Friday, 3 January 2014

A New Year and Revolutions

So this is the time of year when everyone starts mumbling in embarrassed tones about their New Year's Resolutions and remembering the ones they made last year and promptly forgot about. Everything goes up once again for the annual analysis: Are we fulfilled? Are we skinny? Are we productive? Are we where we want to be? The theory is that out of this self-evaluation, we come up with some goals to focus on over the next year. Sometimes we keep the goals simple (join a pilates class or a book club, finally finish knitting that afghan, learn how to ice skate, buy shelving for the garage). Sometimes we get elaborate and start revamping our entire lives---a bold change in career or marital status, for example. While some people join gyms, others join convents or ashrams. Some give up being CEOs and go off to Cambodia to build schools. Others determine to floss more frequently.

I did much of my soul-searching a couple of years ago, alone on a beach at a time when I was facing some life decisions and a possible cancer diagnosis (which luckily turned out to be a false alarm). After that soul-searing period, I took a year off to just be kind to myself (that was 2012), and then in 2013 I decided to focus on my health. And we see how that went. (Not!)

So now here we are at the dawn of 2014, and next week I am returning to the same beach for another retreat. It's a chance to look at my current challenges and dreams and figure out how to deal with both. I think it's a year for keeping things simple. Get more sleep. Be aware of others' needs. Remember gratitude. Remember to play. Don't eat while reading. (This last is in an effort to be more mindful, but may have the additional effect of making me lose weight, which wouldn't be unwelcome.) These fledgling resolutions may change a bit as the retreat progresses, but we shall see. When contemplating these sorts of things, I think it is best not to pursue them too intently, but to sit still and let them come to you, like pigeons hoping for a handout. We will see what lands on me next week...

No comments:

Post a Comment