We get to make New Year's resolutions! We settle back, review and
reflect on the past year, and call into play what we would like next
in our lives. We can pronounce a dream and make a plan to move toward
it. This is the space of commitments and goals.
I'm betting two of the most popular resolutions are diet and
exercise. Coming on the heels of several large celebratory meals, the
waistline of most of us shoves against the belt. But the decision to
spend more time in the gym and eat on the lean side seems simply like
common sense. I'm hoping the next most popular resolutions are about
spending more time with family and friends -- something that would
benefit us all and create richer and fuller lives.
Last year, rather than a laundry list of personal items to
address, I tried a different tack. I resolved to embrace challenges
and obstacles. I wasn't exactly sure how this would manifest, but I
was clear that my intention was to change my relationship to
adversity. As usual, be careful what you ask for! Every time a piece
of equipment broke (which seemed more often than not), or I was
disappointed at the outcome of an interchange, I had to remember that
I had asked for the opportunity to look at obstacles and turn them
into my friends. Rather than the pity pot, I had given myself the
gift of being solution oriented without strife or whining.
I'd love to let go of those two, find an easy resolution for the
new year, but that would fly in the face of all the hard work I've
done. To find the next resolution requires that I fast forward to the
end of 2003 and name an attribute that I would like to claim as my
own: to see myself as a person with a different skill set than I
What I've decided to commit to is an increased understanding of
the events and people that inhabit my world. This should help me
think -- before I jump to a conclusion. This should help me pause.
This should slow down my judgments and allow me to see more clearly,
rather than assume that I know an answer. This should even let me
love more cleanly.
For giggles, I think I'll throw in patience. Now, I'm really going
to get things cooking.
As the old passes to the new, I continue to be grateful for the
gift of good friends, the laughter that echoes through the canyon
walls and the incredible fortune to live and work in Laguna Beach. I
gaze at our scenic hillsides and our lovely ocean coves, I engage in
our entertaining political landscape, and I know that I am one of the
luckiest people on the planet.
Happy New Year.
* CATHARINE COOPER is a local designer, photographer and writer
who thrives off beaten trails. She can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or at (949) 497-5081.