Wednesday, December 31, 2008
A musician must make music, a painter must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.
I'll admit that some years I make new year's resolutions. Goal setting isn't a bad thing at all, though something about the process of setting new year resolutions almost guarantees they can not be accomplished. I think that's because so many people base their resolutions on their desire to become "better" (whatever that means).
The cliched American new year resolution is always about exercise and weight loss. OK. But ... didn't we make that same resolution last year? Self-judgmental resolutions are bound to fail because they rest on a foundation of self-loathing, or at least self-dislike. It just doesn't work. I'm not saying it's wrong to think in terms of changing health habits, I would never say that. The problem is that these kinds of resolutions are almost always punitive, maybe because they are usually made while under the influence of a hangover. Remorse is always part of a hangover, hence the self-judgment, and hence the inevitable failure (that begets more self-dislike). It's a vicious circle.
Do we really have to start the new year by being so harsh with ourselves?
As a little girl, my fabulous niece Tovah resolved to "eat more cake." Now that's a resolution I can get behind. "Have more fun," "Don't work so much," "Goof off." Wouldn't it be great if we hard working Washingtonians made resolutions like that?
My wish for 2009 echoes Abraham Maslow's thoughts: May we all be exactly who we are - no more, no less - in the coming year. Who we are, what we love, what we do, is always enough. Believe me.
Happy new year, ya'll.