Ringing in the New
I don’t do resolutions – they seem like a set-up for failure, and who needs that? But I do love to take some time around the end of one year and the beginning of the next and reflect, evaluate, and set goals for the future. One of the things I’m thinking about for this year is being mindful of my “inputs.” I’ve really seen in recent years how the things I consume (food, books, tv, etc) affect me in both positive and negative ways.
I think I noticed this especially last year because it was an election year. It’s important to me to stay informed, and during election season I generally ramp up the amount of political reading I do, but I found I had to be very careful as it’s so easy (especially with politics) to tip towards the negative and cynical and that’s not who I want to be. And I did very little blogging last year because I didn’t have time to keep up with the reading that helps me post things that are positive and thoughtful, and it was too tempting to use my blog as just a place to vent my frustrations. Garbage in, garbage out, right?
As I said, I’m not going to make any rules or resolutions about this. I know that as soon as I decide I will stop eating fried food, say, or watching junk TV, that’s all I will want to do. So as I move forward into 2013 one of my goals is t0 actively seek out things that are good, things that feed my mind, body and soul in the best ways. Sure, I’ll still enjoy my junk food and escapist TV, but if I can minimize that by pursuing things of higher quality more often, then so much the better.
In that spirit, here’s something that inspired me today:
If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying. You’re saying: Leave me alone; I don’t mind this little rathole. It’s warm and dry. Really, it’s fine.
When nothing new can get in, that’s death. When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing–we had this all figured out, and now we don’t.
New is life.
– Anne Lamott, from Help, Thanks, Wow: the Three Essential Prayers
I like to be comfortable – it’s my nature. But interestingly, most of the best things that have happened in my life happened when I stepped outside of my comfort zone and took a big risk. You would think by now the lesson would have sunk in, but I still have to remind myself of that on a regular basis. So, I’m giving myself a reminder with this quote today, and looking forward to stepping out into some new areas this year.