocolate instead. It’s the only kind that doesn’t go to my hips…
Was surprised earlier to see comments section off – glad it’s back on again!
Hi Susan – thanks for checking back. I had a little snafu with my comment button. Frustrating for sure!
So, we purposefully slack off in hopes of a new beginning, yet another chance to right all the wrongs. Good God.
I like your list of ‘envisions.’ Even the word, I like it better than resolutions. It describes possibilities, distant dreams, so your list makes perfect sense to me. Everything starts with a dream, Sammy. Music and sketching and writing, they are all somewhat related after all. 🙂
I’ll be watching you.
Thanks, Silvia. You understand ‘envisions’ the way I hoped, even if I committed my pet peeve offense of ‘noun-izing a verb”. 😍
I do that all the time. 🙂
I used to gnash my teeth at how everyone has bastardized our nouns, verbs and adjectives. I finally decided to stop fighting a losing battle (altho I still google a lot of words to see if I’m using them correctly). Old school habits die hard!!
You care, and that speaks volumes. Your writing shows how much you care about, and respect, language.
I am looking forward to viewing your neophyte etchings and hearing about your keyboard recitals! I agree that goals or envisions are much more interesting (and therefor maybe attainable) than resolutions.
Here’s to an amazing 2015 where we will “explore and appreciate what is possible.”
Thanks, Janis! I will work on improvements but the New Year should be about someting new and exciting, right? Honestly, I look forward to hearing from you because this retirement year will be different than your last. At least I found each one a little more comfy as I found my rhythm in embracing such a big life change.
I like the notion of ‘envisions’ instead of resolutions. I look forward to hearing about your journey throughout the year.
Hey Dan, thanks for checking back. I think I got that ‘no comment’ thing corrected ( at least till the next post!).
I have a lot of fun thinking about ‘envisions.’ it’s been hard to let many physical activities go, but I feel good about diving into these.
It sounds like some fun times ahead.
Sammy, As usual, this is such a clever and entertaining post. I learn more about you each time you post.
Love your conscious uncoupling with your guilt over resolutions. Personal expectations often add a layer of pressure that ends up being less than productive. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences as you navigate your Envisions.
Excellent concept and excellent approach.
Awww, thanks Elsie! it’s hard not to judge ourselves, and that sometimes stops us from the pleasure of exploring something new. I’m going to try not to listen to that chatter.
Your Monday motivation quotes always resonate and stick with me. Those are the voices I want to hear!
Oh that WordPress! Good job they share out their meanies 🙂 🙂
Good list- I want to do all of these too, especially the watercolours. And the writing craft. And Mapping and Footsteps sounds like me, don’t you think? Do you have some online resources in mind, Sammy?
Yes, it totally sounds like you, Jo 😍. Right now I’m trying to gather/organize each topic then I’ll ‘marshall’ my resources. A bit overwhelming but stimulating – I know the watercolors and sketching will be the most dufficult – both in terms of ‘brain block’ and silencing my inner crituc. I wouldn’t mind a partner for watercolors 💥😊 hint hint!!
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“The alternative could have been me droning on for the next twelve months about improving my diet!” Hahahaha.
Diet?!? Then I’d have to call myself a fiction writer!! See ya at the bar, later, Gator😍
I love the idea of envisions over resolutions. Sounds exciting! And I had a similar moment of enlightenment when I realized, after going back to work after 17 days off over the holidays – why any resolutions I’ve ever made don’t work – it’s because I make them when I’m on vacation and have all the time and energy in the world… then get a dose of reality when heading back to the office! No more resolutions for me – I’ll stick with my word of the year and adopt your idea of envisions.
Oh you are so right, Laurel. I never thought about how having time off affects our resolve for future intentions! I LOVE using my word; it comes up every day! And I love reading about how you are using yours.
“Envisions”! I love this, Sammy! That is so much more awesome than resolutions. I look forward to reading about yours ❤
Thank you, Kelli 😊
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