For personal reasons, this January brings a new slate for me – perhaps more so than any January in my past. I have a handful of ideas about new habits I intend to embrace but I refuse to call them resolutions. It’s as if labeling and listing them sets me up for automatic failure. No matter what this year, I’ll be improving myself, accomplishing some long dormant goals.
I’m suddenly tempted to erase this entire preamble. Delete or strike through, move forward with what follows. But I’m going to leave it here on the off chance that someone who is reading this might relate. I’ve said it before and I maintain it has value: I’m willing to be visible in my struggles. Why? Because we’re all flawed and it’s okay. And because I’m so hungry for authenticity that I’ll overexpose myself to get at it.
Some of the resolutions I’m not listing involve facing my biggest fears. Some of them are so light & typical you’d yawn. With all of them, I’ll need divine intervention. Mold me, Allah.
Imagine my embarrassment this fall when a new friend asked me what I thought of WikiLeaks and I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t even have a good excuse like the time 10 years ago when I followed the advice of a writing teacher and took a deliberate fast from all TV. Thankfully, one need not turn on a television to get the latest happenings. I figure merely skimming headlines is a start.
While it’s a fact that the snotty (and terrifyingly armed) Kim Jongs (the outgoing & incoming) are calling for better relations with South Korea (as if the south is the problem) (and I see that BBC News has a more up to date take on the story than the NYT), I must admit the article that really piqued my interest was this–New York Times>Opinion Pages>December 31, 2010 “This Year, Change Your Mind”. Excerpt:
One patient I knew became totally paralyzed overnight from a spinal cord infection. At first she fell into deep despair, because she couldn’t enjoy even little pleasures, like the daily crossword she had loved.
After a few weeks, though, she asked for the newspaper, so that at least she could look at the puzzle, get its configuration, run her eyes along the clues. When she did this, something extraordinary happened. As she looked at the clues, the answers seemed to write themselves in their spaces. Her visual memory strengthened over the next few weeks, until she found that she was able to hold the entire crossword and its clues in her mind after a single, intense inspection — and then solve it mentally. She had had no idea, she later told me, that such powers were available to her.
No Way. Way! How encouraging.
Check out this one–New York Times>Week In Review> December 31, 2010 (I know, also old) “The Happy Marriage is the ‘Me’ Marriage”. Excerpt:
In research at the University of California at Santa Cruz, 325 undergraduate students were given questionnaires five times over 10 weeks. They were asked, “Who are you today?” and given three minutes to describe themselves. They were also asked about recent experiences, including whether they had fallen in love.
After students reported falling in love, they used more varied words in their self-descriptions. The new relationships had literally broadened the way they looked at themselves.
The whole article is full of interesting points. I’ll have to use it as a jumping off point for a future post. No time today–must head in to the office before noon. Not that it’s a resolution or anything.