Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the business of life

For the last couple of New Year's, I've done the same meme. A way to mark the passage of time and consider what I've done and what I could do better. As December neared its end, I started thinking about the approaching meme - what my answers would be to the recurring questions a year later. Each time I considered answering the questions, I felt uninspired. I felt bored.

A couple of nights later, I sat at my laptop and tried to reconcile my desire for continuity (do the meme) and my ambiguity about answering the same questions with the same answers you've heard here before. In the end, I talked about what I was doing ten years ago. It felt right to find peace in a reflection well behind me now. I promised myself that I'd do the meme for January.

So a couple of nights after that, I came to the laptop thinking I'd do that meme. I'd force myself to do that meme. We were in Portland with Chip, and as luck would have it, Bean came down with her FOURTH cold since Halloween. Bean followed me into the bedroom to retrieve the laptop and insisted that I let her get up on the bed. While I pulled the computer onto my lap, Bean rolled around on the bedsheets, smearing bits of snotty goo all over her kitty jammies. I had just stopped long enough to read a friend's blog post when I noticed that Bean was meowing insistently, her head on my knee.

That's when I started thinking about the lessons I had learned over the past year and I finally decided to release myself from the meme. Instead, I thought about those 2009 lessons. Snot and pajamas - letting go of what's expected when it's not what you're meant to do. The business of moving forward instead of looking back. Introspection as a thoughtful determinant to change behavior, not to assign blame or apply punishment. Saying no to some things in order to say yes to others.

The lessons themselves haven't come wrapped in fanfare or huge AH HA moments. They crept into the corners of my days and waited for me to notice them.

I guess that's the way it usually works with me--- I have trouble wrapping my mind around the Big Items, but am capable of dealing in small things, mundane things, the everyday detritus of a lifetime. It's one of the things that dictates the tone of The Creamery: thinking about a small toddler meowing as she rolls around on a bed.

It may be a small ineffectual thing, but it matters. And over time, it's those small ineffectual bits of fluff that fill up your life until it is full.

Never empty.

Never incomplete.

Never meaningless.

You just have to think about it. And so I resolved to do for the new year: remember those lessons, learn how to integrate them into my outlook, notice the meaning in the small and daily things.

January is gone. February just behind us. March brings a new springtime focus and I don't want to lose it in the general Spring Malaise that always comes home to roost. (If you don't believe me, look back in the archives for some of my previous year's Springtime Funkage. It's a pattern with me.)

So that's what I'm doing right now: allowing myself to change, to learn from the teaching moments as they happen.

What about you? How have you done with any resolutions for the new year?


wandering nana said...

I never make any. I just think of the things I would like to change and try to do it but I don't make the commitment. I seem to not follow thru on things I resolve.... I do better with I'll try. Weird.

Bethsix said...

This is perfect, and so true.

I have resolved to try to be "healthier" this year. Maybe because it's such a vague, broad goal, I seem to be more committed and successful with it than I have been in the past. It's also the knowledge that I'm done bearing children, I think. I mean, it always seemed like kindof a waste to really care for my physical self when I knew another pregnancy would happen and just tear my body to bits. Or maybe that was just an excuse. Either way, I'm feeling good about myself this year. :)