Tomorrow we jump on into a new year. It seems to me that its become a bit unfashionable to have New Year’s resolutions nowadays. I think that’s the sourpuss perspective. Yes, of course we should be changing and evolving all throughout the year. That’s a given. But we have a tradition around the new year that has served us well so we’re keeping it. It’s been modified through the years, and surely it will continue to evolve, but us, we’re fans of the New Year’s resolution.
When we were younger and our kids were small, our New Year’s Eve festivities included dance parties with our little urchins and us cutting out and gluing words, inspirational sayings, images, and other paraphernalia we may have collected over the year to these big poster boards. They were our “vision boards” - another thing deemed hokey in our modern day, cynical world. Last year, I found one of those vision boards. Troy had made it eighteen years ago. It’s one of the last survivors of that time in our lives. We were both blown away when we unrolled it. There were pictures of a doctor on it with his head glued where some poor chap’s had been lobbed off. He hadn’t even been accepted into medical school at that time. There were pictures of adventure races with him crossing the line, others of him winning a national, natural bodybuilding title - all sorts of things that seemed like far away dreams. There were also pictures of farm animals and rural homes in the woods. It all felt like a pipe dream. Every single thing on his board came to pass.
It’s not magic. It’s just alignment. A holding in your heart of being there, being that person, and then working your little buns off to make it so.
We don’t do the vision boards anymore, but we still spend our New Year’s Eve having a good ole’ dance party (when the girls are around it’s a karaoke, but with us, it’s a little more old school), some good nibbles, and a writing out of what we want to achieve in the coming year. It’s not the lose ten pounds stuff, it’s bigger stuff than that. We consider ways to expand ourselves and our lives, our relationships. We give it careful thought and write it out in detail. And then, we share our intentions with each other. We are accountable to ourselves and each other. We write our intentions in ‘our books’, the books that keep us in line. We review our intentions, both individually and together during our weekly “lover meetings”. Of course, there will be more things that come along during the year, but the overarching themes of our New Year’s resolutions will remain and trump other demands on our time.
I have deemed 2023 the ‘Year of My House’. Both my house, as in the miraculous, beautiful, resilient house that carries my soul through this life and the house that houses the house that holds me. Follow? My flesh and blood house and the plaster and wood house I get to live in.
I’ve been thinking about this for a good long while. Sometimes I look around this old house and I see the smorgasbord of the undone. All around me, in every room. There are paint swatches I painted in the living room in the spring, trying to see what colour I fancied in different light but then didn’t get back to. There is primer on a window frame, but no paint. There are doors that don’t latch. Original floors that need some TLC. In every room, things that disrupt my calm.
She’s a home, somewhere around 170 years old. She is beautiful and strong and solid. She has housed many humans before us. I think she deserves her final touches. And, I know, that I deserve to spend some years living in a well-loved home that exudes pride. The glowing belle of the ball, complete and whole.
My other home, this body of mine that has been through so much, deserves much of the same. This body that somehow keeps on ticking despite the assaults thrown at it from the time I first landed on this planet. It, too, is needing its final pieces patched and cared for. After recovering from chronic illness, I’ve spent time feeling good, but now I want really good. The muscle loss wants to be replaced. I want to remember what it feels like to do chin-ups again. I want to take on new physical challenges. Discomfort over comfort - that’s the name of the game. I want to be challenged and to do that, there needs to be more “yes” when comfort tempts with “no”. More muscle. More strength. More stamina. Working with my house with love and awe for what it’s capable of. How wondrous these bodies of ours are.
And then there’s the book-to-be. The book that every day needs my attention and my efforts. Surely there’s people out there that can just schedule their lives by the seat of their pants. I am not one of them. Troy is not one of them. Everything we do gets done because of the schedules that hold us to task.
I thought I might give you a peek into what that looks like. I’ve mentioned in some of my Q&As that I’m a devotee of the “deep work” philosophy for getting the things I need to get done actually done. To make all that I need to do in a day happen, I write out my schedule the day before. It may sound a little silly, or maybe even confining, but I promise you, it’s neither. There is absolute freedom and relief in living a day