The last time I posted, I bragged that I was, so far this year, keeping up with my New Year’s resolutions. Granted, they are minimal: walk every day; exercise every day; blog twice a week. And, admittedly, we were only just over one week in. Still, I’ve learned to give myself credit when I can, for whatever measly accomplishments I can claim, because that in itself is a rarity.
As a perfect example, now, only three days later, I’ve already lost bragging rights. Monday was COLD! And, it came after a string of cold and wintry days that already had me discouraged and dispirited. Walking is not even close to the joyful activity I expect it to be when I am so bundled in outerwear that I can’t even swing my arms, and even then, my teeth are chattering and my fingers and toes are going numb. So, on Monday, I refused to go for a walk.
That’s okay; I have a back-up plan. I’m big on making promises to myself, but I also know I’m pretty lax about keeping up with them. So, when that happens, I move right on to my next rule: “never miss twice.” If I miss more than one day of a commitment, the skipping of the thing gains as much traction as the thing itself. Then, to get back on track, I have to set a new agenda, and start all over.
“Starting over” is much more difficult than it seems. I give it too much significance; I worry too much about the particulars. Do I want to take some time off, before I start keeping track of this commitment again? Maybe a break is just what I need! I should pick a special day to re-start, of course. New Year’s Day and my birthday are my two favorites. If neither of those days are close, then how about somebody else’s birthday? Or, the first day of a month? But which month? At the very least, I have to wait for Sunday. Sunday is my default “starting over” day. Which leaves six days of every week to screw up!
So, it’s easier to just keep up with whatever intentions I’ve set and, failing that, to try very hard to never miss twice. Tuesday, even though it was still cold, I went for my walk. It wasn’t quite as bitterly cold, the sun was shining, and I was glad I got out there.
Beyond my capital letter “New Year’s Resolutions,” I also have a few lower-case aspirations for the year. There are things I want to get done around the house, and around the yard. I have plans for specific projects in the studio. Getting rid of excess, and concentrating more on what’s important is a recurring goal in my life. The coming of winter and the new year always makes me think about paring down, even in year’s when collapsing cabinets do not underline the need!
My over-loaded bookshelves have been on my mind. When I think about paring down, I always think about my bookshelves. The laundry room, which is actually just a hallway, and the bathroom are the only rooms in this small house that do not have bookshelves. Every one of them are full to overflowing. I tell myself it’s too much; I should cut back. And then I get anxious. The thought of getting rid of books always makes me uneasy.
This year, I’m going at it from a different angle. This year, rather than reading reviews, listening to recommendations, and buying more books, I am concentrating solely on the books that I have. Many of them, I have not read. In some cases, I can’t even remember what caused me to think I needed a particular book. This year, I’ll either read them, or decide to donate them, or both. Others, that I’ve read and enjoyed, I hold on to because I’m sure I’ll want to read them again. Well, this is the year for that, too.
Reading the books on my shelves is not the biggest resolution I’ve made this year. It doesn’t contain deadlines or rules. Still, it holds a lot of promise. I’m looking forward to discovery and insight. I’m excited to see how it turns out!