Resolved 2016: Let This Day Be Good

sunset over exit four

So 2015 was more challenging than usual. Mostly okay now but I had a lot of various maladies many of which took a while to resolve. This was partly because of the usual stuff–trouble getting appointments, things taking a while to heal, travel and vacations–but partly it’s because I got in my own way a bit too much. I’m smart and anxious and the first trait has a terrible multiplier effect on the second. So the end of this year saw me really working on calming down. Which sounds like an oxymoron but it’s really helped. Doing some regular meditation, staying offline for the first and last parts of the day, letting things slide more than seems reasonable at the time (but turns out to be ok!) all helped to wrap the difficult year up nicely. And I got better health insurance. And I’m working towards looking for a job that will handle this part of my life for me, the insurance part, but my status as itinerant freelance librarian doesn’t always lend itself to this.

So anyhow, I did my year end wrap ups which are listed here in one place:

And I checked back on my resolutions last year, both my offline resolutions and my online resolutions. I got my laundry done in decent fashion last year. I read before bed almost every night. I quit being only an armchair activist (mostly) and collated my online activities. It helped. I’m one of those people who resolutions work for. Making a promise to myself has motivational power. Totally AOK if they’re not your thing.

This year, in addition to flossing (because WTF why can’t I floss?), I have a meditation-inspired mantra which is the title of this post. I like it because emphasizing any of the five words can give you a different starting point and personal assignment for the day.

LET this day be good – get out of the way and leave the day be and it will be okay
Let THIS day be good – you can’t control what’s happening or what happened, let’s focus on today
Let this DAY be good – just a few hours, we can pull it off
Let this day BE good – the day without me will be fine and does not have to be special or exceptional, it can just be
Let this day be GOOD – good is okay. Good is fine. Settle for good.

That’s what I’m up to on this chilly January morning. Best of luck for a peaceful new year.

wrap-up: it was fine!

2013 could have been a better year. My personal year went pretty okay–I did less traveling, I went places I liked, I hung out with people who delighted me and saw a lot of friends–but it was tough for some other people I care a lot about. I wrote out my libraries list and was pleased with it. I will work on my reading list real soon now. I didn’t keep track of my guestroom list last year for some reason. I’ll probably get on that again. My exercise routine has become standard so while I can tell how many time I visited the gym last year (78), I’m not sure how far I biked or swam or fast-walked. This is okay with me. I spent maybe a third to a quarter of my time in Westport and that seemed about right. Jim and I rang in the new year with neighborhood friends (I dressed up, more pics here) and then went out to a poutine and chicken parm breakfast in Barre the next morning. We would have tanked the day early by having Oreo pancakes and bacon but they were out of Vermont maple syrup AND bacon by the time we got there so this was probably a good thing.

My resolution this year, if I have one, is to keep on keeping on as much as possible and to work on “not getting wrapped around the axle” so much, to quote a phrase my father used to like. That is, I’m sure there will be ups and downs to this year, like every year and I’m sure I’ll have my share of annoying travel, bad nights of sleep, and interpersonal conflicts. But those only have to last as long as they last and not live on in my head as some sort of personal instant replays that I carry with me and go over and over. Not living within my own stress or finding ways to dissociate stressful things from the rest of what’s going on in my generally enjoyable brain is my goal. This is in keeping with my time-taking resolution last year. Keeping fewer lists, keeping less track, less score. That went okay. Happy 2014 to those who celebrate that sort of thing.


jessmayn and jim go hiking in the snow

Spent some time hanging out with the usual neighbor friends talking about resolutions. While in the past I’ve made more specific resolutions (2009, a while ago), lately the things I resolve are sort of short term things to keep doing better and not so much big changes. January is a terrible time for big changes. I find that my resolve is at an all-time low. But I’m home a lot. I have big stretches of time. My friends are around. So there are some pieces in place, pieces you can make things out of.

My resolutions are to try to finish more books, to take care of my health, to keep writing letters and postcards, to be creative and to nurture relationships with family and friends. To go outside more. To cook my own meals more. To help people solve problems. To not make anyone’s problems worse. I have one “don’t” type of resolution and it’s to not let fear keep me from doing stuff that I otherwise enjoy. Some of these ideas are hand-wavey and some are pretty targeted and specific. This past weekend Jim came up and we attacked the various little eddies of mess in my small apartment; took down some shelving that was not working, tossed out the old shoes I never wear that were too ratty to donate (I have trash phobia from growing up in the seventies and sometimes feel I’d rather store broken shit than put it in a landfill), got stuff out to the redemption center and cleaned and swept places that haven’t been cleaned and swept in longer than I’d like to mention.

That night we went out to dinner with local friends (on me, yay for getting paid in gift certificates to local restaurants) which involved driving over a snowy mountain together in the dark, had a great meal and then headed back to Randolph to eat gingerbread and listen to a CD together. Rachel had never heard Mitch Hedberg before and so we hung out at Forrest and Kelly’s and listened to a comedy album straight through, just sitting and laughing together in a warm, comfy room. And I’m no mind reader but I got the feeling that everyone there, in some way or another, was thinking some variation of “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is” and my resolution, more of a story than a sentence, is: more of this.