Monday, December 28, 2009

Endeavor With a Capital E

I wrote in January 2009 that I don't especially enjoy the idea of New Year's Resolutions. Resolutions are...resolute. Stiff. Reserved for the financial district and diet-affecting diseases.

In short, for my delicate psyche, resolutions are paralyzing. If I were to, say, resolve to exercise every morning at 6:30, my brain would tell my body to stay up until 3 am and then ignore the alarm and oversleep. And then I would have failed. The self loathing born out of that failure would likely staple me to the couch. In my pajamas. For exactly six days.
Or if I were to resolve to eat only fresh, uncooked vegetables for afternoon snacks from Here On Out, my brain would send a relentless onslaught of cravings for potato chips dipped in chocolate. I would resist them for at least an hour, before realizing that Here On Out is a very long time and my will is as thin as onion paper.

But I love the idea of The Clean Slate. I am quite fond of goals that sit on low shelves and can be picked up and examined every day. Goals that don't necessarily redefine my self worth, but improve my immediate world-view. I think that is how I have managed to train for and run triathlons because they are reachable goals with a beginning, middle and end. I like that my triathlons are comfortable on the bottom shelf with the Plen-T pack tube socks and 12-gallon jar of pickles.

It's all about attainability.

There have been a few marble-sized intentions rolling around in my head for a few weeks. I think it is time to pick them up and call them by name.
I am deeply inspired by Ali Edwards' One Word Concept. To give this coming year a word and to explore the height and depth and width and breadth of that one word for the next 12 months. To look for it in ordinary days. To recognize the shift of meaning, the broadening of definition. To allow myself to be inspired by it and move within it.
My word for 2010 is Endeavor.
This will be my guidepost as I consider photography projects and writing projects and personal-hygeine-for-the-soul projects.

A perenial favorite of my marble-sized intentions is to care for my health. To nourish my body, to take it for walks in the snow and runs in the park, to wear sensible shoes, to care for my skin and heart and bones. To rest. To think. To listen...To Take Good Care.
And in keeping with the previous two, I will Endeavor to Take Good Care of my artist's heart, to find the intersection on my inside map where domesticity and creativity meet. I will have a cup of tea with myself with some regularity and allow thoughts and ideas and complaints and tears and laughter to spill out of me without the complication of harsh self-judgement. I will draw lines in the carpet. On this side will be time for keeping up (with vacuuming and laundry and dusting...) and on the other side will be time for keeping. Only keeping. Moments, thoughts, paint brushes, the camera lens, leaves of my journal. I will allow myself these things.

And so begins the year...


Christine said...

i love this idea of "one word" to describe the coming year.

endeavor is perfect.

i'm not sure what it would really be for me. the first thing that comes to mind is cherish mine, share it, and nurture it.

happy new year my friend.

painted maypole said...

sounds lovely.

Jodi Anderson said...

This is beautiful, Emily. I'm not normally a resolution sort of girl, and that was no different this year.

That stated, I used the words "clean slate" many times to describe the new year. Everything feels so fresh. I found 2009 to be a tough year physically, and although it has nothing to do with the actual year, I'm letting go of 2009.

I did list some general goals or aspirations, some things to mull over, some paths that I'd like to try.

I'm a fan of the one-word resolutions as well. Endeavor is a great one.

My best wishes to you for a beautiful year.