New Year’s Resolutions and the ‘Elegy in Joy’

The flag of Guatemala.

I’m not a goal-oriented person, which doesn’t lend itself to setting New Year’s resolutions. I’m more whimsical — I happen across something, or get an idea in my head and go full-bore with it, such as the St. Jude’s push-up challenge this past November — and I don’t particularly have a “planning” mindset. For the most part, I think my aversion to goal-setting and planning is a.) not wanting to think too far into the future, preferring instead to take life day-by-day, even hour-by-hour; and b.) as someone who has experienced severe depression and suicidal ideation, my mind was never future-oriented, and that is a difficult mindset to break, even after getting mentally healthier.

All of that said, I do want to use the blog today on the first day of the new year to put down some resolutions for 2023, because why not give it a shot? Because beginnings are inspiring. Or to put it more beautifully, as Muriel Rukeyser did in her poem, “Elegy in Joy,” beginnings are “blest”:

“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.
Not all things are blest, but the
seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.”

I also like her saying, “Love that gives us ourselves, in the world known to all
new techniques for the healing of the wound,
and the unknown world.”

Because I always feel like that. That each new day, each new moment, is a process of healing, getting better, from a health perspective and an ethical perspective. Life is about healing the wound of our own existence.

My three resolutions for 2023:

  • I want to, for the first time, be a better steward of my finances. I’ve had moments of trying to budget or be more financially aware, but such moments have been fleeting. The specific outcome I’m seeking is to pay off my car and two credit cards before 2023 ends.
  • I’ll be talking about this in a different post, but I’m quite pleased with reading 84 books in 2022, and I’d like to take my reading goal to the next level in 2023. If I didn’t slow down in the fall, I believe I could have hit 100 books read in a year. The specific outcome I’m seeking is to read 100 books, which includes the gambit of books, from fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, graphic novels, and poetry collections.
  • I want to continue pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. In 2021 and 2022, I like to think I have by doing public speaking I never thought possible, work tasks I didn’t think I could handle, and so on. The specific outcome I’m seeking is to push beyond my comfort zone is to go to Guatemala with my work colleague. She does an annual trip to the country to visit the students at the school she started. I’ve not only never been out of the country, but going to Guatemala specifically and with a group, would be beyond anything I thought possible now, much less a few years ago.

To quote Rukeyser again, “I cannot say the end,” but in the unknowable are beautiful possibilities.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

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