Monday, December 30, 2013


It's that time of year. Time for pressure to start penning goals and setting down aspirations.  Time for to-do lists of grandeur and bucket lists for the upcoming year. Why we do this for an arbitrary date and feel pressure to uphold our plans, I'm not really sure. Regardless, it's that time of year when my fellow humans join me in the list-making profession and resolutions are unearthed from the back of the closet.  

I'm actually not big on new years resolutions.  Sadly, there’s nothing new to aim for, nothing different from last year’s problems that still need fixing.  Or from the year before that, or the year before that.  And that’s just too depressing.  Plus, to have a goal it would seem that one actually has to believe that goal can be achieved. Or have a smidgen of hope that by Dec. 31, 2014 they’ll be at least closer to the finish line.  I don’t know what happened, but my smidgen of hope has obviously gotten misplaced, perhaps in one of the moving boxes tucked high away.
I could resolve to be healthier, be more open-minded, be more flexible or more relaxed.  I could resolve to meditate daily, start the day off with a swim, volunteer or go back to school.  I could vow to treat myself as kindly as I do others, or to be a better friend, sister, daughter, cousin, niece.  I could. And yet, I don’t dare write them down on paper. 

It’s too real, too binding, too final.  Written down, I have to admit failure if I don’t succeed, hanging my head for yet another year gone by.  It’s not just run of the mill fear of failure, although I’m sure in a 50-minute hour, some psychologist could twist it that way.  It’s the cumulative spiral of decades of struggle, too many nights vowing never again and too many mornings woken in regret.  It’s the lack of faith that this year really will be any different, can be any different. 

I wish I were different.  I wish to be more “normal” and whip out the tired list of resolutions to go to the gym more or eat more salad or read more books.  I wish that I could ignore the past inertia and instead believe that despite it all, 2014 is going to be the year of change, the year of life, a great year…I’d settle for even just an okay non-crisis mode year.  I wish that January 1st felt like some kind of new beginning, a fresh slate available for carving out joy.  I wish.

Instead, I have to remind myself that Wednesday is New Years Day, and I can’t pick up my library books.  I have to make an alarm in my phone to watch the ball drop on Tuesday night at midnight.  Forget about the pressure to make big New Year’s plans.  I’m just aiming to remember the correct date when I sign a check.

I seem to have lost my hope, misplaced my faith, and let my goals slip out of my pockets.  As much as I hate clich├ęs, perhaps this is one of those times to “fake it til you make it.”

So, pretending that I did believe, pretending I’m more normal, pretending I’m someone else,
what would I dream for in 2014?

1.     Treat myself and those around me gently, kindly, softly and with love.
2.    Nourish my soul’s only vehicle
3.    Feed my heart and my spirit with meditation, meaning, classes, and inspiring pages
4.    Leave my corner of the world a little better than I found it on December 31, 2013
5.    Make a bathing suit my morning attire and glide through the water with the purpose of strength and relaxation rather than achieving a certain distance.
6.    Show up to be a better sister, daughter, friend, cousin, and niece.
7.    Learn what living feels like rather than merely existing.
8.    Choose life.
9.    And actually Live.

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