Friday, January 08, 2010

S.O.L. - but in a good way

A full week behind the rest of the world, as usual, I have finally decided upon what could be loosely termed New Year's Resolutions. Aside from gaining 25 lbs and taking up meth, there are three things that I will strive to do this year - SAVOUR, OBSESS, and LISTEN.

This morning, all the usual gigantic coffee cups were in the dishwasher, so I grumbled and took a lovely but rather tiny cup made by a talented potter, a good friend of my sister's. Somehow the act of sipping coffee from that small cup made each mouthful seem more precious. Rather than a seemingly bottomless well of coffee, there was a finite amount (which actually stayed hot). And having to get up three times as often to refill the cup made me a little more cognoscente of just how much coffee I was actually ingesting.

In light of that revelation, I am going to try to take the time to appreciate things, to be fully engaged in the moment. If this means I have to curtail the rampant multi-tasking, then so be it.

A character in a John Irving novel (I think it was The Hotel New Hampshire) once explained his success at body building by stating that you have to remain obsessed. There is some truth in that; it's easier to be successful at something when you maintain a certain degree of obsession. It's what drives you to improve.

So I intend to actively cultivate an obsession with the good things in life, with those things that are good for me. Friends, family, music, writing, art, exercise, my so-called career, they will get my full attention.

This could take some work, but I am going to actively try to shut off those voices in my head when I am listening to someone else. Those voices that are ten steps down the road already, babbling away about what needs to be done and did I turn the stove off. They are always trying to drawing my attention away from is actually being said. From now on, those voices are just going to have to wait until the conversation is done. It might just help me beat this ADHD that I suspect I have as well.

Looking back on this list, I realise these are sort of lame resolutions. Nothing concrete, nothing measurable. But so be it. I'm not going to obsess over that.

How are you doing with your resolutions, if you made any?


Remi said...

They actually sound far more realistic than the people who resolve to quit smoking or to lose 20 pounds. These are things you can work at over time, bit by bit.

bloody awful poetry said...

I approve the resolution to Obsess. Please to be giving me a call for advice when you need it. Also, like Calvin, I reject resolutions for the new year. I'm pretty darn fine just like this, thanks.

Wandering Coyote said...

These are great goals, Barb! Really great. They are quite profound, I think. Go you!

justrun said...

Oooooh, obsession. That's good. I need to remember that!
Great goals!

mister anchovy said...

I only make resolutions when it isn't anywhere close to New Years.

John Mutford said...

Mine was to get more sleep on work nights. I haven't made it to bed before midnight this entire week. Probably wasn't obsessed enough, I guess.

Volly said...

Those are good resolutions because you can apply them one at a time, and one day at a time, throughout your life. They also encourage others in the same direction -- when they feel that you're listening to them, they in turn will listen to others. Savoring, obsessing and listening are subtle but indispensable life skills.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh I am going to lose 20 lbs too, Remi. That's a given.
I am glad you approve of these resolutions. You are right though, they are going to take some work.

You are perfect, BAP. Never change.

Oh thank you, Wandering Coyote! I thought I was just be vague.

And not the perfume either,
Justrun! No perfume.

I usually make mine around September, Mr Anchovy. But for some reason I got swept up in the whole January thing this year.

You get to bed, Mister John! You are doing lousy on this resolution thing!

Hey thanks, Volly! I do sort of view them as life changes that I can work on for a long time.

Westcoast Walker said...

So far I am following my main resolution (breathing on a regular basis)and I am working on refining it of course and breathing more deeply (in a metaphorical sense as well).

I like what you have listed BTW, as it has the capacity to impact a broader number of areas, rather than the specific type of resolutions where you give something up.

I hope your year is full of marvelous obsessions!

verification word = "edethwor"

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I would expect everything you do to have a metaphorical sense, Matthew. Do keep breathing this year.

I hope you enjoy some grand obsessions this year as well. If I ever started LARPing, I would definitely take the name Edethwor.

Allison said...

Oh, I'm going to lose 20 pounds. I just baked a cake to help in the process.

But no, I usually don't make resolutions. My goals for the year are simply to try and send more mail.

kelly said...

i've never made a new years resolution. Not that I don't need to be better at some things. I figure if I just try and make regular improvements to my life and how I treat others it will work, although I seem to forget to do it. Maybe by quantifying them on new years it would make me acknowledge them and follow through

Barbara Bruederlin said...

More mail is a great goal, Al! Everybody in the known universe loves getting real mail. You will be some kind of hero. Especially if you also make cakes.

I never usually make them either, Kelly. Not in January anyway. But this year I needed a shot in the arm, so.