Resolutions are just Words

I’m typing this out on my phone in a dark hotel room while my family still sleeps. Blackout curtains got nothing on a stubborn internal clock. It’s New Year’s Day! It’s time for Hope and hanging up new calendars and making lists of impossible dreams, if you’re into those sorts of things.

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fireworks, New Year’s Eve 2013

Some brilliant, practical people whose ideas I follow suggest staying away from New Years resolutions. We’re supposed to live in the moment – one day at a time – and not worry over future or past, they point out. Why pick 5 or even 10 lofty goals and spread your attention and chance of success so thin?

I know they’re right, but I’m still a sucker for New Years resolutions. I remember sitting at a friend’s typewriter the winter I turned 14, already well into my first tumble from addiction. Instead of giving up, I tapped out a list I didn’t save and don’t remember but don’t need to.

It said Hope.

Resolutions are about clean slates and fixing what’s broken, and they’re a little bit about not taking ourselves so seriously, I think, because we know they’re too big, like my kid’s impossibly long Christmas list this (last!) year.

This year I want to tackle sugar again. Last month I tackled it hard, but only to tie it up and keep it in my pantry. If that sounded creepy, it’s because sugar does that to me. I can’t leave it alone, it seems, but I’m getting somewhere in the process of understanding and respecting its power and my lack thereof.

I have other resolutions. Nothing typed out, but still rolling around like billowy clouds. Eat better. Spend less time on mindless time-sucks. Listen to more music. Get back to a regular schedule for exercise (December killed me). Play more games with my kids. Be a better mom.

If I were to pick just one word to encapsulate all these hopes, like some of the cool kids I follow, it would be nourish. It’s a dorky word, but so am I.

I’m going to start today by steering clear of sugar and going with my family to watch grown men (and women) dressed as babies (and other things) prance down the street in bitter cold. Stretch your imagination as far as it will go to see how the latter will nourish. It somehow does.

20140101-071014.jpg mummers parade, New Year’s Day 2013

Here’s to a happy new year and hopefully a good deal longer!

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28 thoughts on “Resolutions are just Words

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  1. I’m doing sugar and caffeine this year! More terrifying than giving up drink, even. Because they are some of my last crutches I suppose. I am with you sister! Also I love mummers! I once wore a frilly shirt and velvet pantaloons and led around a dragon, in the days before drinking so I know it to be true.

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    1. For the first year or so of sobriety, I didn’t worry about sugar. Others warned me ‘first things first’ but I was only too happy to hold onto that crutch. Sugar is very comforting, no matter how miserable overindulgence makes me. It is very much a work in progress, but we’ll get there in our own time. I would love to hear more about your mummer days! Seriously, the whole thing fascinates me. Happy new year!

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      1. I was only in one, its supposed to be a horse I think (collecting money at the end) but we only had a dragon. I was about 12 years d and dressed in new romantic style, with the addition on a long suede jerkin of my mums I made a fine Jacobean.

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  2. I too love New Years resolutions! I make a robust list of detailed things I’d like to see/do during the upcoming year. I don’t obsess about each one- but I do go back to the list every other month or so- It is amazing how many things actually come into being. I think writing down goals and desires somehow fixes them in my consciousness- or perhaps, in my unconscious- so I just sort of automatically walk in those directions. Sugar and carbs I’ve already tackled and am good with- caffeine I’m not yet ready to eliminate, lol! A few things on my list for this year: Lose the last 10 pounds (I lost 50 pounds about a decade ago, and have kept it off, but have never tackled the last 10 to get to my ideal weight with a BMI of about 22- so this is the year!), spend more time outdoors (especially after it gets a little warmer!) and continue to enjoy/contribute to this wonderful sober blog community I have just gotten to know in the past few months!

    A very wonderful 2014 to you! And please: leave the others in the dark hotel room, and go down to the lobby to get your fabulous first coffee of the New Year!!

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    1. Losing and keeping off 50 lbs is simply amazing. Your resolutions sound very attainable and inspiring to the rest of us. Also, I thought of your comment when I went down to the hotel lobby and saw urns of hot, delicious coffee!

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  3. Happy New Year, Kristen!

    I too am doing that word thing. I think it would be great to have something as an umbrella that gently guides me. I mean, a word is a word is a word. But it’s also an intention, yes? And that’s how I see it. And I love your word there. Nourish. Sounds so cozy and healthy and soul fulfilling. I can’t wait to see how that manifests for you throughout the year.

    As for the sugar – it’s like a scab, isn’t – we’re always picking at it. I just can’t seem to let it go either…but here’s the thing. A strange and funny thing. A weird thing. I am actually starting to moderate it. Or it’s moderating itself. I don’t know how long this will last, and my weight has gone up a bit since…so more jogging for this cat πŸ™‚ i will see how it goes. I can’t claim any sort of victory, so patience and vigilence is my code these days πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I love where you are at, and can’t wait to see you emerge ever so gently…as we all will.

    Blessings
    Paul

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    1. It gives me a lot of hope to hear you say sugar has felt a bit easier for you, Paul. While I’ve primarily been whining about my lack of control and eating it anyway, you’ve been quietly doing the work. So to hear you’ve felt some success is very helpful. I do notice a change even though I’ve fallen off track often, and I think it has to be a different kind of beast because it is literally everywhere and my final goal isn’t abstinence. We’ll see where it goes, thanks for your comment!

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    1. This feels like an anthem for sobriety…beyond perfect. I also like ‘treating others like I want to be treated.’ This strikes me as a simple, solid tool to ask ourselves when we feel conflicted or troubled. Thanks!

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  4. Happy New Year Kristen!

    First, you’re not a dork. Second, getting back to exercise because “December killed me” is absolutely on my to-do list, so let’s get back to checking in with each other! Finally, I have friends who do the Mummer’s every year… this year they were dressed like KISS (Jolly Jolly Comics), hope you got to see them!

    I could not agree more, resolutions are a sign of hope, and for that reason you can resolve to do something any minute of any day, it’s just extra fun to do it at the start of something!

    Love, love, LOVE the word for the year, and I am going to spend some time meditating on why I love that word (already feels like a post for me). You always inspire me, and I can’t wait to read more of your wisdom in 2014!

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    1. Happy new year, Josie! I really love your new profile picture, so pretty! And just like that, you’ve breathed new life and hope into my personal exercise plan. Would love to work together to get back on track and also hope we can get together soon. As for your mummer friends, I somehow missed them but Joe remembered a KISS group. I hope your friends had a great time. All the mummers seem to.

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  5. Nourish!
    Love that word…nourishing is a lot more than feeding, right?
    So many healthy and lovely things we can nourish in our lives, make them grow.
    Here’s to an amazing and nourishing New Year….can’t wait to see how the word plays out for you; be aware there are reasons you don’t even know why you picked it, which is always the way!

    xo

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  6. Your humility is so admirable. You obviously are a thinking and deeply caring person. I would love to have such qualities and work hard to develop these.
    But alas the real challenge for me has been to realise that I am what I am and nothing can change that perfect state unless I desire to. It seems that a good life could be graphed, not on whether a person is good but how aware each person is of their goodness. You see we are all seeking the same from life. All of us want to be free, to care, to love, to feel the emotions of life willingly and most important be loved. That age old method of viewing the audience as naked whilst giving a speech, has real value when it is applied to the world as a whole. All of us are naked and all of us are scared and each of us is perfect. Happy New Year BB

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    1. Thank you for the sweet comment. I especially like what you say about being aware of the goodness. When I see others being good and happy, it makes me want the same and shows me at least one way it worked for someone else. When I feel the goodness in myself, it becomes a muscle I can keep using develop with some conscious effort. Very interesting thoughts in here, thanks again.

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  7. Happy New Year! I’ve got my word all picked out for this year, to be revealed tomorrow. I like yours. I am trying not to make resolutions this year but I think I still am and just calling them something else.

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  8. Nourish… I like, very much.
    Has a Chicken Soup for the Soul feel to it. Come to think of it, you blog has always been Chicken Soup for MY soul.
    So be aware as you focus on self-nourishment, in doing so, you offer those around nourishment as well.

    “Sit. Feast on your life.”

    Love, and so much gratitude…

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  9. Your “resolutions” sound like me, decrease the sugar, increase the exercise, less dumb activities and being a good mom. Must be good ones….. Best Wishes in 2014~ I am near Philadelphia too~ small world. Never been the parade… not a fan of the cold, lol.

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  10. It’s been almost two years since my last binge with alcohol and like yourself, I’ve struggled with my last crutch…sugar. With the on-going New Year’s resolutions and what seems to be endless lists we create for ourselves, I’ve decided to roll with the tides and continue on the sober journey which was started not so long ago. Because in reality, New Year’s Day and all of the days to follow will ALWAYS bring new paths, new self-realizations and opportunities if we choose to seize them. Sugar…well, sugar will have its way with me until I can finally kick my last habit out of my pantry. But one thing is for sure; no more holiday baking and cookies so it’s already a win for me! Great blog you have here and glad I stumbled upon it. Will be keeping up with your ventures in sobriety! Sending you warm wishes, positive vibes and many blessings for 2014!

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