Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year's Resolutions? Why Bother?

By the time January 1st rolls around I've already celebrated Rosh Hashonah (Jewish New Year) and Advent (beginning the Christian liturgical year). Plus, it doesn't matter for how long I've been away from academia, its rhythms thrum deep, so I always welcome September as yet another new year.

Add my sloppy but well-intentioned practice of a daily Examen and nightly 10th Step, and creating new or strengthening ongoing resolutions on January 1st seems redundant. Still, as a chronic maker-of-lists and begin-again-er, I do exactly that on the first of January, knowing full well the absurdity of characterizing these intentions as resolutions.

In reality, such as it ever is, I create a list of hopes and wishes. Some come to pass and most don't, which has finally got me asking, "Whose will is it anyway?" And so during morning (written) prayers on the first day of 2015, I found myself scrawling, "Why bother?"

Turns out I'm not alone, something I know enough to assume but was happy to discover empirically while reading Fran Rossi Szpylczyn's first post for 2015, "#Why not? A New Year's reflection." Four paragraphs into her post, "So why bother setting up some unrealistic expectations that will only send me swooshing down some giant slide o' shame by January 10th anyway? Why bother?" Please read the entire post to see how she's embracing the spiritual practice of curiosity in 2015.

As for me, enough with the grandiose plans. I'm inviting myself to be present one day at a time...each hour or moment-to-moment, if that's all I can muster. Amen to that and, while I'm at it, dayenu.

Take a page from my book...