The week between Christmas and New Years is that liminal time—time between the past and the future. Yes, I know that every moment of our life sits in that space; it’s called the present, but somehow, this week more than any other time of the year feels to me like the rest stop between links of a journey, the biggest present of the year. It’s the time to look back over the landscape of the last year and forward to the terrain of the new.
And it’s the time to make New Year’s resolutions.
Last year during this week, I made three resolutions. (Because more than three just gets lost and forgotten by the end of January)
The first was to try to get my wild and crazy dog, Emma, to NOT go ballistic—barking and spinning and barking and spinning and spinning and spinning whenever a cable car goes by. (We live one block from the cable car line on one side and three blocks on the other, so it’s really hard to take a good walk without crossing one of them) I’m proud to say that with the help of about thirty pounds of string cheese, we’ve been close to 72% successful.
The second resolution was to find a new literary agent—now this is the kind of resolution that I know is not a good kind to make because it depends on so many factors outside of a person’s control, BUT I am absolutely thrilled to have signed with the wonderful Erszi Deak of Hen and Ink last September!
The third resolution was more general. (Also not the best kind of resolution because it’s too easy to fudge.) It was to get back to my ‘crafty’ roots and start making things with my hands again. I started out buying enough wool to needle felt a hat. (What was I thinking? I don’t wear hats and don’t have any close friends or family who wear hats…) The skeins are still sitting on the top shelf of an armoire waiting for their new form. Maybe this year I’ll make a shoulder bag instead. Or not. I did, however make seven crepe-paper tangerine surprise balls last week to hand out at Christmas dinner, so won’t beat myself up too much.
This year, I am going to keep my resolutions very simple.
1) I will start each morning reminding myself to do my best by quietly reciting the last stanza of William Stafford’s poem, THE DREAM OF NOW:
Your life you live by the light you find
and follow it on as well as you can,
carrying through darkness wherever you go
your one little fire that will start again.
2) I will try and write a few brief sentences every day in my day planner, noting what happened each day, (so I won’t forget) something that gave me joy, and something I am grateful for. Here’s one for today (it’s old but always make me smile, plus I think we need more free hugs)
3) I will once again try to work more with my hands, because it’s good for my soul and my brain. I have a box of colored crepe paper on top of that same armoire and will see what else comes of it. I’m thinking owl.
So, tell me, what are your New Year's resolutions?
Take Good Care,