Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolution Revolution

I'm at the age where I can look back and touch bedrocks of my life to see how far I've come. This and making New Year's resolutions is a sure fire way to set yourself up for failure. Can you chart a new course with novel things to do this year? Can you remember what you vowed to do last year? Did you accomplish all of those lofty goals? Were they complete and fast and satisfactory, checked off like a tick list?

Mine weren't. I used to write a letter to myself on the last night of the year to be mailed and opened the last night of the next year containing what I hoped to accomplish on the clean slate and blank days of the coming year. I poured my heart out in a bid to be a better human being hitting the ENtire holy trinity of body, soul and spirit. Yes. A few of those were attained in a Sydney Omar sort of way. That is, if I said that I wanted to be a better friend, I could point to general instances where that was true.

But I also lost friends over that year via attrition, dying, moving away, not living up to the high expectations that they had of me - the reason I've refused to be a guru to anyone. It looks like there are going to be more in the 'gone' column because I'm aging, as are the friends I've made. I mourn those that have gone and celebrate the ones that are left.

The 'left' list is long, so I'm happy there. My Aunt, Lee DeCesare once told me that I had an uncanny knack for moving to a new town and assembling a sterling support system there. I moved a lot in the course of my life and have been lucky to retain many of those I was closest to in whatever State of the Union I happened to plotz down in. I moved so many times when I lived in Salt Lake City that I had T-shirts with Paradise Trucking Company printed up for the stalwart group of friends that helped me pack from one apartment to another. Having gypsy feet is one of the reasons I know people scattered all over the place.

So. Resolutions this year? Not to make any. I want to quit setting myself up for failures of any size, especially the lofty goals usually flying about this time of year. If you don't think it's not a national pastime to make New Year's resolutions, just count how many weight loss commercials are on the tube this week. The geeks of Wall Street and corporate monkeys just roll their eyes back to dollar signs at us this time of year with one type of self-improvement racket or another rolled out for hooking into those goals.

The other revolution is that I want to quit saying what I need to accomplish by such and such a date or age or time. This is what the looking back over my life has garnered: That no matter how honest the intent, I will not be famous, ridiculously wealthy, will not have written the Great American Novel. I'm discovering the fact that to have reached any age after fifty is a Herculean task given the way life beats the hell out of you. Maybe life's intent for all of us is just to be the very best self you can be and get through the days allotted to us the best that we can.

Maybe having friends and a roof that doesn't leak and food in the pantry and a good time or two is all any of us can look forward to or strive for. So instead of carrying around the weight of all those resolutions on my back as I putz through this next year, and having to deal with the guilt of not having met all those high bars, I'll just give myself props for having a good support system. Maybe I'll just be thankful for the simplest of things in my life. Maybe I'll just be surprised by what turns up as the days unfold and be grateful for the little graces that fall in my lap.


Martha Marshall said...

Long Live the Revolution!!!

Jann said...

I think at this point, I agree with you on the resolutions-I could not come up with a list-why?enjoyed your post very much!