2004-01-15 02:38:32 (UTC)

Summary of My Day and I Choose My New Years Resolution

Another day spent driving Hugh to school and then back home
again, chatting with Aimee on the phone, doing laundry and
other household chores, checking in with the quilting and
knitting e-mail lists I'm on, picking up the mail, stopping
at the local grocery to buy the weekly newspaper, making
meals and quilting. I also took more photographs and put
them on my webpage.

The most exciting thing in the mail was my passport! No,
I'm not going anywhere. It's to have as my second piece of
identification which proves I am an American citizen. I was
happy to see that they'd also enclosed my Certificate of
Naturalization. I had worried it'd get lost and I've been
told it's a very difficult, very frustrating and tiresome
process to get a duplicate.

The second most exciting thing I got in the mail was a
sweater I'd ordered some three months ago. The company I'd
ordered it from had kept me well informed about its back
ordered status but still, I was surprised --and delighted!--
to see it. I had been wondering if I'd get another
postcard from them, this one telling me that it was no
longer available.
Now to my New Year's Resolution. Yes, I know it's two weeks
into the year but I take my time about these things. I
wanted a resolution that's not just another thing to add to
my "to do" list. I wanted simple and elegant. And something
that wasn't impossible.

Breathe. That was the first one I thought of. I know, I
know. We're all breathing in and out all the time, without
even being conscious of it, but I was intrigued with the
idea of being more conscious about it for a few minutes each
day. I set it aside.

Smile. Every morning I tell myself "I'm going to be happy
today" and I've found when I do that there is always some
period of time, sometimes just a short period but always
some, when I am happy. I remind myself to be grateful and to
take joy in the small things. I put it aside.

Pray. I've found that more and more I pray in bits and
pieces during the day. Not long, formal prayers. I pray
when I'm driving, when I'm making the bed or folding clothes
or cutting onions or rolling pie dough. I pray when I sweep
the kitchen or walk outside for a few moments. Often it's a
short prayer. Sometimes it's one word, like "help". I put
it aside.

Expect joy. I have a tendency to anticipate that things are
not going to turn out well. If I expect them to not turn out
well sometimes it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. When
it doesn't turn out well I think "well, I knew it wouldn't
work" and when it does I think "just because things worked
out well this time doesn't mean they will next time". I
want to turn that around and assume things will go right
instead of always assuming everything will fall apart. And
sometimes I miss little pieces of joy that are all around me
because I'm too encased in my own little world. I put it

Accept grace. This was closer to what I want and it's
related to expect joy. Ann Lamott wrote: "(Grace) is
unearned and gratuitous love; the love that goes before,
that greets us on the way. It's the help you receive when
you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and
desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and
most charming charm have failed you; grace is the light or
electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that
isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled
and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be
there." Sometimes I have trouble accepting grace. I put it

Nuture serenity. Oh, yes! That's where I want to go! It
doesn't mean to hide out from life and avoid problems but to
deal with them as they come. It doesn't mean being arrogant
or cold or unseeing or unempathic but exactly the opposite.
And it encompasses all the other resolutions I wrote
about-- taking deep breaths, smiling, praying, expecting joy
and accepting grace.