Every year I make a couple of resolutions and I think about most of them on and off throughout the year.  I try to keep them. More or less successfully. In my teens I resolved not to sleep so much on weekends only to discover years later that lying in bed until noon is typical of teenagers. I thought I was sinfully lazy (and so did my mother), but actually I was normal. Year after year I resolved to quit smoking but didn’t manage until my younger son was a year old and I realized I wasn’t going to live to see him grow up if I didn’t ditch my pack and half a day habit. Remind me to tell you how I did it. Hint: It involved staying in bed most of the day for three weeks.

For a long time I resolved to stop smoking pot. That was a rough one because I loved to write when I was high and I convinced myself I couldn’t do it without a joint. Year after year I tried to keep my vow to exercise three or more times a week until eventually I found Pilates and that ceased to be a problem. I resolved and failed to give up Marlboros twenty times or two hundred; I only know it was a lot and then a lot more.  Once at a New Year’s party I even tried hypnosis. Another bust. But I kept trying, kept vowing I would and, finally, I broke both smoking habits. .

As I’ve grown older, my promises to myself have become less concrete but I think I take them more seriously. I’m not a conventionally religious person but I believe there’s more to life than me and mine, you and yours. This year I resolve to spend a few minutes every day pondering what that “more” might be and why it’s important to think about the question.

I subscribe to a data storing service that tells me every time it’s saved my work to The Cloud. I’m thankful that service exists because it means I will never again feel my stomach drop when I realize I’ve lost a chapter or half a book forever. I resolve that whenever I see that window telling me my Backup Is Complete! I’ll take a minute or two to think about all the other things I have to be grateful for.

Example: Last summer Art and I spent a week in our secret campsite in the highest of the High Sierras. You could put me on the rack and I wouldn’t tell where it is, because it’s so pristine I almost feel guilty being there myself. Up at nine thousand feet where the air is clear of chatter, the water and mountains, the vast sky and incredible trees remind me of what a miracle it is that I – and you – get to be alive on this glorious big blue marble rolling in orbit around an insignificant star on the edge of the Milky Way, an altogether unremarkable spiral galaxy, just one of thousands and maybe millions of galaxies.

The Milky Way

But here I am today. And here you are. Alive. This year I resolve to think about the wonder of that miracle and the responsibility that goes with it.

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One Response to “Resolution”

  1. Ramblings by Carol Nuckols says:

    There is so much more, isn’t there? I do think life, and all creation, are a miracle — in a grand scheme greater than we can grasp. We honor that miracle when we stop to appreciate it.