Tag Archives: resolutions

A New Year, A Birthday, A Death

Today starts a brand new year, and the Christmas season is semi-officially over; unless you are counting to 12th  night. I love Christmas, with all my senses. I have since I was a child. My fondest memories of childhood were when our whole family was together. My mom, dad and four sisters; the older ones with their children in tow. The last Christmas together in our house there were 25 stockings hung on the mantle. My mom came to our house for Christmas every day  for 25 years as my children were growing. I still  make dinner, just as she did. I might not make Christmas cake and pudding anymore, but I do buy it from a great bakery.

Our Christmas this year was spent at our son’s. We stayed overnight on Christmas Eve and enjoyed out youngest granddaughter’s first really aware Christmas. It really made me think of my mom and our daughter’s first Christmas. I felt a little melancholy missing her, and wishing she had lived longer than her 95 years to see her favourite grandson’s first child. I also missed my dad and my second oldest sister. It seems when you start thinking of one missing person the rest flood in like a tsunami with the cracking of memories.

Death was not far from us this year. My nephew, who happens to be just a year younger that I, lost his wife on December 27th. She was palliative with cancer and went very quickly and unexpectedly. He is not dealing with it very well. Neither of them were prepared in a way that I would want to be. Which brings me to New Years. I find it to be just a superficial line in the sand, a false addendum to the wonderful spiritual season of birth, and rebirth, that is Christmas and Solstice. I am also not one for resolutions but I loved this blog quote from Brain Pickings today.                                                                                     In 1972,  Susan Sontag noted in her diary
“Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.”

My prayer is that I try to make every day a new beginning. As you age and get to grandparent stage, life on the back-end seems so short. I pray for courage to continue this way, because I really want to live until I die. Just like Aurora, our Golden Retriever who turned 4 today. Every moment is just another opportunity to catch a ball. Just like my beloved Echo who died last year at New Years.


New Year’s Revolutions

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” — Neil Gaiman

I have the feeling that I missed New Years, that line in the sand that says we can have a “do over”. The old year is gone and we can start over.

I have been sick since New Year’s Eve and feeling very sad that I couldn’t reflect on the past year with checks and balances against the resolutions, goals and aspirations I had for 2010. I had what I tought was a solid list of self-improvement. Lose 25 pounds, start a meditation practice to achieve mindfulness, exercise more, be more authentic, write daily and create more art. I achieved  some but, many, many  more things were achieved.

It is stated that “88% of well-meaning New Year’s revelers will “fail” in achieving the resolutions they set out as a goal at 12:01 AM, January 1st.” ……. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist with Britain’s University of Hertfordshire.

We also need to remember that  New Year’s day is only a marker. Any day, the new moon, your birthday, anniversary – can serve as a marker for change.  Every breath is a chance for a new choice.

If we fail, it’s like Jack Kornfield says in Mediation for Beginners. If you were training a puppy you would not be so hard on them. Just put them back in the same place and say “sit, stay” Offer yourself compassion and unconditional love instead of  belittling. Look for the lesson and offer gratitude.

During 2010 I found that on the way to self-improvement through my practice I found myself and learned to like her.

I learned that Creator has  a plan for me that is greater than I can see, and that everyday if I follow my practice I’m fulfilling that plan. In 2011 I will continue to do so with as much consciousness as I am capable of achieving.

I will continue to follow the path that my practice opens for me.

In 2010 I learned that I have as much abundance in my life that I need. If I continue in 2011 with less attachment to that abundance it will flow with simplicity. I will trust that Creator knows best how to deliver everything I need.

In 2010 I learned to invest in and develop forgiveness for myself and the harm that occurred in my past. In 2011 I  will invest more in myself and be open to the support that I so deeply desire. I will continue to follow my heart with loving kindness, mindfulness and happiness…. In the words of  Pema Chodron

“We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who one day will emerge. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there.”

I will stop the subtle form of aggression against myself that  self-improvement actually is and be happy with me who already is.

It will be a revolution of sorts!!  Surprise yourself. and, oh, happy YOU.