The first of Advent has significance for me, it marks a time of contemplation. The view from my window right now is amazing. The sunlight is glowing beneath a dark cloud, and below the glow is the castle on the island and the peninsular which flashes lights at night, and the chain ferry is visible. Then the greenish hue of the harbour itself…
So I thought I would talk about New Year resolutions, before you start to think about making any. The problem with a resolution on it’s own, is that you set yourself up to fail.
If you are someone who believes in making them, and I am not, think back to how many succeeded. Probably not many. This is because they need to anchored in a behaviour.
If you read my post on losing weight, you will know it is easiest when it is achieved through a change of behaviour. For me, then, a resolution will only succeed in the same way. You may decide to give up smoking, or to write and send more birthday cards. Simply deciding is usually not enough.
If you want to write more birthday cards, it’s a good idea to buy a calendar or diary and write in the birthdays. There are even birthday diary stationary sets that help you.
Giving up smoking, on the other hand, can be the hardest thing to do. It’s much easier to give up with someone else. Or to start walking briskly and notice how quickly your lungs clear and you can walk further without getting out of breath. The first four days are the hardest, and after twelve weeks your lungs will be as if you had never smoked.
If you are giving up smoking, you will need to find something to do with your hands. A stress ball, or a piece of wood to whittle etc. It is often the physical ritual around smoking that is hardest to give up.
More commonly, we make decisions in a time of crisis. When my parents and then my sister died, I found great comfort in sympathy cards. Now I always keep a card in the house. These are the sorts of things that make us better people, kinder, more authentic.
From our wounds we can emerge softer and sweeter. It means we remain vulnerable to be hurt, but that is far better than being bitter and angry.