Tag Archives: resolution

New Year’s Resolutions 2015…

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One of the reasons I love New Year’s is that I love resolutions. I am a person who resolves to do things. You know the parable of the two sons? A farmer asks his two sons to come help him in the field. One says, “No, sorry, I can’t make it.” But he shows up anyway. The other says, “Yes, Dad! I will be there.” And then he doesn’t show up.

Most of the time, I feel like the latter. “Yes! I resolve to do that thing!” I am a firm believer in the “aim for the moon, land among the stars” approach to resolutions. (Which saying never made sense to me. Shouldn’t it be “aim for the stars, land on the moon”? Is it? Do I have it wrong? I’m googling it.)

For example, when I was in seventh grade I was introduced to the poem “If-“ by Rudyard Kipling. I was subsequently so inspired that I wrote a list of everything I wanted to accomplish before I was old, like, twenty-two. There were, at least, five languages in which I was to be fluent, ten in which I was to be conversational, twenty musical instruments I was to be able to play, and so on. I even had a long list dedicated to traveling with different categories labeled: “countries to live in for a year”, “countries to live in for three months”, and, finally, “countries just to visit”.

Yes, by the time I would be twenty-two I would be the most accomplished person in the world. After all, there are twenty-four hours in a day and three hundred sixty-five days in a year. Why not? So, with this insight into Barbara, you might imagine that my yearly resolutions have a tendency to be grand. And you would be correct, sir.

Then, well, motherhood happened. And if we know one thing about motherhood, we know it has an amazing knack of making things practical. And my New Year’s resolutions have been no exception. Who has time to worry about learning a new language when you owe a small mortgage payment in overdue picture book fines at the library?

For example:

In 2012 I resolved to replace every plain white pair of underwear in my drawer with a fun one. Resolved: by the end of the year my underwear drawer was a veritable rainbow.

In 2013 I resolved to not wear any T-shirts out on a daily basis, and I mean, the kind that people with an average amount of fashion-sensitivity reserve for yard work. Resolved: I now have a nice selection of shirts that do not make me look like a Dickens protagonist.

In 2014 I resolved to finish things. I wrote a blog post about it, still undone. I was going to post pictures of all the half-finished projects I have, but I didn’t quite get to that. Obviously, this one is going to take more practice than the year allowed.

This year, in addition to carrying over the “finishing things” goal (cough cough) is a new one. 2015 is going to be the year of …

… wait for it …

NO MORE NURSING TANK TOPS! Woohoo! Say it with me, “No more nursing tank tops in 2015!”

I am done nursing. I may never nurse again. It happened quite by accident and all of a sudden as the baby and I both simply forgot about it after weeks of holiday activities. At any rate, those convenient little tank tops with the snaps and zero support that have played the role of my undershirts for the last year and a half are going … out the window, the second story window! With a heave and a ho and a mighty throw they’re one practical thing being hurtled out the window!!!

So, dream big, people! And much happy resolving! Aim for the moon and fall among the stars!

(And look up that saying. I’m still not so sure about that.)

Newness…

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Happy New Year’s Day.

We went down to South San Francisco last night. A friend down there has a place with a yard and a puppy. The kids and puppy were one unit of energy, bringing to mind an electron with it’s dual qualities of solid particles and waves, everywhere and, yet, nowhere.

At one point, my husband turned to me and said, “Man, if we had a yard they’d be playing out there all day long.”

I blinked slowly at him.

We made it back by ten, the kids conked out, and the husband and I made some whiskey sours and settled in to watch an episode of our current program.

Living in a city is funny. Sometimes you can forget just how many people are snug up next to you, how many lives really fit into four units over a garage. At midnight there was a roar and we paused our program to listen.

We went to the open window and listened to the celebration of so many lives, different parties, different places. Others, like us, silent and backlit, leaning out their windows into our common space of air, just listening, people whose interiors I had glimpsed, who couldn’t be called complete strangers.

The ships in the harbor blew their horns and the sound was surprisingly clear on the chill wind.

I like New Year’s, the holiday that looks forward. It’s one of the only holidays you don’t typically spend where you came from, with your family. You spend it with your chosen people, those who will be there, where you’re going.

Happy looking forward! Happy newness! Happy New Year!

Benediction Part III: Resolution…

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The sermon this week was on wrestling for blessing. Go figure. I think the Big Guy Upstairs has been reading my blog and decided I needed a little help.

The pastor used the image of a father wrestling with his child. The purpose of which is never to decide a winner, he said, but to know each other and know yourself.

I would say the goals of my wrestling at the onset are a little more concrete. Such as:

I try to wrestle fellowship from Facebook.

I try to wrestle strength from my stash of brownies in the freezer.

I try to wrestle rest from one more television program in the evening.

I try to wrestle identity and purpose out from between the pages and paintings of my own hands.

Like squeezing lemon juice from a banana I go on wrestling for what’s not there, what I’m not really looking for. When, much like my son tackling his Daddy, what I want to know really is, “Are you stronger than me?” “Abba, are you stronger than me?”

Sometimes, the possibility that he isn’t is too terrifying to even try.

Still, sometimes, we try. We try to wrestle him down to the ground with our loneliness, pin him with our doubts, trip him up with our shame, or find him too weak against our hopes and dreams.

But every time I have been disappointed, satisfied not with exactly what I’m asking for but with the knowledge that he is stronger than I. Like Jacob at dawn, when I think I may be winning, I suddenly find my hip out of socket. Like Job, I find my mouth shut in response.

It’s frustrating. “But, this isn’t what I wanted to know!” I cry, “Where is my resolution?”

And yet, I’m satisfied.