Resolutions For Old/New Year


I had a sense that my new year’s resolutions were doomed when I looked down at the page on which I was starting to write them and saw I’d titled it “List for 2013.”

There’s a part of me that viewed that as one more sign of my decay, but then a good old defensive part kicked in.  Ah, I told myself–maybe a mini-review of what held me back in 2013 would be  a far more useful exercise than taking random stabs at that great but as yet unwedged pie in the sky of the upcoming year.

So what would I change in my personal 2013, if I had it to do over?

It came down surprising quickly to two words–”resistance” (as in having less)  and “quiet” (as in being more.)

Resistance is a shorthand for the concerns of the Serenity Prayer–you know, the one about having the courage to change what one can, the strength to accept what one can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.

By resistance, I basically mean all those acts of non-acceptance and also all those non-acts of change that took up so much of my last year.  These are activities like moping, kvetching, carping, procrastinating–these may lead some people (eventually) to a burst of either reformation or resignation, but they are more likely, in my case, to lead to (i) a waste of time and energy that might otherwise be spent purposefully;  or (ii) a bungling of the contentment that might otherwise be attained.

Half the time I find myself complaining about circumstances to which I am actually fully committed, but which are–surprise surprise–just like me–imperfect.  (By “circumstances,” I also mean people.)

But my resistance typically only accentuates the imperfect–for example, I make my free time shorter by a henpecking focus on its shortness; I make the rocky parts of relationships rockier by grinding at them in a way that only sharpens them; I make all those chores and tasks and duties we all face more burdensome by stretching them out through procrastination (i.e. websurfing.)

So enough already.  Here’s the resolution–to stop adding to the inherent entropy of life–to let go, in other words, of some of the friction.

And the ‘being more quiet’ part–that speaks for itself.

Happy New Year to all of you!  I really do not know where this blog will go in 2014, but I am so grateful to you for your kindness and support for the last few years.

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19 Comments on “Resolutions For Old/New Year”

  1. You can achieve anything k, you’ve proven it but, we are discouraged at times, that’s natural and, never makes us forget that everyday is a new beginning ! xx Debbie

  2. Kay Davies Says:

    Have you been reading my mail? Or my mind? I love what you said, and I’m glad your ‘mistake’ gave you the opportunity to go over the past year instead of planning for the next one. Because who knows what the future holds?
    There are days when I have to repeat the serenity prayer over and over. If it starts to get stale, I can say it in Spanish. My favourite line is “acceptar las cosas que no puedo cambiar” because sometimes I think it’s up to me to fix everything. And it isn’t.
    Wishing you the best 2014 you can possibly have and, failing that, a 2014 you can accept without wanting to change.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I do not turn to the serenity prayer very often in fact–I seem to settle for simply “dear God!” But I appreciate your kind wishes and your kins support and so glad to hear about Lindy now and again! k.

  3. claudia Says:

    i think it’s good to pause and re-think things every once and a while…and the start of a new year seems to be the perfect space for it… i like that serenity prayer a lot… wise words… happy new year to you k.

  4. Okelle Says:

    I appreciate the introspection, and the lovely photo of a dune in the wintertime. There’s something about the austere beauty of the coast in winter that is hard to explain to those who haven’t stood in it themselves.

    Regarding your contemplation of character defects (another shibboleth of the 12-step movement), I think it’s important to walk the middle way between self acceptance and the quest for self improvement. It’s natural to take stock of things this time of year, nt don’t forget to list your assets as well as your liabilities. Personally, I find your consistent and thoughtful presence in this space and in the dVerse Poets community a real contribution to the world of poetry. Please take a moment to celebrate that success — some advice I could take as well.

    Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014.

  5. Wishing you a wonderful 2014, k. 🙂 x

  6. ayala Says:

    Happy and healthy 2014. All the best.

  7. brian miller Says:

    there is good in this…the needing less and being more def resonates with me…and the thing is we can be what we want to be if we dont get bored or distracted along the way…i hope you write more stories this year…that is my selfish bit for you…ha…

  8. Grace Says:

    I have come to appreciate your writing k, funny and witty and hitting bull’s eye ~ Wishing you all the best for 2014 ~

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you so much, Grace. I wish it for your always–you have a great title for your blog as it suits you so well–everyday amazing. You are prolific, but always thoughtful and nuanced. Thanks. k.

  9. hedgewitch Says:

    I swore I commented on this one–I know I read it, nodding my head at each line. Everything you describe is so wearingly true, maybe of all of us, but certainly of me. Only in the last year have I really made any progress in trying to accept, release, and live in each day so that it pleases me (to one degree or another! sometimes I have to lower my standards. ;_) )when my head hits the pillow.

    Part of aiming for that is knowing one will never ever be as ‘good’ as one wants to be, let alone perfect. And we had such high hopes!

    I hope your new year is starting out on the right foot, but this weather has got to be complicating things–hope you are still enjoying it (as much as possible) from home.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Dear Joy–thanks so much for your encouraging words. I am having a lovely beginning of the year despite the cold – about minus 10 right now. It is very beautiful but small doses are definitely all one can take!

      I am looking forward to being wiser, but not yet sure if any of the wisdom has yet manifest. Thanks much for your support which is treasured on this end. K.

  10. Lindy Lee Says:

    As for resolutions, sticking with denial seems to help. Tee! Hee!

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