Resolutions 2010: Here are mine, what’s yours?

January 7, 2010 § 6 Comments

"Renewal" by Roberta Baird

While many of us are already guiltily breaking our resolutions for the new year, my friend Kinjal has already accomplished at least one of her new year resolutions. I expect no less from her.  She was even premature about it.  She resolved, among other things, to bring joy to the people and community around her. And my New Year’s Eve was warm, fuzzy and full of stomach-hurting laughter thanks to her. I can be anywhere with her–dirty hostels, at the airport stranded for 24 hours, lost in another country, lost in our own country –and still have a good time.

This post is inspired by her. Over a cup of coffee on new year’s morning, she asked the table “so, what are people’s  resolutions?” Her seemingly simple question caught me off guard and I was speechless because I had yet to create them. So when I came back home, I scratched my head and thought real hard. Here are some of my resolutions and thoughts; and if you are comfortable with indulging me,  I would love to hear what you have planned for this new year.

Allow more pleasure to enter your life. In the tradition of making resolutions that are awfully tough to keep, this one tops it. It seems counter-intuitive, but we do it all the time–run away from pleasure. Pleasure has developed a bad rep in our culture. We learn that to deny ourselves pleasure is to be disciplined, productive, virtuous; and to pursue pleasure is indulgent, unproductive, even sinful. Perhaps we have lost our sense of pleasure; we associate it with hedonism, procrastination, laziness when it is none of those. Its not the act of avoiding work. To avoid work is still to remain in work’s domain, and pleasure is not beholden to work; I presume it operates on an entirely different value system. Pleasure is an active pursuit–to what ends, I don’t know. And so, I do not have a selling point for why you or I should allow more pleasure to enter our lives…except for maybe pleasure itself.

This 2010, for pleasure sake, I resolve to:

  • Allow more poetry into my life
  • Journal (via pen and paper) – I have long been an advocate of journaling, the pencil/pen on paper sort. But it has occurred to me that since graduation last May, I have been journaling markedly less even though I have more of what we call free time, and despite the fact that not being in school anymore for the first time in 17 years has given me much material (aka personal crisis) to journal about. Journaling has been my most reliable and effective stress reliever. And yet during a time of high stress, I have unintentionally turned away from it. But there always seems to be lying nearby a pen or pencil and a piece of paper ready for me when I am for it.
  • Converse more (for conversation sake) – In an age dominated by email and terse to-the-point phone conversations (both which I am a fan of), I wonder if there is less conversations being had for pleasure  or silliness sake. I want to welcome more conversations in my life, conversations with no underlying motivation, no business deals, but simply for the sake of indulging my curiosity and engaging with others, whether stranger or intimate friend.
  • Be body positive – This year I’m doing something radical, and kicking out the perennial “work out more!” resolution and replacing it with this one. Whether I work out five times or zero times a week, I resolve to have a positive conception of my body, and appreciate it for what it is and what it does for me. We are constantly bombarded with negative and hurtful messages about our bodies. We are also producers of these messages. Later this week, I will be posting about ways that we can combat fatism, and be  more body positive.

Here is to a pleasurable new year! And do consider sharing your resolutions with those that are close to you–it can open up conversation and new discoveries. Turn to your friends to provide you with the invaluable support you may need to get those resolutions accomplished by 2011.

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