New Thoughts for the New Year
There is so much good writing out there, and it seems like everyone was inspired to write at the end of the year. Here are some excerpts from some of the favorite posts I read.
The calendar days are tidy squares lined up in orderly rows, everything numbered to provide a false sense of linearity. It tricks us into thinking life is this way. Choose a word, set an intention, make a goal. Move forward, declare accomplishment. Make another list and tick it off step-by-step. But life is not a calendar or a list or a ladder you can climb rung-by-rung. Life is the ebb and flow of ocean tides, the sunlight and dappled shadow of forest paths, the contrast of white snow on evergreen boughs. Life is the overcast sky of winter that blurs the line between day and night, and the long June days when golden light seeps well into the night. Life is now. It’s the driveway that needs shoveling, the dishes that need washing. It’s the candles you light, the books you read, the tea you drink, the people you kiss. It’s the lists you make and the ones you forget. One step forward, two steps back, and three to the side for good measure.
In three days I’ll turn the page to another year, but I’ll know that this is just one way of keeping time. There are other ways to make sense of things, to pay attention to what matters.
The Art of Letting Go, by Lisa Lorden Myers, an author and fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue sufferer who works passionately to help others cope with chronic illness.
It’s funny how determination and will power can be so difficult to apply to the goal of doing less, instead of doing more. We may know how to commit ourselves to goals and work to achieve them, but can we have similar determination to rest and to heal? Can our will power be devoted to “letting go”? Perhaps the New Year is a time to re-focus ourselves less on doing, and more onbeing.
Healing requires no resolutions—it requires only that we live each day the best way we know how, listening to our bodies, and nurturing our souls.
Every year I torture myself by making New Year’s Resolutions that I don’t keep. So, as a public service, in order to save you the trouble of letting yourself down yet again, I offer the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions that Nobody Will Keep:
(she lists 10, so be sure and read the whole article, but my personal favorite is #9)
Number 9: I will maintain a positive attitude.
I learned from another Psychology Today writer that this is known in the therapeutic trade (of which I’m not a member) as “the tyranny of positive thinking.” Hurray! It’s okay not to always be positive. I think I’ll toss this resolution out straight away.
I had the privilege of interviewing Toni last year. You can read it here.
And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious and great things.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
I hope the first week of 2013 treated you well!