Monday, October 10, 2016


Every year, on December 31st, or the High Holidays, or on my birthday, or perhaps on all three, I look back on the last year and wonder what I might do differently or better in the coming year. My plans sound great--I will do more, I will give more, I will laugh more. I will explore new things, and hit new highs, and simply be the best "me" I can be. And then the ball drops, and the fast ends, and the candles are blown out, and life goes on, virtually the same as before, because it needs to be kept up with and maintained and held stable. My resolutions are no more resolute than cookie fortunes blown away. My intentions may be good ones, but without my attention, they are just promises made and broken, casualties of a life that doesn't pause just because you've had a moment to think.

But how, then, do we make change? How, then, do we know when resolutions are just resolutions, and when they are maps to guide us? How do we turn the thoughts of one day into the actions of many?

Having lived through many, many ball drops and Yom Kippur fasts and birthdays, I still don't have that answer. The changes in my life still feel as though they happen when then happen, simply because that's how they happen. Perhaps there are small decisions along the way that combine to make the big ones, but the big ones feel few and far between. So, instead of making periodic big resolutions, maybe what's really important is pausing, for just a moment, over the little choices that we make each day. There may come a time when the need for keeping up and maintenance slows down, and maybe then, there will be room for a bigger view. In the meantime, I will let my resolution occasions guide not just my big steps, but my little ones. Because the little steps end up taking us a long way. So we'd might as well resolve to be taking those steps in the right direction.

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