We’ll take a cup o’ kindess, yet

31 12 2011

I think I say every year that I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, after which I, well, I go ahead and resolve.

That’s not much of a tradition, but why not go with it?

So, I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing to be less afraid.

Fear as fog—yes, that sounds about right. I like fog, like how it makes things both close and far away, intimate and alienated all at the same time, but I’d rather keep it off my mind.

Less fear, then. And more kindness.

I wrestle with the whole sharp edges/soft hands approach to life and have tended to valorize critique over gentleness, but there are moments in which it is less important to be right than to be there.

There is more work, of course, but perhaps I should start with these two, and see how it goes.

Have a peaceful New Year, whether and whatever you resolve.

(Video: Albert Brooks and Rip Torn, Defending Your Life)


Nothing changes on New Year’s day

3 01 2011

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions. I mean, it’s not like I’m actually going to follow through or anything.


My life has been bumping rather than rolling along, and thus it behooves me to think, Hm, why might this be? And what could I do to smooth it out a wee?

So, plans, considerations—resolutions, if you will.

1. I will do dishes at least every other day.

When I live with other people, I’m pretty good about not leaving common areas (e.g., the kitchen sink) clogged up with my gunk, but, alone, well. . . hey, those dishes are all mine, and they’re rinsed, and, you know, I just ate cereal out of that bowl or drank water out of that glass. . . did I mention I rinsed?


I’m an adult, and not much of a cook, so it’s not as if I create a blizzard of dishes—which, actually, might be the problem. It’s really easy to let things go if it’s only a plate or a bowl and a few pieces of silverware. . . .

Regardless, this is a basic way to take care, so why not just take care. It’s not as if spending 10 minutes making dishes clean every two days is that onerous, anyway.

2. I will leave my apartment every day.

This is not an issue when I am fully or overemployed, but in my underemployment, I find it very easy to hunker down and fade away. The gym membership helps, but as I have no expectation of spending 7 days a week at the gym, I need to haul my own sorry ass out of the building and around the block or over to the park or wherever until I do hitch a  new ride in the job-o-sphere. (And if I manage to find a job wherein I work from home? Even more important to get the hell out.)

I have made this commitment before, but what the hell, it’s a good one, and worth trying again.

3. At least 5 days a week I will do one thing I don’t want to do but which needs doing.

This isn’t about the cleaning the cat box, which I don’t like doing but needs doing and already do, anyway; no, this is about going through files or organizing this or tossing that—clearing away the (metaphorical) cobwebs, if you will.

Again, I’ve tried doing something like this previously (if I could find the post about lists I’d link to it, but you’ll just have to trust me: I’ve written on this before) and have failed, but, again, it’s worth another shot.

4. I will open my mail as soon I get it.

I don’t this, and that’s bad.

I have hang-ups about mail (postal and electronic) and no, I don’t want to talk about it, but, well, there it is.

I am most likely to fail at this one first.

5. I will sit, and breathe, and try not to distract myself, for a little while every day.

Or this one—I might fail this one first.


There are so, so many things in my life which need changing, but many of those are big, or seem big, or are in any case currently beyond my will and/or ability to deal with. So I’m starting small.

Now, of course, if I fail at the small what are the chances I’ll tackle the big? Oh! Oh! I can answer this! Nil! Because I’m already failing at the small!

In other words, I gots nothing to lose.


I am unhappy with my self and my life. No, I’m not awful, but I’m not who I want to be, either.

Not that I know who I want to be, but I do know some of the pieces that I would like included in present and future versions of myself.

I’d like to pay better attention.

I’d like to be a better friend, to show up for people, in ways that matter to them.

I’d like to take more chances. On everything. And maybe, just maybe, if not on everyone, then on at least some-ones.

I’d like to learn something other than defense.

I’d like to stop making excuses.

Oh, and I’d like to be taller, please.


The list is not unreasonable (for the most part. . . ), but even now, I hesitate.Who cares about these things? Who cares that you want to do these things? What kind of pie-in-the-sky crap is this, anyway?

I don’t want to silence my inner critic—who would I talk to?—but it would be nice if I could get her to remember that a true critic doesn’t just chastise. Sometimes, sometimes, the critic applauds.

Or at least puts down her pen long enough to give a nod.

Yeah, a nod. I could live with that.