Monday, January 4, 2010
Resolutions for a New Year
Usually I do not make New Year's resolutions. I watch the numbers swell at the gym every January only to shrink by the first of February. I question whether the New Year is the best time to attempt a new habit. It is cold; I am slowing down and in hibernation mode. The days are still short and any attempt at increased exercise falls short of my ideal. The thought of healthy food is whisked away when the leftover Christmas cookies and Lindt chocolates start to mysteriously pop out of my freezer. Maybe it is my difficulty with the word resolution, or the very act of joining in with millions of Americans as they attempt to positively change their lives. In musical terms a resolution is "a dissonant (lacking in harmony) chord followed by a consonant (the property of sounding harmonious) chord." This definition rings truer to my understanding of this yearly ritual. A resolution therefore could be an attempt to live life in a harmonious way. This takes some of the pressure off. I don't have to eliminate all fatty foods from my diet, exercise 4 hours a day, get organized, quit smoking, spend more time with my cats or learn to parasail. What I could do is try to find ways to make my life a little bit more harmonious. In order for me to know what will make my life begin to harmonize I need to be present to myself. Prayer and meditation are the two practices that are crucial. In the cold of the winter season, when I am already squirreled away in my cozy home, it is easy for me to find quiet spaces for contemplation. If I resolve to hit the gym five nights a week, I know I am setting myself up for failure. If I resolve to spend five minutes a night in prayer, and five minutes in meditation, I have a chance. Only time will tell.