Building my resolve

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

So there I was, brushing the shortbread crumbs off my keyboard and getting ready to wash down my seasonal dessert with a brimming glass of egg nog, when it hit me: another year is gone.

And as I prepare to bid goodbye to 12 months of Van Gogh's sunny landscapes and replace them with glossy photos of warm fuzzy creatures nuzzling together, I'm feeling more than a little panicky. Because pretty soon, I'll have to commit to that ultimate barometer for human frailty, the New Year's resolution. Which, I've come to conclude, is actually just for the optimists among us.

Every year, I find the process of announcing a resolution (which hubby Dan cavalierly shrugs off, by the way - smart guy) a stress-filled event, to say the least. And no, I don't mean to imply that I'm just so darned perfect that there's nothing to change, but rather the opposite: there's so much, on so many levels, I don't know where to start.

My first instinct is to think small: take baby steps and fix one thing at a time. Unfortunately, as with so many things in life, a whole lot of big things have to happen before one small thing can be achieved.

For example: resolving to fit an early morning walk with Buster the wonder-Beagle into my daily routine sounds like a small, yet positive lifestyle change that even an organizationally-challenged oaf like me can handle.

But that would mean I'd have to get to bed a little earlier, which in turn would mean less time for those evening charges at household chores or tackling that stack of newspapers that waits accusingly to be read.

Also, I'd have to be sure to have appropriate footwear and outerwear for braving the cold January winds, so shopping may be involved. Finally, I'd have to face trying to wake Buster (who I'm pretty sure likes his beauty sleep as much as I do) in the pre-dawn hours.

See what I mean? Somehow, I find I can manage to turn even a small thing into a big one.

Some years, I figure we just get one shot at making a dazzling dent in the chaos, so I carefully ponder my choice before unveiling The New Me on January 1.

One year, I vowed to tame my burgeoning recipe collection (and no, I still don't know how I thought this would make my life more harmonious). I bought binders, and those neat little dividers with labels. I sorted through boxes. I categorized. I copied, I trimmed and taped.

Somewhere between the second and third box, the resolve wore off. And I kept getting hungry, so it was for the best that I brought the whole project to a screeching halt, I suppose. It was January 12.

Where is this all going, you may ask. Well, unlike Dan, I feel somewhat bound by tradition, and want to start a new year off right with a vow to do better, to be better. So that means - you got it - it's time to make a resolution. One I can keep, hopefully, and one that will make a difference, in some small way, in the world around me.

With a Christmas-depleted pocketbook, a time budget that runs constantly in the red, and a tendency to procrastinate on all things big and small, I'm somewhat limited to what I can accomplish.

But I'm going to try to be something that just about anyone can: be more generous. With my time. With my patience. With my attention. With my heart.

And that should take care of all things, big and small, one day at a time. Because if I can listen, and really hear, how my daughter's school day went, or really understand why the cashier at the coffee shop didn't ring my order up the way I thought he should, things may really end up falling into place.

Then, I think I'll take Buster for a walk.

Building my resolve

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

So there I was, brushing the shortbread crumbs off my keyboard and getting ready to wash down my seasonal dessert with a brimming glass of egg nog, when it hit me: another year is gone.

And as I prepare to bid goodbye to 12 months of Van Gogh's sunny landscapes and replace them with glossy photos of warm fuzzy creatures nuzzling together, I'm feeling more than a little panicky. Because pretty soon, I'll have to commit to that ultimate barometer for human frailty, the New Year's resolution. Which, I've come to conclude, is actually just for the optimists among us.

Every year, I find the process of announcing a resolution (which hubby Dan cavalierly shrugs off, by the way - smart guy) a stress-filled event, to say the least. And no, I don't mean to imply that I'm just so darned perfect that there's nothing to change, but rather the opposite: there's so much, on so many levels, I don't know where to start.

My first instinct is to think small: take baby steps and fix one thing at a time. Unfortunately, as with so many things in life, a whole lot of big things have to happen before one small thing can be achieved.

For example: resolving to fit an early morning walk with Buster the wonder-Beagle into my daily routine sounds like a small, yet positive lifestyle change that even an organizationally-challenged oaf like me can handle.

But that would mean I'd have to get to bed a little earlier, which in turn would mean less time for those evening charges at household chores or tackling that stack of newspapers that waits accusingly to be read.

Also, I'd have to be sure to have appropriate footwear and outerwear for braving the cold January winds, so shopping may be involved. Finally, I'd have to face trying to wake Buster (who I'm pretty sure likes his beauty sleep as much as I do) in the pre-dawn hours.

See what I mean? Somehow, I find I can manage to turn even a small thing into a big one.

Some years, I figure we just get one shot at making a dazzling dent in the chaos, so I carefully ponder my choice before unveiling The New Me on January 1.

One year, I vowed to tame my burgeoning recipe collection (and no, I still don't know how I thought this would make my life more harmonious). I bought binders, and those neat little dividers with labels. I sorted through boxes. I categorized. I copied, I trimmed and taped.

Somewhere between the second and third box, the resolve wore off. And I kept getting hungry, so it was for the best that I brought the whole project to a screeching halt, I suppose. It was January 12.

Where is this all going, you may ask. Well, unlike Dan, I feel somewhat bound by tradition, and want to start a new year off right with a vow to do better, to be better. So that means - you got it - it's time to make a resolution. One I can keep, hopefully, and one that will make a difference, in some small way, in the world around me.

With a Christmas-depleted pocketbook, a time budget that runs constantly in the red, and a tendency to procrastinate on all things big and small, I'm somewhat limited to what I can accomplish.

But I'm going to try to be something that just about anyone can: be more generous. With my time. With my patience. With my attention. With my heart.

And that should take care of all things, big and small, one day at a time. Because if I can listen, and really hear, how my daughter's school day went, or really understand why the cashier at the coffee shop didn't ring my order up the way I thought he should, things may really end up falling into place.

Then, I think I'll take Buster for a walk.

Building my resolve

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

So there I was, brushing the shortbread crumbs off my keyboard and getting ready to wash down my seasonal dessert with a brimming glass of egg nog, when it hit me: another year is gone.

And as I prepare to bid goodbye to 12 months of Van Gogh's sunny landscapes and replace them with glossy photos of warm fuzzy creatures nuzzling together, I'm feeling more than a little panicky. Because pretty soon, I'll have to commit to that ultimate barometer for human frailty, the New Year's resolution. Which, I've come to conclude, is actually just for the optimists among us.

Every year, I find the process of announcing a resolution (which hubby Dan cavalierly shrugs off, by the way - smart guy) a stress-filled event, to say the least. And no, I don't mean to imply that I'm just so darned perfect that there's nothing to change, but rather the opposite: there's so much, on so many levels, I don't know where to start.

My first instinct is to think small: take baby steps and fix one thing at a time. Unfortunately, as with so many things in life, a whole lot of big things have to happen before one small thing can be achieved.

For example: resolving to fit an early morning walk with Buster the wonder-Beagle into my daily routine sounds like a small, yet positive lifestyle change that even an organizationally-challenged oaf like me can handle.

But that would mean I'd have to get to bed a little earlier, which in turn would mean less time for those evening charges at household chores or tackling that stack of newspapers that waits accusingly to be read.

Also, I'd have to be sure to have appropriate footwear and outerwear for braving the cold January winds, so shopping may be involved. Finally, I'd have to face trying to wake Buster (who I'm pretty sure likes his beauty sleep as much as I do) in the pre-dawn hours.

See what I mean? Somehow, I find I can manage to turn even a small thing into a big one.

Some years, I figure we just get one shot at making a dazzling dent in the chaos, so I carefully ponder my choice before unveiling The New Me on January 1.

One year, I vowed to tame my burgeoning recipe collection (and no, I still don't know how I thought this would make my life more harmonious). I bought binders, and those neat little dividers with labels. I sorted through boxes. I categorized. I copied, I trimmed and taped.

Somewhere between the second and third box, the resolve wore off. And I kept getting hungry, so it was for the best that I brought the whole project to a screeching halt, I suppose. It was January 12.

Where is this all going, you may ask. Well, unlike Dan, I feel somewhat bound by tradition, and want to start a new year off right with a vow to do better, to be better. So that means - you got it - it's time to make a resolution. One I can keep, hopefully, and one that will make a difference, in some small way, in the world around me.

With a Christmas-depleted pocketbook, a time budget that runs constantly in the red, and a tendency to procrastinate on all things big and small, I'm somewhat limited to what I can accomplish.

But I'm going to try to be something that just about anyone can: be more generous. With my time. With my patience. With my attention. With my heart.

And that should take care of all things, big and small, one day at a time. Because if I can listen, and really hear, how my daughter's school day went, or really understand why the cashier at the coffee shop didn't ring my order up the way I thought he should, things may really end up falling into place.

Then, I think I'll take Buster for a walk.