Last year I made three New Year’s resolutions: to stay in touch with loved ones, to exercise, and to create something every day. I wanted to take a new direction with my life, and I thought these resolutions would help me do so. Well, they did and they didn’t…
The “stay in touch” resolution had the strangest outcome; I don’t know whether I’d say it’s been a success. On one hand, I keep in touch a lot less than I used to. I’ve stopped drawing elaborate birthday cards, and I’ve stopped emailing people I’ve lost touch with. I’ve decided to let the universe take its course with these contacts, and I’m happy with that. With family or closer friends, I talk on the phone way less than I used to, and I don’t see my friends one-on-one so often either, yet oddly I feel more connected than before. Maybe it’s because I’ve winnowed my mental list of friends, or maybe it’s just Facebook. On the other hand, sometimes I’ve felt almost overwhelmed with my socializing. I’ve frustrated myself many times this year by taking on get-together organizing responsibilities when I didn’t have to, but I’ve also felt rewarded by these get-togethers, and I’ve enjoyed having regular gatherings to look forward to. So, while I don’t know whether to complain or congratulate myself on the state of my relationships, as long as I feel no guilt, I guess I’m okay with what I’m doing.
My achievements in exercise are also a mixed bag, but most deplorable is how small this “bag” is. When I actually worked out, I didn’t do so badly, but the problem is I hardly ever did anything. Still, I can’t count 2007 as a total loss. I learned how to do (and enjoy) strength training at home, which I’m hoping to restart once I get back to LA. I also started focusing more on cardio instead of just stretching and toning (like yoga and Pilates), which has made a big difference in how I feel even when I’m doing nothing. It’s discouraging to think of all the attempts at healthy living that I made this year, because none of them have stuck and I’m currently at my heaviest weight ever (scary!), but I keep telling myself it’s all a learning process, and I have more experience to draw on than ever before. Once again, this year, exercise is in my resolutions, and this time I really want to make it a priority. This will be hard, but I can — and must — do it.
As for creative work, I’ve made some progress, but not as much as I’d hoped, and I struggle daily not to let this get me down. I know I’m not going to write a book or paint a masterpiece in a few months’ time, but I still can’t help despairing when it doesn’t happen. At the same time, I have difficulty following Joan Baez’s wise words, “Action is the only antidote to despair.” It’s irrationally cyclical: I create something, it’s not perfect so I feel lousy, I feel lousy so I don’t do anything, I haven’t done anything so when I create something it doesn’t live up to my expectations. And so it goes. I have the Baez quote taped up on my wall along with Twyla Tharp’s “Art is a democracy of habit,” to galvanize me out of my inactivity, but so far nothing works.
So, knowing my failings of 2007 (and previous), but determining to recommit to my goals, here are my succinct resolutions for 2008:
1. Know what I want.
2. Know what I need to do to get what I want.
3. Do those things.
I’ve spent the past couple of years figuring out #1, the past months outlining #2, and now I just need to concentrate all my energies on #3. I hope the “forcibleness”* of my 2008 goals will inspire the momentum I need!
And now, off to the elliptical!
*Wm Strunk, of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, disliked the word “forceful” and encouraged the substitution of “forcible” 🙂
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]