Take Note of your Promises

The rush between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day makes fools of us all.
~Claudia the Unicorn

 

This is the first time I’ve used my own wit as a quote. Witless, I say …

But it’s true. Starting with Christmas Eve and ending New Year’s Day, it seems we shove a month’s worth of emotions into one week. The sadness, the renewal, the promises of New Year’s resolutions and the resolve of keeping in touch with Christmas acquaintances.

Come February (or even the middle of January) we have forgotten the promises we made to ourselves when our emotions were high and out of control. We don’t mean to forget — it’s just that life gets in the way.

But is life a life of it’s own? Or do we make what we do every day more important than what we do in the long term?

I see a lot of pretzel logic coming through. I know what I want to say but the meaning gets side tracked all the time.

Are the promises of days gone by any more important than the promises we make today? Should we even make promises/vows/resolutions at all?

Promises/vows/resolutions usually come from guilt. We didn’t visit this person or that person as much as we wanted and now that person has moved on. We try on a pair of pants we wore last year or three years ago and they barely move up our legs, so we promise to lose 15 pounds. 

These promises made through the emotional music of the “holidays” barely ever stick. We are truly remorse, sorry, honest as we hear strains of Merry Christmas Darling by Karen Carpenter or read affirmations on Facebook or Instagram promising truth and commitment and new beginnings in the new year.

But none of those promises or affirmations will stick past your emotional moments if you don’t believe in them. If you don’t do something more than say the words. 

And that’s the hard thing — making emotional promises a reality. For we all really truly do feel those things at the moment. We really do want to lose weight or take the trip we promised ourselves years ago.  It’s just the application of those vows that’s hard to work into our every day busy life.

So my suggestion is: Make those promises/vows/resolutions with a full heart and soul, letting the moment stand out in your mind. But be aware of what you are promising yourself, and take the next step and work through those promises one at a time.

You don’t have to call everyone you’ve ever left behind. Start with one person you haven’t talked to that you really miss. If talking on the phone bothers you, start with an email. Friend them on Facebook. Start small. Start with one at a time. One. You really want those old pants to fit? Lose one pound at a time. One. Cut out dessert of soda or walk around the block once. Just once.

Start paying off your emotions one transaction at a time. That way your heart and soul will be able to mesh the promise with your actual outcome. Your promise will become clearer as time goes on, separating the over-the-top emotional impossibilities from what you can really accomplish.

See? That pretzel logic finally made its way back to center!

Now … where were we going?

My New Year’s Resolution is No Resolution

Well, that “Hap..Happiest Day….of the Yeaarrrr..” is over. No more baking cookies, no more wrapping presents, no more Christmas carols blaring over the work speakers.

Hopefully you all had a great holiday with all you did and did not do. If you wanted to be alone, I hope everyone left you alone. If you wanted to be with family and friends, I hope you pushed your way into their Christmas parties.

But now comes that tenuous time of the year. That week between celebrations when you know you’ve eaten too much and drank too much and talked too much and the only salvation left for you is….New Year’s Resolutions.

Everybody makes them. Everybody breaks them.

I myself don’t make them.

Too many years of disappointment breaking the vows I swore I would keep. Lose weight. Exercise. Get organized. All that nonsense that pumps you up one minute and bums you out the next.

I started re-adjusting my eating the beginning of 2017. No more half pies, no more packages of Oreos. No half pound of spaghetti noodles on my plate.  It has worked nicely, but slowly. So no need to vow to lose. It’s working all by itself.

Exercise? Too much snow to walk the dog that I can’t control and never walk anyway. There are two pieces of exercise equipment downstairs…now that we have a bigger TV there’s no excuse. We’ll see.

That’s why I don’t vow to change my ways every December 31st. It’s taken me 65 years to get this way, and if I’m not smart enough to get out of my own way that’s my own problem. I knew I needed to lose weight for my health, not for a bikini. I knew I needed to clean out the hoarder’s stuff in my downstairs, not for seeing what I had but so that I could walk to the bedroom without falling over something. Exercise is now on my list of to-dos, because the other day I knelt down and couldn’t stand up on my own. I am starting to have problems with tall steps, and walking to the bathroom and back at work isn’t on the list of exercise options.

So don’t promise yourself to do something for the New Year. Don’t feel you have to start on January 1st. If your goal is too far you’ll never reach it. Too high and you’ll never see it. Plan one thing one step of the time.

This is for your creative projects, too. Don’t say, “I”m going to write three novels this year.” Say, “I’ve got an idea for my first novel…let’s give it a go.” Don’t plan on painting your whole house…buy two gallons of paint and start with one room. And when A is met, you go to B. And on and on adnausium. Because that’s what we creative, tired, stiff human beings do. Just take one day at a time and give it all you’ve got.

Eventually you’ll be giving back the pounds you put on at Christmas.

 

HaHaHaHappy New Year

girlyanda_kcyvkp85Okay. Now that we’ve eaten our fill of appetizers, sushi, steaks, meatballs, and sparkling wine, toasted the New Year, let’s get real. Let’s talk about our “New Year’s Resolutions” and what they really turn out to be.

 

Resolution: I’m going to exercise more.

Reality: Let’s park 20 cars further than our usual spot and count that as walking 10 minutes a day.

 

Resolution:  I’m going to watch less junk on TV and start watching educational shows.

Reality:  I’ll squeeze in a Cosmos between the Walking Dead and Fargo.

 

Resolution: I’m going to be nicer to people I don’t really like.

Reality:  I’m going to avoid like the plague the people I don’t like.

 

Resolution:  I’m going to start putting away money in my savings account.

Reality: Two dollars a week isn’t saving much of anything…

 

Resolution: I’m going to expand and enhance and update my wardrobe.

Reality: I think I’ll add a pair of khakis with an elastic waist to my wardrobe.

 

Resolution: I’m going to listen to more music this coming year. Music is the soul of creation.

Reality:  How about rock…no, classical…no, country…no, smooth jazz…no, big band…OH I CAN’T DECIDE!!

 

Resolution:  I’m going to eat healthier this year.

Reality:  Okay, only one scoop of guacamole on my chicken/bacon/cheese taco salad.

 

So much for my resolutions for 2016.

How about yours??

Solstice Resolutions

winter-solsticeThe Winter Solstice was the other day…a prelude to Christmas, the New Year, and all holidays (made up or real) in between. I thought about the meaning of this ancient celebration…the length of the night its longest, on its way once again to the shortest, a new beginning, a new year. Another year older, another year wiser, another year wilder. I thought about going outside and dancing naked to greet the new year, but the 9 inches of snow, the below-zero temperatures, and the thought of my naked body made me choose a bubble bath instead.

In the magic bath, I remembered a poem I had written back in 2006. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions (which are never really kept past the first few days), I wrote Solstice Resolutions. Somehow they felt more ethereal, more arbitrary. Easier to read, easier to keep. And it’s funny — the thoughts, the feelings, the resolutions, all resonate the same 7 years later. I share them with you.

Solstice Resolutions

Take my vitamins
Eat more fruit
Watch the moonrise
Write a great novel
Open my mind
Leave my shadows behind
Define Gypsy Renaissance Style
Dream
Whisper

Laugh
Control my finances
Listen to more music

Hug my kids
Meditate
Slow down

Make a new friend

Find time for others
Find time for me
Do my job
Tolerate the wild ones

Age gracefully

Thank the Goddess
Share my thoughts
Get published
Dance in the rain

Offer friendship

Be strong

Offer strength
Redefine sensuality
Reawaken sexuality
Love
Love
Love