“Resolutions are often heavy, self-imposed expectations. Better to open your heart to life’s invitations and opportunities.” – Thomas Moore
To resolve, or not to resolve. That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to determine a list of sure-to-be forgotten promises, or to forgo the whole process altogether in favor of a more spontaneous approach to life in general.
With apologies to The Bard, you can probably tell I’m not fond of New Year’s resolutions.We are already a week into the new year, so perhaps it’s a moot point anyway. This year we are spending the month of January in Florida, renting a home on an island near the Gulf of Mexico. January is normally synonymous with snow and icy winds, and while the warm Gulf breezes are welcome, they are somewhat disconcerting to this displaced Midwesterner.
So no resolutions. Not even a new calendar. And anyway, after 60 years I recognize the veracity of Thomas Moore’s assertion: Resolutions are heavy, self-imposed expectations, all too easily cast aside, leaving the resolver feeling guilty and disappointed.
How much better then, to do as he suggests: Open my heart to life’s invitations and opportunities.
If I were to open my heart, what would I invite it?
I would open wide the door to Music: To more time at my piano where the intricate harmonies of Chopin or the joyous and orderly progressions of Mozart might knit the frazzled pieces of my mind.
I would throw open the window sashes to Art: To beautiful paintings and shapely sculptures, to delicate blown glass and vibrant fiber art creations.
I would unlock the portal to the magic of Words: To reading the stack of books piled high on my shelf and stacked next to my bedside table, to learning from authors, to falling into the worlds of others.
I would take every opportunity to Dance, even if it’s most often alone, my dance floor the hardwood surface in the dining room in front of that window I find myself gazing out of so often.
If I were to Resolve – not that I will, mind you, but just saying if I did – I would be Resolute in accepting every invitation life might offer to soak up the sights, sounds, and sensations of ART. It is the medicine my world-weary soul needs. It is the mandate for 2017.
So often we forget our most effective medicines. We get caught up in habits that suck the life from our creative minds. We become confused with all the expectations swirling through our networks of friends, family, and colleagues.
When our resolution fails, we need those doctors, need to soak up the beauty of creativity in any possible way. Especially in these days when the world is fraught with anger and uncertainty, when ugliness in word and deed is strewn before us everywhere, we desperately need to embrace the beautiful intersection of life and art in every possible way.
Going forward into 2017, that’s where my resolution lies. How about you?
About the Author: Becca Rowan
Becca Rowan lives in Northville, Michigan with her husband and their two dogs. She is the author of Life in General, a book of personal and inspirational essays about the ways women navigate the passage into midlife. She is also a musician, and performs as a pianist and as a member of Classical Bells, a professional handbell ensemble. If she’s not writing or playing music you’ll likely find her out walking with the dogs or curled up on the couch reading with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) close at hand. She loves to connect with readers at her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.