Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions



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.

--Abraham Maslow



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.

73 comments:

lacochran said...

Happy New Year, Dear Reya!

deborah said...

Amen, Sister

Happy New Year!

willow said...

You've inspired me to make a "Tovah" kind of list!

I raise a cup of kindness to you, dear bloggy friend. Happy New Year!

Willow x

Mike Qian said...

Very nice!
http://petdepot.cn
http://badboy4203.blogspot.com/

Vickie said...

Very cool pictures!

Congrats on blog of note.

Have a Happy New Year!

michael said...

amazing pictures!

a happy new year =]

ArtSparker said...

How about increasing the sum of happiness for a resolution, then you can include yourself with the rest of humanity...

It has been clear here the last few days, so it's not dark at 4:30 and I have hope for the reemergence of the sun.

Here's to a brighter year.

Elecen said...

Goals cannot be reached if they're vague or ashamed with vanity indeed. We must indeed accept and learn to live with who we are. I'll definitely drink to the words of Abraham Maslow!
One hope for the world, and each one of us, to reach within and search for the truth, 'cause only in harmony with your soul when you are, peace of mind you will find, and happiness waits for you, to join you, excacly there :).

Best wishes for the new year from the other side of the Atlantic.

Elecen
(Athens, Greece)

Anne said...

Well said. Happy New Year to you and cnograts on the noteworthy blog.

Russ said...

Dear Reya,
I am a Virgin to e blogger I was wandering around the internet after 10 days on the east coast,5 days in Greenwich Village.
I like your wistfulness. You appear to be a very philisophical person. Being from California I was dissapointed you gave up the white wine. I hope you have a wonderful new year and if you ever get to Santa Rosa Ca. Look me up.

Femin Susan said...

attractive pictures and writings.a big surprise is hidden in every word of yours.very thoughtful.
may you and your family celebrate a happy new year. keep posting ...............

SearchingSoul said...

Beautiful blog! Being recognized as Blog of Note is an understatement. Your shots are very creative. Your words are inspiring.

Happy new year!

Searching Soul

Oberon said...

...reya mellicker.....i invite you to join globalove think tank.

Lani Vento said...

Congrats on being a blog of note...I'm so glad I found you. You give me some fizz to up-chi my own blog. To say nothing of helpful thoughtful words about gently looking forward. Esp more cake...I'll add "being more like me than ever before."

Happy 2009
Lani

Lili said...

Great blog! I love your pictures.

Hilary said...

Your niece is clearly a bright child who knows how to make a resolution of value. Her aunt does a fine job with the camera. I found your through "blogs of note" which sent throngs my way yesterday. Whew! The pressure is off.. enjoy it. :)

andrew crvz said...

I love this: "Who we are, what we love, what we do, is always enough." this is probably going to be my resolution. Happiest New Year!

Greetings from the Philippines :)

Emily said...

Saw you on Blogs of Note - awesome photos!

Reya Mellicker said...

Blog of Note?

wow. What a portent for the coming year!

James Harrison said...

And as I wish you a Happy New Year, let me add... "There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way!" I made this a resolution a few years back and I can honestly say life (and who cares what its meaning might be) has become a great deal more happy!

Great photos by the way.

Celestite said...

Congrats on being a blog of note.
I have enjoyed your blog every time I have visited.

Reya Mellicker said...

I've turned on comment moderation for the time being so I won't miss anything.

Justin Smith said...

I've never understood new year resolutions. If you are going to set a goal, why wait until the ball drops? The best time to set goals is always "as soon as possible". So I think the reason new years resolutions are never accomplished is because the people that have them aren't very goal oriented.

Congratulations on blog of note.

Gary said...

Happy New Year Reya. Thanks for articulating what I truly believe.

Pat said...

Caught your comments on Resolution including your pictures. Love the pictures especially the one of the Union Square station ceiling. I have often admired that "work of art" when passing through that building. Great shot.

I enjoyed reading your blog. Your niece is a wise child.

Resolutions, for me, need to be made at any time, not just at the coming of the new year. Resolutions need to be made when a person is inspired to make a change - any time of the year.

Have a blessed New Year.

Jennifer Jilks said...

Great shots! Lots of fun! I really should travel more!
It is 'blog of note'!

goatman said...

In deed -- we breathe as trees leave.
I am in heart whole accordance with your analysis.
Perhaps a bit early on the imbibe though . . . me, I mean.
Hoping your new year has more and better pleasant vibrations about the place; what with the new occupants and all!

MuseSwings said...

Congratulations on your Blog Of Note! What a grand way to finish up the new year! Have a happy one!

Peggy Johnstone said...

I love the photos on this entry and on Dreamscapes. These could be called Resolutions and Reflections. How beautiful they are! My daughter is at college in Washington, DC, and your pics somehow make me feel closer to her! Thanks for sharing! :-)

ian gordon said...

The problem with New Year Resolutions is that people confuse the success of the result with the ability to abide by the resolution. Example:

I resolved in 2008 to apply for as many Art Exhibitions as possible within my area. I succeeded in doing just that; doing the work, and sending the canvases in.

I was rejected (for the first year ever), by every one.

But, I fulfilled my resolutions!

JohnC said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I like the pictures and reflections in them.. nice!

aliceinparis said...

Wonderful words, marvelous pictures!!
I found you through Blogs of Note:)
Happy New Year!
May 2009 be a great year for all of us:)
Cheers, Shealgh

tut-tut said...

I always come away inspired, Reya, from your blog. Happy New Year! My resolution: more sewing!

DUTA said...

The name of your niece -Tovah- means 'good' and 'a favor' in hebrew. She's a good girl doing us a favor, so we should listen to her resolution.

Congrats on being elected Blog of Note.

swaney3 said...

Happy New Year Stranger, Just stumbled over your blog and enjoyed your pictures. Great Work!

JS

Tracie said...

congrats on the blog of note! i love your pics.. reflection ones are very interesting. i'm an amateur and appreciate the inspiration!! :D

Merle Sneed said...

Best wishes my friend!!

I make no resolutions so that I can later claim my successes and deny my failures.

Anonymous said...

I'm always curious as to why people have to wait for the New Year in order to make resolutions. If it were really that important to them, wouldn't they change right away, regardless of the date on the calendar?

virginia said...

gorgeous photos, and yes, found you via blog of note.

sent a link to a cousin who hopes to return to DC this january...

Andrea said...

Simply amazing pictures!! Congrats on the blog of note! So glad I stopped by!

ps...love your dog! :)

My {S.T.U.F.F.} :: said...

CONGRATS!! on being blog of note.

{LUV} the post...TOVAH!TOVAH!TOVAH!

The Three Of Us said...

great post...loved it!

Lynne said...

wow, I had to scroll through 41 comments just to say Happy New Year, Reya!

Blog of note? What is that about? Of course you've always been a fav of mine ...

I have no real resolutions for the new year. Maybe just to make a difference somehow, some way ... to someone ....

Linda said...

I decided a few years back that instead of saying "I resolve to.." I would say "I deserve to..."

My resolutions became more positive.

Love your photos! I used to work in DC; now I live in the mountains.

The Bohemian said...

Glad to discover someone else who likes to muse and share thoughts-- not to mention the gorgeous photography. Fun, isn't it?

Labetine said...

Great blog. Happy New Year. :)

Laura Jayne said...

Love your images here and so thrilled to have found your site.

mkzger said...

Wow, great combination of lights, shadow and reflections.
Happy New Year.

tangas usadas said...

bragasusadas http://usadastangas.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth said...

nerdakia.blogspot.com
Happy New Year!

Coffee Messiah said...

Thanks 4 sharing all the bee-you-tea-full photos......

and not to be a party pooper, but everyday should be a resolution day.

Cheers!

jadu saikia said...

Happy new year, nice post.

lili11 said...

Congrats on blog of note. Happy new year too!

Lynne said...

Congratulations on your being chosen as a noteworthy blog! I love Wash DC, the buildings - the atmosphere - the museums - the history (but don't ask me trivia questions)...lol. If I can figure out how to follow your blog, I'd like to keep up with your posts. Love the photos. Keep it coming! Hope you have a great day!

Susan said...

Positive versus punitive resolutions--saying "yes" rather than "no". Sage advice and inspiring. My husband and I are saying "yes" to health today by participating in the One One Run (at 1:00 p.m., of course) in snowy Kalamazoo, Michigan. Thanks for an uplifting post.

D said...

P.S. Your post inspired me to write how it applies to people with anxiety disorders! See http://iamlivingwithanxiety.blogspot.com/. Thanks for sharing!

I.S. Differ said...

Great post, and it's so true! I wish we all thought like that, to lighten up a little in the New Year! It's inspiring to say the least!

I.S. Differ
www.actionisnecessary.blogspot.com

Robert said...

Mmm... cake.... We have some yummy apple pie in the fridge, I think I'll have that for breakfast this morning!

Jibbersweet55 said...

One more never hurts right. Finally, someone puts it down on writing (in this case typing, lol). Thank you for the inspiration of 2009. Your niece is one smart cookie, :) Happy New year.

Ayesha said...

Hi My name is Ayesha and I agree what one can be they must be.. I write poems and short stories...but I write more poems... I love ur blog.. :) It is sad someone had to cme to insult you, but I think that person doesnt see what we all see..:) I wish for you a great new year and many blessings :)

Rose said...

What a great blog you have created. I loved you pictures and their reflective qualities. I am new to you blog (thanks to Blogs of Note) and when I read your profile I saw the word bodywork. What kind of bodywork do you do? I look forward to more good reads coming out of DC now. HNY to you too.

Kimora Saintlee said...

I love the think! Your phots are also supercoo!

PERSPECTIVE said...

Just came across ur blog randomly, good note on resolutions and i am with you on the view that most do not work out for the reasons u sighted but i guess a more pragmatic approach with very defined goals may just do the trick...important thing is to have believe in what u resolve to do and not made in remorse as u suggested.

mimi said...

thanks for that new perspective on resolutions! and happy new year

Yarntangler said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! Your wise niece has put my entire past few weeks in perspective for me. I've put a link to you on my blog after mentioning Tovah's wisdom.

And I'll be following you to enjoy your wonderful photography.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing. You lifted my heart after the retreat of visitng children over the Holidays. That time elapsed photography on your site is truly amazing in its ability to give me a humble and realistic view of my place in the Universe.
Linda

Falkor said...

Happy new year

M said...

I agree, new year resolutions should be about things you genuinely want to do and about squeezing more fun out of life. Resolutions based on what you think people expect of you never work. Happy New Year fellow blogger!

lettuce said...

reya theres been such a lot going on on your blog while i've been away!

i'm having a great time catching up

and love the thought of more cake resolutions

and daily resolutions - yeah, i think i came to understand that some time ago...


best of everything to you in 2009


xx

Messy Jess said...

I'm loving your reflections!

Reason said...

So true. And Isn't remorse, to some extent, just another by-product of self-loathing? So perhaps we create goals we know we won't accomplish to further partake in this vicious cycle. Besides, if you'd like to change, being what you are is the best way to do it. I never make resolutions, but this year I'll resolve to be more ME.

Happy New Year!

Ash said...

Last week, I read quite a few articles in the newspaper about how studies have proven that making New Year's resolutions can be harmful since they focus on our short-comings and insecurities. I liked Tovah's idea of a resolution. It sure would be nice if we all thought along those lines.
Keep up the good blogging!

Anonymous said...

Reya,if these snaps are taken by you,they are good..i liked what i read in here.