As New Year’s Eve approaches, you would think I’d be writing some resolutions. But I’m no fool. After years of making and breaking resolutions (some broken before the week’s end), I know that I shouldn’t embarrass myself by making resolutions that will only fall by the wayside.
Robert Bly habitually writes a poem before getting out of bed each morning. That wouldn’t work for me, but his discipline is impressive. One of my favorite poems, “The Rebuke” is as follows. I chose this poem because as we think in terms of resolutions (even if we don’t write them down), we usually think in terms of self-improvement. To be more sensitive to our impact on others would be a good resolution.
“Well, I do it, and it’s done. / And it can’t be taken back. / There’s a little wound in my chest / Where I wounded others, but
It will knit, or heal, in time. / That’s what you say. / And some I wounded / Claim: “I am the better for it.” But I pull in my breath.
Was it truth-telling or / A thin man with a knife?
The wound will close, or heal / In time. That’s what you say.”
A couple of years ago, a girlfriend and I wrote down our writing resolutions and made two copies. We kept one copy; the second copy we exchanged with one another. At the year’s end, we were to mail the resolutions back to the person who had penned them.
Oh my gosh! Receiving my resolutions one year after I had written them was a sobering moment. The egg dripped off my face and ran down the front of my shirt. Of the seven or so resolutions, I had carried out only one.
The lesson that I learned was to make fewer writing resolutions. Also, knowing that I tend to procrastinate, to set a reasonable number of deadlines and keep them.
Today is the day to make your writing resolutions. Know your weaknesses. Make fewer resolutions, and give those resolutions to a writer friend who will return them to you in one year’s time. Feel the heat of knowing that you will be held to account come New Year’s next.
Those of us who live in the foothills of the Rockies, await snow. We have some but not enough.
Not enough. How much is enough? If I were to say that my favorite Christmas present was the hand-sewn Christmas tree ornaments made by my granddaughter Winnie, would that be enough? Yes, the felt ornaments were enough.
I resolve to take pleasure in what I have. I have friends, family and my health. I have enough.