My Big Ten (Resolutions) For 2012
Writing resolutions for me is usually a pretty personal activity. After all, when we resolve to do things we are usually admitting to an area of weakness. If we resolve to lose weight, it usually indicates that we have gained enough weight that it has become a problem. If we resolve to become more fiscally responsible, one can assume that we are either in debt, incur fees every time we go to the bank machine or have DVD late fees in an amount equal to our rent. I could write a list of resolutions knee deep that would fit that bill. I decided instead to write a list that includes resolutions that I can commit to daily (be grateful), ones that will require some planning on my part (finally get my undergraduate degree) and a few that involve informing myself and sharing that information (advocate for stroke awareness). I hope my resolutions inspire yours.
Be Grateful Stop, breathe deep, be thankful. Every day. Twice a day. Maybe more.
Advocate for Stroke Awareness Stroke has touched my life in so many deeply personal ways. My father suffered a massive and debilitating stroke in January of 2001 and died in April of that same year. My mother had a stroke in May of 2006 from which she thankfully has made a full recovery. Now, this December, my ex-father-in-law had a stroke which left him unable to use his left side. As he courageously faces rehab every day, we hope and pray that he recovers full use of his limbs.
Because I have a family history of stroke I need to be especially vigilant and exercise every preventive measure possible, which I vow to do. I also resolve to educate others about the risk and prevention of stroke.
Write it Down "Can I write? Will I write if I practice enough? How much should I sacrifice to writing anyway, before I find out if I'm any good? Above all, CAN A SEFISH EGOCENTRIC JEALOUS AND UNIMAGINATIVE FEMALE WRITE A DAMN THING WORTHWHILE" (Sylvia Plath). "I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning." (Peter De Vries). I stole both of these quotes from a book I bought for myself at Christmas, "Naked, Drunk, and Writing", by Adair Lara, who is a columnist and writing coach. Writing is not only a craft and an art, it is a practice, and in order to practice, one must write it down. Every morning. Which I resolve to do even if it's only for ten minutes before I go to work.
See Friends My friends bring so much joy into my life. They have stood by me through thick and thin and have provided support without judging. It is so easy to let what we call 'life' get in the way. Work, grocery shopping, paying bills, working out and cleaning the house. Days and weeks slip by and I realize I have not had any face to face with my friends. I have to work (and pay bills I guess), but I can work out with friends. I can have a friend over for coffee while I'm doing laundry in my not so clean house. After all, I may be able to fool an unknown reader, but my friends have been around for thirty years. They know I'm not the perfect housekeeper.
Know who and what I'm voting for and advocate for both. I do believe in democracy, but democracy is not just a 'thing' that operates all by itself. It requires the effort and voice of those who are part of it. I was much more ardent when I was young and much more involved. Did I have fewer responsibilities? Yes. Are my concerns and grievances even greater now? Yes. So it's time for a renewal of my passion for being a political person. And I believe all of us are political. If we sit on our duff and don't do a darn thing, we are making a political statement. I don't like my statement so much lately, so I'm resolving to change it this year.
Eat Clean This is my version of the 'lose ten pounds' resolution. What I like is that my resolution incorporates the solution. Clean eating involves some planning and preparation because essentially pure unprocessed ingredients are at the foundation of every meal. What is wonderful is that you know what you are eating. There are no hidden fats, preservatives, or gobs of sodium.
Graduate from College In 1983 I left the University of Oregon without graduating. I needed about ten more credits to get my B.S. Instead, I moved to Portland, got married and immersed myself in working full-time. It wasn't until about six years ago (oddly coinciding with my divorce) that I realized I could return to school at any time. The degree requirements have changed and I might have to do a little more work, but I can still get my degree. I can finally write on my job application that I do have a degree, and I can pursue even higher education if I want. I may be a bit (ok, a lot) older, but this dog can still learn new tricks. Besides, I think It's a wonderful example to set for my daughter.
Become proficient in Spanish We live and work in a multicultural society. We can choose to ignore this fact and be hopelessly ethnocentric, or we can embrace the beauty of living in a country where our neighbors offer a bounty of cultural experience we can benefit from. However you choose to look at it, you can't help but to notice that there are tons of jobs being advertised that one could apply for if only you were bilingual. I work at a hospital where many of our patients are not proficient in English which requires that we provide interpreters so that our patients can make informed choices. The largest percentage of the non-English speaking patients are hispanic. Ironically, I have taken years of Spanish at both the high school and college level, but never have become proficient at speaking it. For many reasons, this is the year I want to change that.
Finish my daughter's quilt I love quilts. I love how they look, I love how they comfort, and I love what they mean. They are a labor of love. It's time I finish my daughter's.
Learn How to knit a hat My maternal grandmother Zenaide taught me how to knit and crochet when I was very young. I never really got beyond a few basic stitches and don't recall ever knitting anything more elaborate than a doll's blanket. Last year I purchased needles and some red yarn and embarked on the longest and widest scarf my daughter could ever want, if indeed she even does. She humors me by telling me it's great. When volunteers for the hospital that I work at began knitting hats for a campaign to bring awareness of the "Period of Purple Crying" to parents of infants I wished that I knew how to knit a cap so that I could participate. I now have no excuse as one of my coworkers has kindly agreed to teach me. So, for 2012, I resolve to learn how to knit a hat.