IT’S NOT LIKE ME, I’m sure my friends would say, to be welcoming the new year quietly at home, just me and the cats. (First he skips the Folsom Fair! And now this!!) But it’s been a full day and, as I just got through saying, tomorrow’s another one. Unlike me, I guess, because I’m usually so interested in marking these milestones. But for some reason, I’m content to let this one just wash over me.
Similarly, I’m taking a casual approach to resolutions this year. I just came from a wonderful talk at the Buddhist center I go to, where we were encouraged to go easy on ourselves. So often, the best-intentioned resolutions can leave us feeling bad, like there’s something wrong with us that needs changing.
That isn’t to say we should just give up trying, learning, improving. But it would be nice to approach it all from the perspective that we are pretty amazing to begin with. We all have pure goodness within us. Whatever you do, don’t take the view that you can’t be happy until you’ve changed. Be happy now. And change little things if you want to. Or don’t. I like you just fine.
I’m not content to stay the same. I’d like to make some small changes in my life in the new year. But I’ve always felt resolutions should be about making the changes you’d enjoy working toward, not about depriving or flagellating yourself (unless you’re into that kind of thing). I’m going to work in the yard more, I want to do more yoga, and I want to get back to swimming.
It occurs to me those are all forms of meditation for me. The other day, I was at home ironing shirts—one of my favorite ways to meditate—and listening to Xmas music, and I was overcome with a sense of extreme calm and peace and gratitude. Hard to explain, but it felt pretty special. (When I posted about it on Facebook, nobody said anything. I guess you had to be there.)
Maybe my resolution should be to learn to recognize and cultivate meditation in all of its forms. Maybe that’s why I’m at home writing this at midnight. Happy New Year!