Resolutions, the 2016 edition.
Goodbye, 2015. I am not sorry to put you to bed. While you hosted many incredibly important milestones (Mae’s birth, book publication, new house), you were a bear in the day-to-day.
Hello, 2016. We have nothing monumental planned for you, but we welcome a quieter year with fewer changes and increased simplicity. I know you are fully capable of pitching curve balls, but please be considerate.
Out of four resolutions for 2015, I would say I succeeded at about 60%.
- Publish the book. Did it, and in case you haven’t seen my excessively prolific posts about it, it’s called Within the Walled City, and is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version.
- Move outside myself in a new way. I had a big vision for what this one could mean, and fancied becoming involved with local inner-city work or starting a neighborhood dinner co-op or something noble like that. In hindsight, I realize this expectation was a setup for failure because I basically hibernated for 9 months of pregnancy, and then slipped into a vortex for 3 months when Mae was born (9+3=12, an entire year), and I couldn’t even manage to fold my laundry, much less generate a new social program from the ground up. However, transforming from mother-of-Jack to mother-of-two, I can now recognize, was an enormous movement for me. It is ongoing, and it has taken more courage and stamina than I knew I had. I have never been severed so neatly from mySELF, but I also never knew this deep seafloor grit existed at the base of me.
- Plan our trip to France. This is the half-success, because we decided on a time, but it’s not until 2017, so the trip planning will happen this year!
- Plan our trip to France.
- Find a healthy rhythm for life. I cannot emphasize what a failure this was, it’s actually like I thought the resolution was some form of the opposite, like Find a way to make life feel like a hurricane in which you’re naked and there’s a strobe light going, heavy metal music playing and tennis balls being fired at you from one of those practice machines constantly for 365 days. So there’s that.
I more ready for 2016 than I could have imagined. At the onset of each year I always feel a sense of anticipation, fervor and wanderlust, but this year there is the addition of something like promise. It feels good, it feels like there is an undercurrent around my feet with a capacity to move us in new directions. I have big, gigantic prayers for changes in our lives and in the lives of my friends and family, and it feels like it’s all doused in the whisper of promise.
My three resolutions are:
- Read 3o books. I always try to read 20, but this year I was challenged by a friend to up it. He reads 100 books a year and works full time as an attorney, so… I will publish my 2015 book list (25 total) in the next few weeks, but ultimately my year of reading was pretty disappointing! The highlights were nonfiction and one gem which had previously flown under my radar, Girl with a Pearl Earring. The goal of 30 comes with an asterisk, which denotes that these 30 ought to be enjoyable pieces of mostly fiction.
- Untether from the cell phone. I don’t like technology. E-readers make me want to cry. Like, when people talk about buying books, and I ask if I can borrow, and they say Oh, sorry, it’s on my Kindle, I feel tears behind my eyes. Pitiful. Apple’s “Cloud” is very suspicious – where exactly are my photos and music? Streaming feels vague, I’d rather own a DVD. Why, oh why, did Blockbuster have to go under? I am inexplicably resistant, but also very much embedded, in it, and one of the ways I despise it most is the bond I have formed with my iPhone. I read an article a year ago about how many times per day the average American checks his phone, and it was some exorbitant number I can’t recall, but I remember thinking, Oh, that’s not me at all. But I’m afraid it is now, and it hit me hard when I was watching Jack perform as a sheep at his preschool Christmas program and at the end I realized I’d watched the entire thing on the screen of my phone, between taking photographs and video footage. It felt so gross to me, so opposite of natural, so robotic. So the goal is to break the chains! We are starting with leaving cell phones out of our bedroom and I’m attempting to leave it in my purse during the day. Interested to see where this goes.
- Return to the morning. In the past I’ve been in the habit of waking up very early to read my Bible, pray, and write fiction. In 2015 I fell out of the habit, and have felt so many aspects of my life and passion weaken as a result. The goal is to get back to it.
Every year I publish my resolutions not because I need accountability (I am something of a merciless factory foreman in my own life), but because I hope to inspire others to make resolutions as well! How liberating it is (and counterintuitive) to start out on a fresh course, to reset our dials, to believe we are able to be different, to BEGIN!
Happy new year to you! May your 2016 be full of wonder, adventure, courage, fortitude, peace, hope and most of all, love.