Wednesday, January 02, 2013


So, yesterday, I was all ready to list my New Year's Resolutions, an assortment of self-improving guidelines for 2013.  Drink more water.  Get more sleep.  Exercise.  Try new recipes (healthy ones, of course).  Keep a dream journal.  Learn fair-isle knitting.  Blog more, at least more than the 7 times I blogged last year.

And then a friend posted this as her status update on Facebook:  I don't make resolutions.  I don't change something about myself.  I add something positive.  I think when you focus on the good within you...the negative tends to fall away

There is indeed much good within Rachel, and I'm so grateful she shared this particular good thing.  All of my resolutions, as usual, were based on some perceived lack in my life - I don't drink enough water, I stay up too late, I should go to yoga more, cook more, write more, knit more, blog more...

All of which will only, in the weeks and months to come, give way to needing to stick to my resolutions more.  Isn't that the way it so often goes?  We start the year with the best of intentions and end it with the worst of disappointment, having not only failed to do the thing we vowed to do, but having vowed to do it knowing that we would probably fail.

What if instead of choosing resolutions we chose resolve instead?  Resolve to remember and celebrate and give thanks for the good things in our lives and about ourselves.  Good qualities we've cultivated, good decisions we make, good friends we've found, good times spent with family and alone and with God.

So in 2013, I hope I'll knit more (knit this, in fact), spin more (did I tell you I'm spinning now?  Maybe I should blog more...), make healthy choices more, be more self-assured.  I hope I'll do all those things and, well, more.  But I resolve to focus on the good within me, to remember and celebrate and give thanks for things like a little creativity, a lot of quiet, a tendency to believe the best about people, a love of Multigrain Cheerios.

I don't mean there isn't room for improvement - of course there is.  There is negative that needs to fall away.  But perhaps it does so more naturally when we're lifting up good from within instead of piling on good from without.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Paul wrote, and that's a little bit what making New Year's Resolutions feels like.  Figure out what will make you better, what will improve you, what will save you, and work at it.  And we do, with fear and trembling, because we might fail.  But what if here, as so often is true in our holy scriptures, fear and trembling mean not anxiety but astonishment and even awe?  For even as we resolve to remember and celebrate and choose things that make for happiness and health and hope, even as we work out our salvation, it is God who works within us.  And that is very, very, very good.

Philippians 2:12

Artist: Elisa Choi

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Beautifully expressed- I'm rethinking and rewriting my resolves! Some 3rd grader near and dear to me once wrote a note resolving to "love and remember"... and she still does.