Friday, December 31, 2004

Good Ideas for a New Year

Solly and others have a good idea -- encouraging Google to turn over funds raised from their AdSense program to tsunami relief. I've sent in my email and if they do it, I'll join AdSense and you'll see little Google ads showing up here. That would be something I can do, because this disaster will not go away soon. This is going to take years. When it falls off the media screen, those people will still be trying to rebuild from nothing. So send an email to Google -- use Sol's boilerplate, since he said it well, or make up your own.

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The end of another year. We are invited to two parties -- two! How did this happen? If I would just stay in the house and not talk to people, I'd never be promising to drive around on New Years Eve. I'd be home watching Godzilla movies (my personal New Year's Tradition).

New Year -- an arbitrary division of time. The whole millenium thing a few years ago, with people predicting doomsdays of various kinds, was just another example of how we give meaning to things that have none, really. Time is a thing apart from our measurement of it, after all. Most people don't realize that hours, minutes, years, centuries -- they are not time, but only units we use to measure time, because we are humans and exist in a finite reality that requires beginnings, endings, and durations in between. There's nothing in particular that makes this day the end of anything, or tomorrow the beginning of anything, except that point so long ago someone decided we'd count from. Check the history of the calendar if you don't believe how arbitrary this all is -- Roman Ceasars and Catholic Popes, among others, have fiddled and diddled around with our method of accounting for the days.

On the other hand, this gives the individual certain power. While there is a lot of power in mass agreement and belief (again, you can check that with your own experience), since things are really arbitrary, you can make a beginning or an ending of anything in your own life whenever you want, and count your days accordingly. New Year is a concept you can apply at any time you need it -- you don't need to wait until December 31st. But when it comes to resolutions, most of us don't think of them until this time of year.

And there is that positive side -- we've set aside at least one day of the year to think about our past and contemplate our future, to resolve things and to try to make them happen. Personally, I like the idea of pausing on each equinox and solstice to review and revise resolutions -- as the seasons change around me, my personal seasons change, and what was important 3 months go may not be important now.

I don't need to recite this past year right now -- I wrote about it or thought about it already. I had times good and bad, decisions made or ignored, chances taken or missed. Anyway, I've been comtemplating my resolutions for a good 2 weeks now, and here they are.

1) Keep my house clean by scheduling all the tasks that need doing, and trying to adhere to that schedule.
2) Improve my health by reducing processed sugars and fats, walking at least 2 hours each week or riding the stationary bike, and making space and time for yoga practice.
3) Return to my writing practice by not putting it off or letting mood or inconvenience distract me.
4) Send some of my damn stories off to be accepted or rejected, as fate dictates, but sending them out! Get over being scared and devastated by the thought of rejection. Do what I need to do to give myself confidence and keep writing.
5) Continue participation in the chorus and other activities that get me out of the house and with people I like doing things I like.
6) Don't promise other people too much until I'm exhausted and retreat again. I don't have to bleed to make people like me.
7) Remember my husband is a man with whom I want to share a life, not a project I'm supposed to complete. He will achieve his right state of being, whatever it is, if I love and help him, but I don't get to chose that state.

Those are pretty good, I think. I even got my degree into the act by including a "How" for each resolutions -- one of those business psych classes I took pointed out that in setting a goal you need to chart how to reach that goal. Then your chance of success is better. It took me long enough to get that degree and I use it every chance I get, since it seems I'm not going to use it in the "normal" way as resume fodder.

To each of you who visit here, and to the unknown hordes who know nothing of me, I wish that this year brings you growth and learning, change and improvement, and everything you need to continue your creation of yourself, and that you take all the opportunities of beginnings -- and endings -- you find. Happy New Year.

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