But this year, like so many other people, I am in a fresh-start frame of mind. And so, inspired by my friend Laurie's admirable example of making resolutions and checking in on her progress, I made the following list, but I am not calling them resolutions, because that's so strict:
ALISON’S 2007 GUIDELINES
PAINT or DRAW something every day, even if it’s just a doodle.
WRITE IN MY JOURNAL every morning, even on the weekends.
Eat more than one serving of FRUITS or VEGETABLES every day. (Yeah, I just want to get the habit started -- I'll work up to the "recommended amount.")
WORK OUT 3 days a week and gradually increase that to 5 to 6 days a week (I’m not setting a weight loss goal because what I really want is to be in better shape and healthier).
READ A POEM a day, out loud. (I didn't manage this the first three days of the year, but today, I read six poems, so I caught up a little.)
Stop at least once a day and look around to APPRECIATE things that are good.
WEEKLY & MONTHLY:Write a LETTER to a FRIEND or FAMILY MEMBER, just because, every week or two, even if it's a postcard.
Write a COMPLIMENTARY LETTER a month – to an author I like, a company with a great product, someone who has been important in my life, etc.
Write a LETTER TO THE EDITOR a month (any editor).
Go to one MUSEUM a month. There are 8 zillion museums around here, a lot of them are free, and there are no excuses not to go. And I think it's acceptable to repeat a museum, because I really want to go back and see the Tiffany glass collection at the Chrysler Museum. (This photo doesn't begin to do it justice; it's in a room by itself and the room glows.)
BAKE at least once a month and really get bread right for once.
SEW one project a month.
REACH OUT to my friends and family. Make an effort to keep in touch with the people I care about. I am not very good at keeping in touch with friends, and I deeply regret that.
BELIEVE in abundance, grace, serendipity and miracles and appreciate them when they come.
Add three NEW DISHES to my repertoire (meaning I don’t need a recipe any more).
TAKE A CLASS, any class. Maybe even two, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
WRITE A NOVEL, even if it’s a very bad and very short one.
Laurie also picked a monthly resolution.
Finish my BUSINESS PLAN. (It has started to feel like a dissertation and I don't think that's the point.)
In conclusion, I am optimistic. I focused on things that will make my life more enjoyable, instead of on things that I "should" or "must" do, with a few exceptions, but those will still make my life more enjoyable. I am really, truly looking forward to the coming year.