With the world in flux and, in some instances, chaos, it’s hard to feel secure or that anyone’s in solid control of anything. Political and social events in our own country challenge us daily although we debate, negotiate, protest, pass laws, and utilize the courts. With all this uncertainty, the grandiose statements that run through my mind for New Year’s Resolutions seem kind of hollow, which means I’m planning to focus on parts of life I can control. My usual ten resolutions I like to come up with – some silly, some serious – have been winnowed down to four big ticket items. My short list, my serious list.
I’m going to look after our health, mine and that of my husband who is entering a new passage in life. (I may write about this on occasion. You know, just to talk.) This means to eat healthy, think healthy, be smart with health decisions, and be wise and calm during a health challenge. It means to be proactive with health professionals and health decisions.
Even though someone may be stepping on my last good nerve, I’m going to work on being kind. (The last good nerve thing is when kindness will have to be coupled with firmness and consistency.) I don’t mean I’m vying for sainthood. I do mean I’m going to engage in acts of kindness – whether it’s a smile, a hug, a hand out or a hand up. And allow that experience to make me a more fulfilled and worthy person. I want to hold at arm’s length the self-absorption that creeps into the daily saga of living.
This means to value friends and family with whom I deal regularly. It means to not be blasé, but to give time, to stay in touch. It means to value them at their best or their worst and take them as they are as I hope they will take me and my package of foibles as they are. Each relationship offers something unique to nurture the soul or the funny bone or the depth of character that enhances us. Each interaction can extend our ability to empathize and grow. I want to value and maintain that human connection that can become sidetracked.
So much I want to do in the new year. A collaborative endeavor with a friend. Work on a new short story. (The idea for the story wandered into my head recently as I sat icing a swollen ankle and knee after my foot tangled with a bedspread while moving at 50 miles an hour because I was running late. The ankle/knee event and the story idea have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Maybe it was the reflection one engages in while icing swollen joints?) A short story collection waits in the wings. Some personal essays are running around in my head.
That’s it. That’s the list. Less is more. Each item on the list is within my purview. Each one offers the opportunity to make me reach deeper into myself and life. Hopefully, this list of four stays with me beyond my hidden resolutions about diet and exercise that will probably hit the skids a couple of weeks into the new year. I do plan to diet (after today’s popcorn, chips and dips, libations, and football games) and walk regularly – at least until February.
The Big Plan is to hang with “The Big Four.” Happy New Year!