Tuesday, February 9, 2016

...resolve...

Recently, I overheard two people discussing their New Year's resolutions.
One person was saying that is was a struggle to keep the promise he had made to himself, but he was determined to "hold out longer" than he had last year. The other person joked that his resolution was broken before New Year's Day had ended. 
They laughed.

And I laughed.

But then I had a thought:
Why are we intentionally making promises to ourselves that we know will, inevitably, be broken? And why are we laughing about it?
If your brother, or your best friend, or your neighbor made you a promise and immediately turned around and broke it, would you be laughing?
If it isn't acceptable for someone to treat you that way, why are you treating yourself in that manner?

And since when is a resolution a promise?

A promise is an intention - an indication of what may or may not happen in the future.

A resolution is a firm determination.

***

If I had to venture a guess, I'd say that I  haven't made a New Year's resolution in over 15 years.
Personally, I find them silly. If I really want to do more or less of something, well, I'm an adult and I'll do it, or not do it, as the case may be. I don't need it to be on a certain day of the year. If I decide on Tuesday, May 10th that I want to skip around my house an hour a day, I will. I won't have to wait until January 1st to do so, either. 

Instead of a resolution, I participate in OneWord365
You pick one word and you do your best to live that word everyday for the entire year.

This year, my word is truth.
Not because I'm a liar.
Because I need to live in truth, and walk in truth, and hear truth.
Because truth is courage, and courage is never weakness.
Because the truth will set you free...even if it first makes you angry.
The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if no one believes it.
And the truth is that nothing great comes from living in your comfort zone.

Truth is why I've started writing again in the first place.
Truth is what allows you behind my curtain, where you can see that the Great and Powerful Oz is merely human.
And, the truth is, this human is just seeing if any other humans are listening.

If I could leave you with one last bit of truth for today, it  would be this:
Take a good long look at yourself and evaluate your life.
Are you living your life to it's fullest potential?
Are you really living...or are you just surviving?

Find some resolve.

Resolve to be the best version of you.
Resolve to make better habits.
Resolve to be a positive thinker.
Resolve to let things go already.
Resolve to love - yourself, each other, everyone.

Monday, February 1, 2016

...the winter of our discontent...

Many people detest February.

I do not know how I have come to live on this planet for as long as I have without making this revelation sooner.

We have barely crossed the threshold of this new month and my eyes and ears are already being inundated with slanderous accounts of February's supposed wrong doings -
* It has a preposterous number of days for, seemingly, no reason. Also, that this is the month that has been earmarked as Black History Month brings about it's own problems. What exactly were the powers-that-be thinking with that one? Jim Crow, anyone?
* It has pointless holidays:
Groundhog Day? Why? Who chose groundhogs, of all things?
Valentine's Day? People are either entirely behind this celebration of love or they are single.
President's Day? You would think that Washington and Lincoln were the only two presidents our country has ever had. Did you know that William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan were also born in February? I didn't think you did.
* It is often the coldest of the winter months. This seems to also incite people to riot.
* Why does no one know how to pronounce Feb-RU-ary correctly?

I am not a member of this anti-February movement.

It humors me that February has an obscure number of days.
And, just for the record, I think Black History Month is a fantastic thing and was a tremendous deal when I was in school back East but, I have noticed, is met with much less celebration here in the mid-west.

I don't think I will ever understand the point of Groundhog Day but do I really need to understand it?
Shadow-smadow. Sometimes traditions are just what they are. Unless someone has asked you to pull a groundhog from it's burrow, why are you so concerned?

I am a single person and I kind of like Valentine's Day.
Maybe it's because I'm a teacher.
Maybe it's just because I like candy.
Maybe we should just love each other all the days and everyone should just buy me candy and shut up about Cupid.
That fat baby is plain ridiculous.

To be completely honest, I have no feelings on President's Day.
Why should I?
Washington was a good president.
Lincoln was a good president.
William Henry Harrison was barely a president. Maybe if he had remembered to put on a coat for his inauguration he could have been a good president.
Reagan, also a good president.
Yay for presidents...and sales.
Boo for bank holidays and no mail.

People do realize that February is in winter, don't they?
If winter isn't your cup of tea, may I suggest relocating to a warmer climate?
Might I also remind you that complaining about the weather never actually changes the weather.

I do know how to pronounce Feb-RU-ary.
If you do not, sound it out.
Phonics are your friend.

So, for all you February haters, I leave you with this:
"February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March."
- Dr. J. R. Stockton

As I stumbled over that quote today, it began to stir some things inside me.
I find myself reading it over and over again.

...as long as is needed to pass the time until March.

So beautiful. So simple.

Perhaps we should stop being so discontent with the things we cannot chance about our situations.
We cannot get to the next springtime without first going through the winter.
Without the ice covered branches, how can we hope to appreciate the small green buds?
What would our lives be like if we stopped praying for March and started embracing our Februaries?

Perhaps this season will truly be the winter of our discontent.