Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Christmas rush is over.  The season has been celebrated.  Time has been spent with family.  Memories have been made.  Excessive chocolate has been eaten.  Presents have been opened. 

And now we look ahead to the new year. 

I'm a sucker. 
I like the promise of a new year.
I like the idea of starting over.
I like the idea of waking up on January 1st a new person.
I know life doesn't work that way.

I know I won't wake up on January 1st totally fit, negative 25 pounds, and craving cauliflower.
But still...I fall for it every time: the promise, the hope, the anticipation.

Do you make New Year's resolutions?
What might they be?

I have already started thinking about this process, this journey of promise and hope and anticipation.
And failure, you might say.
Well, yes, failure.
But let's not talk about failure right now.
Let's talk about the promise and hope and anticipation.  Let's talk about what I'm going to change in my life this next year.
Please try not to be cynical.  I do such a good job being cynical.  Really, I can muster up enough cynicism for the both of us.  So for now, let's just focus on the positive.
And don't laugh at me for stubbornly believing that change is possible.

I have a lot more thinking to do, but here are the ways, so far, that my life is going to change this next year.
  • Writing.  I'm going to write.  Matt bought me a new desk for Christmas.  It is small.  It looks a bit old-fashioned, in a lovely sort of way.  It sits against a window in my living room.  It's perfect.  He says he will take it back if I don't sit at it and write.  He wouldn't do that, of course.  But still.  Right now I am sitting on the couch.  And I keep stealing glances at the promise that exists at that desk.  I can't write so much right now about writing.  It's something I am pondering and dreaming about and am talking little about.  I just can't.  I might talk more about writing here.  I might not.  Hmmmm....  Let's just say that this year I am going to write.
  • Reading.  I love to read.  Matt accused me last night of having a secret love affair with literature.  I informed him it wasn't really a secret.  I love to read.  I love literature.  But here's the thing: I realized that I feel guilty when I read for pleasure.  Therefore, when I read, I often read to learn. Now don't get me wrong.  I love to read to learn.  I love reading about parenting and birth and eating healthy foods and politics and religion.  I really do.  But those books feed my mind.  I need books to feed my soul.  At night before bed I have been leisurely reading through Mary Oliver's new book of poetry.  The first night I read through the book there were tears trickling down my face.  It wasn't so much that the poems themselves were emotionally moving, although some were.  It was just that...her words were beautiful and moving and lyrical.  And my soul responded.  And I cried.  I am going to spend this year feeding my literature-starved soul.
  • Music.  I love music.  This holiday season I have absolutely loved listening to The Messiah.  Again.  And again.  And again.  It's beautiful.  That music, like the literature I love, feeds my soul.  I also love folk music.  I am, as of last week, obsessed with Ingrid Michaelson.  Really obsessed with her.  I have to listen to her album at least once a day, and when I think no one is looking I hit repeat.  One aspect of folk music that I love is close harmony.  Yesterday I took a bath (merry christmas to me!!) and listened to Girlyman.  I was reading Anne Lamott, whom I love, and then I would stop reading to listen (and, OK, to sing along) during some amazing harmony, and my soul was singing at least as loudly as my voice.  I am going to spend this year savoring the music that I love. 
And there is more.  But that's it for now. 
I can only allow myself promise and hope and anticipation in small doses. 

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