Tuesday, December 29, 2009


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

This year I am thinking hard about new year's resolutions, not in order to punish myself or as a set up for failure, oh no. I'm thinking that skillfully conceived resolutions can act as a framework on which to hang the events of the coming year. Good resolutions are beacons that can help remind me of my heart's wishes, keep me on track.

Some years I'm content with the idea that who I am right now at this very second is just fine. This year, I'm feeling a little bit more ambitious. Some of that, no doubt, has to do with the fact that not only is 2010 a new year, but also the beginning of a new decade, one in which I will turn sixty. Yikes. Life is short and time's a-wastin'.

So I'm sketching my ideas, writing down my hopes and wishes for the coming decade. Tomorrow or Thursday I will sculpt all these drawings and words into something coherent. Then on New Year's Day I'm going to go down to the Supreme Court where I will say them aloud, with conviction. (I always like to make declarations in front of the Supreme Court. It is one of my public altars. There's something about all the white marble, maybe, along with the double columns and serious looking dudes in the frieze above the front door that always inspires me to say what I mean and mean what I say.)

It's a cold, windy, sunny day in DC; a great day to hunker down and refine my resolutions. I am very determined! Oh yeah!

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

-- Mary Oliver


Reya Mellicker said...

I love serendipity. Wrote this, then read this.

I must remember to "Acknowledge what you are: a recovering procrastinator of pleasure."

Oh yeah!!

The Bug said...

Boy that article is right - after living in Ohio for 12 1/2 years we still haven't checked out some of the obvious landmarks. Sheesh! Perhaps I'll make that a priority for 2010. I like your idea of setting a framework - I think I'll try it too!

Elizabeth said...

This is such a stunning quote
may I steal it and steal it for my blog too?
so bitter cold here I could (and do) weep when I go out with his excellence

John Hayes said...

Wonderful--I'll think of you announcing your wishes in front of the Supreme Court! Great Mary Oliver quote.

Meri said...

I was just going to rave about how much I love that Mary Oliver quote (one of my favorites) and then the new quote pops up in your comment. Oh yeah!

Mrsupole said...

That was a great quote. Thank you for sharing it with us. Would be neat to see you down at the Supreme Court doing your resolutions.

I made a resolution one year to never make any more resolutions and I have kept to that rule. It works out fantastic for me. I have never broken it yet and have also never been disappointed in myself by not being able to keep my resolutions. This plan works for me.

God bless.

Reya Mellicker said...

Elizabeth, I "stole" the quotes without shame, and so should you. Love it that you call him "His excellence."

The wind is howling here today. I'll get out later ... but ... not yet!

JOY said...

Some years I am in a place where I know exactly what I want to work on with respect to renewal and a new year. This is one of those times. I love that you use such a grand alter to declare your intentions. I think I'll do that in some way too. Some new exciting changes are already in gear in my life that add to my future and they came in their own time. Mary Oliver's quote says it right!

Rebecca Clayton said...

The decade I turn 60--yikes for sure! Me too, and I hadn't thought about that. Building our house, we gave a lot of thought to what we might need when old and frail, but I haven't thought for a minute about what happens between here and infirmity.

Thanks for another important insight!

DCW said...

Well said! I too am pondering the turning of a decade.

The article and your post will help inform some of my resolutions although, due to the nature of my occupation, I am circumspect about making resolutions before a court.

Mary Ellen said...

I love your use of the Supreme Court building for your private vows. What a thought! I hope your vows include attention to remaining strong and wise in the ways that you are already, as a way of expressing gratitude. For me, it's so easy to focus on my deficits instead of my strengths. May your resolutions be a source of strength and celebration for this new year and decade.

Liza said...

What a wonderful post Reya. I love the idea of your altar.

I also love the link/article
Okay, I admit it, I am
"a recovering procrastinator of pleasure."

With a full moon also falling on New Year's Eve, I am also making a list of sorts. We are having a big bonfire that night too.
Life is short. ENJOY!

Happy New Year.

Ronda Laveen said...

Hi! My name is Ronda and I'm soon to be a recovering procrastinator of pleasure.

I have been outlining my paradigm for the new year but I hadn't really given thought to standing on the brink of a new decade...especially one where I, too, will be turning 60. The Wonder Husband did so mid-December.

I have to ammend my outline with a larger scope.

lakeviewer said...

Ah, a last stand in front of the Supreme Court, to declare your intention for self-fulfillment. Now, this I can drink to. Salute!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Rosaria!

moonshin said...

you make aging sounds cool, Reya...

sorry, was i rude?...but reading your post just now...i don't know...it's like, there's a soft beauty in how you view your life. i find it refreshing and pleasant...all the more, it excites me to grow and be mature like you.

i think, i'll do like you and make a resolution too.

thank you for that wonderful post ;)

Anonymous said...

Go Girl!!

Love that you publically declare your resolutions

Pauline said...

I liked the quote at the end of the NY Times article about making the day one does the put-off thing "the special day." Think I'll go with that and make all my days special! Happy New Year Reya!

Reya Mellicker said...

Moonshin, aging IS cool - and humbling - just like being young. Life is precious, it is. Carpe diem, y'all!

Merle Sneed said...

What if one of the Justices walks out and says, We're going to hold you to this"?

Reya Mellicker said...

Merle I am very careful. I'll do it New Year's Day when all the justices are elsewhere!

And anyway, nut cases hang out in front of the Supreme Court all the time, so I doubt anyone would blink an eye.

Hope so anyway!