I woke to a drizzly rainy winter day of the sort that characterizes our winters here; wet. Gray, chilly, and wet. If I were to cross the meadow on foot, walking on apparently firm ground covered in grass, it would squish under my feet, yielding, soggy, unsteady, the entire length and breadth of the park. Bare branches reaching for the sky loom uncertainly over expanses of green meadow grass, interrupted by swaths of taller growth that has fallen to winter, now brown, and beaten down by passing showers. Everywhere little birds perch, sharing their observations with one another. The feeders are full, and the nearest pine has a large-ish red-wing blackbird letting his buddies know breakfast is on. So far no surprises; it is a rather ordinary winter day.

My night was restless. I woke often. I returned to sleep with relative ease each time. I was up past midnight, waiting for the change of the calendar (for no reason other than to see 2016 end in a clear way, and see the calendar “begin again” before calling it a night). Sleeping in wasn’t really about getting more sleep – just the usual more-or-less-enough quantity. When I did get up, I was acutely aware of how groggy I was, and dithered briefly over whether to return to sleep yet again… coffee won that round. 🙂

My coffee is hot and bitter on my tongue this morning, a rather amusing state of things (most particularly since my sense of taste isn’t particularly sensitive to “bitter” in the first place); I like coffee. I ignore the bitterness. There’s a metaphor in there, somewhere…

It is a new year…one of those grand sorts of moments on which to begin something that makes it a very appealing starting point for some things… which tends also to result in a higher than usual rate of “fuck it” reactions to things begun, and failed, rather than the more productive “begin again” that I so generally favor. I smile to myself as I consider that puzzle. Are new beginnings best unstated, without a firm noteworthy, calendar worthy, starting point? Or is that an illusion? Does it matter at all, or is the question itself a distraction from actually beginning… anything?

I sit quietly, sipping my coffee, listening to the rain tap on the eaves, and watching the birds come and go from the feeder. All over the world, today, and rather impressively, a huge quantity of human beings are beginning things. New diets are being started. New exercise and fitness routines are commencing. New skills are being learned. Old habits are being abandoned in favor of new ones. Promises and commitments are being made, full of hope and enthusiasm. Relationships are being strengthened. Boundaries are being set. Daydreams are becoming plans. Plans are becoming actions. Today, a huge quantity of human beings, across many nations and cultures, are reaching out for their future, grabbing the edge of it, and pulling it closer. For a few days, the full might of human will can be seen in the magnitude of humanities dreams, goals, and desires… Powerful.

Resolutions don’t work for you? They don’t “work” for me, either. It’s a lifelong habituation associating the word “resolution” with slow failure, with giving up, with a lack of change, I suspect – more to do with the word, than with my will. It’s almost a given; if I label my intent with the heading of “resolution” at the start of the new year, I am most likely going to give up on it fairly quickly, lacking any clear idea why the endeavor failed. Silly primate – choose another word, then choose some damned verbs. 🙂 There is effort involved in bringing our will to life as an outcome. Verbs. Practice. Beginning again. So… I don’t do “new year’s resolutions” at all. I begin again nearly every day – on something. I’ll begin some things today, too. No “resolutions”.

I’ll recommit to things that matter, and with which I struggle to make progress.

I’ll embrace positive changes, with careful consideration, choosing different verbs, and practicing often.

I’ll let go of some old baggage – as much as I can figure out how to set down.

I’ll give thought to my daydreams, and look for opportunities to shift from dreaming to planning.

I’ll make a point to seek out events and activities that I’ll enjoy (alone or in good company) and set calendar reminders to get tickets, and make adjustments to my budget that account for the things I want to enjoy.

I’ll continue to practice the practices that improve my quality of life – and my ability to recognize how good it generally is.

There are quite a few verbs involved in becoming the woman I most want to be, in nurturing my best qualities, and the best qualities of the human beings around me, and in reaching whatever goals I set for myself. I’ll probably fall short of my own expectations now and then, or simply fail to succeed at some task or another. I’ll continue to be quite human all through the coming year.

I’ll begin again, as often as necessary. No “resolutions” required. 🙂 2017? We’ve got this! 😉