107: Commitment. Act 2

(U.S. Capitol Building at sunset.  Washington, D.C.)

I will not include a resolution in this post because I want to discuss resolutions in general rather than something specific.

The disclaimer: I’m not singling anyone out.  Really.  I’m not.  I’m pondering and wondering and, perhaps, wandering while I’m at it.

When I asked about resolutions a few posts ago, a couple of you responded that you don’t make resolutions.  That’s cool.  There was a time when my only resolution was to give up making resolutions.  They are, as many have pointed out, easily made and easily broken.

(Playing in abstract.)

I’ve been traveling to a wide variety of blogs, some new to me, since the new year rolled around and have been surprised by how many people are anti-resolutionists.  (Yes, I know.  Anti-resolutionists is not a word.  I like it.  It fits.  I’m using it.)  Vehement anti-resolutionists.  This caused me to wonder about how afraid we (“we” in the general sense) seem to be when it comes to commitments and making promises to ourselves.

That’s how I see a resolution (whether it’s made on New Year’s day, the Winter Solstice, or a random Thursday in May).  As a commitment or promise to oneself.

I am good at keeping my promises to others. I have not always been good at keeping the promises I make to myself.  Usually that stems from going too big, making a promise that is unrealistic in terms of time, skills, possibility, or readiness.  Judging by the number of anti-resolution blog posts I’ve read in the past week, I suspect that there are many like me who have trouble honoring promises they make to themselves while at the same time being a success at honoring promises made to others.

Now I’m not saying you all should rush out and make a few resolutions.  While a few good resolutions that are honored and kept might change the world, I find it difficult to see that happening anytime soon.  I’m mostly thinking out loud and trying to bring it out for discussion as well.

  • Do you find it easier to keep promises made to others than those promises you make to yourself?
  • Have you given up on resolutions because of past failures?

I know some folks have decided on a word for the year.  I’ve done that too, this year and in the past, although I call it my “theme” for the year.  Same difference, no doubt.  Do you think a word for the year differs from a resolution?  How so?

My theme for this year, as you all know, is De-Clutter.  Last year it was Simplify.  The problem I had with last year’s theme is that it was too broad.  I couldn’t exactly fail at it because I hadn’t exactly focused on anything specific.  However, I do feel as though I didn’t succeed at it because my life seems more complicated this year than it did last year.  That said (and having just experienced a sudden moment of clear hindsight), it’s possible life just seemed less complicated last year because when 2010 arrived I was still encased in a bubble of grief, not yet ready to make my way out.  Simplifying at that moment in time meant getting through the grief process in my own way and at my own pace, and giving myself permission to let life and grief play out as they would without feeling guilty about chores that didn’t get done or spending the day wrapped in sadness.

Looks like there was a success there after all.  Still, I find a theme or word needs some sort of specific focus, but that’s just me.  Your mileage may vary.  I have been working on specifics for my De-Clutter theme.  More about that in a future post.

As the snow flies

I have learned that when it’s in the 20’s, windy, snowing, and you’re pretty sure you’re going to end up as frozen as a popsicle, you can’t be any place other than in the moment.  The body and mind, for once, are perfectly in sync.  My outdoor adventures this winter are almost better than meditation when it comes to mindfulness.

(Waiting for snow.)

Today’s walk was no different.  Snow, cold, wind.  The usual January conditions prevail.  We had a couple of inches of snow since I last posted.  Predictions are for 14 or more inches to fall and accumulate this weekend.  Woo-hoo!  We can go skiing again!

(Bristled.  A lump of grass in the snow.)

I didn’t wander far today.  I’m feeling a little tired.  Truth be told, I want to hibernate.  Sleep in every day.  Meditate for a while.  Curl up by the fire and read.  Stay close to home.  This is the time of year when I normally do that.  In a way, staying close to the house for my walk wasn’t such a bad thing.  It allowed me to look a little closer at things I usually pass by without much more than a glance.

(Fallen branch.)

The daily blog posts are beginning to be exhausting.  More work than fun.  But this too shall pass.  In the meantime, I appreciate your visits and the fact that you’re still soldiering on with me.  Thank you.