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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Year's Revolutions

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I don't how I feel about the idea of New Year's Resolutions. I have a pretty good record with them; last year I resolved to get my book published and I did. But I don't like the implication that I have to change something about myself because something is wrong with me, and I have to be particularly resolute about it because well, it's January 1st, dammit. It reminds me a little bit of Lent. I feel kind of guilty if I don't give something up and eat fish on Fridays. It's a thing. The reality is, I have nothing to give up. I already quit smoking several years ago, and coffee isn't optional. But as a woman of a certain age, I do particularly appreciate that all my junk email assumes (naturally!) that I'm desperate to lose weight and to sort out my wrinkles via some miracle cream, creme, serum, etc.

Newsflash, junk-email generators: My resolutions tend to run on a deeper level. The things I would really like to sort out have nothing whatsoever to do with my lumpy little body or my (well-earned!!) wrinkles. I am happy to share these things publicly, and in fact have an innate sort of belief in the idea there's magic in sharing. There's power in words and intentions, and if you put them together and make them public, it leaves room for possibilities that may otherwise just be a wistful sort of inner longing that never amounts to much.

My resolutions this year are all about resources. For starters, I would like to develop some better inner-resources. I'm not a "people person", or an extrovert, and I'm not going to be. I'm okay with that. But like many sensitive people who have been emotionally sucker-punched a time or two (thousand) too many, I tend to avoid all-things-emotional. It doesn't mean I don't feel or don't care (for those of you who openly enjoy harboring that delusion), but quite the opposite. When things get emotionally intense it's overwhelming and I panic, which manifests outwardly as logical objectivity (weird, right?) or me actively running away. Like sometimes literally. Also weird. I know I'm at an age where most of the people I deal with should have the maturity to not emote forcefully at people, but it's not always the case. I think there's some erroneous belief that forceful emotions will somehow get through to me, when in reality the opposite is true. This year, I would like to work on my response and my ability to cope with this sort of thing. I realize that the behavior of other people is really about them, but it still really gets to me in a "please pass the Klonopin" sort of way, and that means it's having a toxic effect on me. It would be much more helpful if, instead of shutting down or running away (or taking Klonopin), I could simply ask that people use their words like grown-ups. THEN I could feel okay about exiting the situation until that is possible. Maybe I could eventually be less avoidy, and more comfortable in social situations? Crazy, right? Something to work on, anyway.

But it's not just the inner-resource thing I'd like to deal with. I have been given a perspective in the last several years that I never would have had just based on my upbringing. I had no idea how sheltered I was or how little information I really possessed about the world around me, and would have remained blissfully ignorant had I not been through hell myself. I used to believe that people who struggled financially were lazy, or that they brought it on themselves somehow. That life is all about the choices we make for ourselves, and if we're struggling it's our own damned fault. Personal experience has taught me that that viewpoint is, well, a crock of sh** if I may be blunt. Perpetuating this fallacy amounts to abuse of the most vulnerable people, and yet it remains acceptable in some circles.  Sometimes, doo doo happens that is beyond our control and it's outright hubris to believe otherwise. Now that I know better, I can't help but believe that I went through all that for a reason, and I resolve to work hard enough to have the resources and the position to do something about what I know. The idea drives me. The idea that I might someday be able to do something tangible to help, inspires me. How? I don't yet. But the book is feeling like a good start. It could have a decent run and fade into obscurity.  Or, it could inexplicably (with a bit of a nudge) go viral and get made into a movie. Who knows. That's the cool part: Anything is possible, and the odds are much more favorable than buying a lottery ticket. For the first time in a long time, I don't feel like the best days are behind me. I have faith in my future. I want more people to feel that. There's no bad there.

Okay, and the rest of it is to be expected, I suppose. I want "home". For me, that means roots, both literally and figuratively. Something that's mine. And a horse. Always a horse.

So, I won't be buying a gym membership anytime soon, or purchasing some kind of $20 melon-based facial-miracle-in-jar, but I suppose if that's what you're into it's okay. It's just not for me.

Thank you for reading! Wishing you ALL a joyful, successful and HAPPY 2014!

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