Resolved January 1st, 2010
Here we are. The very beginning. I will welcome you to this blog, and then we will get on with it, okay?
Welcome to this blog.
Okay, fine, I’ll add a bit to that… We (my blog and I, clearly) are excited to be here and we hope you are too. Don’t get too comfortable, though, because this blog is not meant to be a virtual club chair, upholstered in chintz and scattered with pillows. This blog is meant to be uncomfortable. Not shoes-too-tight uncomfortable. Rather, perhaps, shoes-too-big uncomfortable; the kind of uncomfortable that reminds you (and me) that we have room to grow and that we should do just that. And so, with that in mind, I will be writing about topics that will challenge me, stretch my mind, and prompt me to think about things in new ways. As I work to challenge myself, I hope to challenge you too. And I hope that you, in turn, will challenge me back. It’s a two-way street, this blogging thing…
Now that we’ve dispensed with introductions, I’m moving along.
New Year’s Day has always been one of my favorites. I suppose this is because it’s a holiday with nothing to do. No large meals to prepare, no presents to open, no eggs to hide, fireworks to ignite, or costumes to don. And while I love those other holidays and their pre-ordained activities, there’s something soothing about a holiday that arrives without an agenda.
Of course, what do we do with this perfectly empty holiday? We ruin it with resolutions. We make long lists and craft complex self-improvement programs. We quit smoking. We quit drinking. We quit cursing. We work out. We make vows. We will pray more, thank more, praise more, hug more, forgive more, love more. We will quit watching reality television and start reading Pulitzer-Prize-winning novels. We will cook from scratch. We will drink 76 glasses of water a day. And on, and on, and on.
And so I am prone to wonder. What do I want for this year? In what ways do I hope I will be different when the doors of 2010 close?
They are compelling questions, and questions that I haven’t answered in several years; at least not in the form of a list of resolutions. Why? Not because I have no room for improvement. Certainly not. I suppose it’s because to me resolutions beg us to define ourselves as a set of faults. These are the things that are wrong with me. And I think that’s rather a sad way to start a new year.
But yet, anything less somehow seems like a cop out. I have decided that resolutions are negative and sad, and so I will not make them. Cheater! Hardly in line with the aforementioned purpose of this blog. Perhaps there is a middle ground. But as I consider what that middle ground might be, every option I weigh seems like a watered down version of a resolution.
And so, if I am setting out this day to commence a year of challenging myself, then I see no option save for a return to the classic list of resolutions. I will almost certainly fail at some of them. But perhaps I will find some victories as well. And perhaps I will have made strides that I’m proud of at the end of this year. One thing I know for certain, I will not have any accomplishments under my belt if I don’t have any goals. With that, this year I resolve to:
- Challenge myself mentally by considering new ideas and by more frequently thinking about things broader in reach than the confines of my daily life.
- Read more non-fiction.
- Meet new people who challenge my preconceived notions about the world.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Travel to interesting places; some new adventures and some old favorites.
Now that we’ve got that covered I imagine I will spend the rest of this day idle (perhaps while munching on fruits and vegetables). Because despite my goals for the year, today is a day for taking it easy (and recovering from whatever it is you did last night).
I have high hopes for this year and for this blog. And I hope you do too.