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A New Year’s Resolution

December 30, 2011

I’ve been putting off even thinking about a new year’s resolution this year. Too often I come up with one and then let it go before the end of January. This then reminds me of what my mother used to always say to me,  “You never finish anything!”  and I end up in the rabbit hole. The fact is that I have far too little discipline for such things and  far too much that quickly draws my attention to new endeavors. If she (my Mom, may she rest in peace) only knew that my affliction had a name when I was young I might have worn a label instead of a perpetual look of despair. Neither ideal.

I suspect that any resolution(s) I make for a new year will go the way of my “list of things to accomplish in 2011” which I stumbled across quite by accident last week.  It was a spectacular list with 12 carefully thought out, well planned goals I really wanted to accomplish (in that very focused ten minute list making event). Eager to see how many I had accomplished a year later I read through the list. Wow! Did anyone ever say three out of twelve ain’t bad?? I doubt it.

The fact of the matter is this. The goals I set were goals that seemed worthy at the time. Many of them proved to be things I choose not to do. My list was really more of a brain storming session that when pared down resulted in the list that I actually did accomplish. At least this was the rationalization I used when my heart sank at my obvious failure, “you’re right Mom, I never finish anything”. I’ve come to understand that like rules, to-do lists are made to be broken. And so are resolutions.

A resolution is an idea of what we want to accomplish. It’s an idea that we want to improve, change, grow, stretch, improve our days and our lives. When all is said and done that’s the important part of the resolution, that we have decided we want to grow, or even that we’re open to growing, open to bettering ourselves and with that we’re half way home, maybe even three-quarters of the way home. So if we find another means to our end after the list is in place, so be it. I’m a little more at peace with myself and my life this year than last. It doesn’t get any better than that!

So my New Year’s Resolution for 2012 is this: I am going to print the quote you see below and place it on my mirror or bulletin board by my desk and read it as often as possible throughout the year. I may even move it around if I forget to look at it. That’s it. The rest will take care of itself. I invite those of you who share my affliction to do the same.

Happy New Year! May you hear and live your symphony.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2011 6:53 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring!

  2. December 30, 2011 6:58 pm

    After reading your letter I have to believe your Mother would be very proud of you and who you’ve are!

    Sometimes, as a mother myself, sometimes words were said, not realizing (or remembering) the profound depth my words would ultimately have on each one of my daughters’ psyche until now they are grown with families of their own. We discuss these things – adult to adult. Each of us, me as a single mother, they as my daughters, went through a lot during these difficult years. We can now appreciate without resentment or pain. It is good.

    I absolutely love the way you explained how you have accepted yourself for who you are NOW and not for what you were once upon a time told you were.

    My own understanding of resolutions is they are just our way of reminding ourselves that we’re human and not perfect. We can change in small ways or big as long as we are contented with the changes. We can also choose to take a different path. Every day we change, don’t we? Regrets are also part of Life and that’s okay too as long as we learn something positive and go forward. We also must resolute to appreciate who we are and all we’ve done.

    I really enjoyed reading the ‘Symphony’ by William Henry Channing…it is wonderful! It is now my ‘wallpaper’ so I too can remind myself of what is really important.

    Thank you for caring and sharing.

    Acceptance, Contentment and Joy for the New Year!

    • December 30, 2011 7:07 pm

      I am certain you are right Michelle. My mother was a good woman. She gave much to the world. I harbor no serious resentment. We made our peace as best we could by the time she died. As a parent or a child, becoming aware of our hidden wounds can help us find our way.

  3. Life's journey and more permalink
    December 30, 2011 8:05 pm

    Three out of twelve is an awesome accomplishment.
    Life happens. We change, circumstances change.
    Perfectionism is highly over rated.

  4. December 30, 2011 10:16 pm

    Another great post, Dorothy! You did fantastic in 2011 by accomplishing THREE items on your list of 12! Woohoo! Good for you!

    I usually don’t make a resolution list but just the other day, I was attempting a list that became evident quite quickly that it was an impossible task for me in ANY given year! Just today while listening to a psychologist on NPR, I learned that when we assign ourselves more than one resolution we usually will fail. The therapist recommended that we only make one resolution at a time, such as making my bed everyday. Well, since I already have that one down I think I can add another one now. Yaaaay! So my resolution for 2012 is to join my wonderful hubby in the kitchen and work with him to get breakfast on the table – right after I’ve made our bed. I know it sounds silly to list activity but for me, it’s just sooooo hard to pass my office (with the computer on the desk) without stopping there first. Oy vey! Please wish me luck!

    I absolutely LOVE the quote you’ve chosen for 2012! Happy New Year & God’s best to you & yours! ^_^

  5. December 31, 2011 9:05 am

    Dorthy, You know I think that you are great! your writing is so inspiring. Love it!

  6. December 31, 2011 10:54 am

    What would I do with out all of you cheering me on! 🙂 Happy New Year and thank you for being a part of my life.

  7. December 31, 2011 3:01 pm


    I always enjoy your blog posts and love your thoughts here. Stop, listen,enjoy the moments, progress NOT perfection. Beautiful! Thanks for this reminder and may 2012 bring you many blessings!

  8. susan beste permalink
    January 5, 2012 1:42 pm

    I want to print and post this on my mirror as well. How exactly do I do that?

    • January 5, 2012 1:45 pm

      Susan, Right click on the photo and save it to your desktop. Then print it. It’s an image so you could save it to a flash drive and take it to a photo place and print it there. Hope that helps! Dorothy

  9. January 7, 2012 12:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing the post. I too think three out of twelve is commendable. I have started so many projects and never completed them. You’re not alone. Happy New Year.


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