resolve

Why, I often wonder, is it difficult to push myself to do the things that bring happiness? So often, I know what resolutions would make me happier, but I still have to prod myself to do them. Every day, I struggle to give a kiss, to get enough sleep, to stop checking my email, to give gold stars. Every day, I remind myself to accept myself, and expect more from myself.

Gretchen Rubin, Happier at Home

In new years resolutions, I tend to promise too much. Last year’s went well: I learned how to can (and made some damn good peach jam!) and milked a goat (given it was the least possible milking – just a tiny bit to help the kid learn how to nurse). I had a clear path to both of them and it was deeply satisfying to check things off so easily. This year is bigger and crazier and less defined, but I’m trying to welcome it with open palms and a big smile.

This year I won’t resolve to do things easily. I won’t promise to avoid prodding. I won’t expect it to be effortless, or easy, or even make me immediately happy. I won’t cast all bad days away as failures. I resolve to poke and prod more, to say yes and no to lovely and frustrating things. I resolve to find my limits and expand them. I resolve to prod and prod and prod and understand that things that are good for me are simply good for me: I just have to do them.

I have had some dreary, tired days of slowly rising and thinking I just don’t want to go to the garden today. It’s so easy on sunny days. It’s easy when I’m open to it. But it’s beautiful whether it’s pouring rain or not. And I have never spent an afternoon at the garden wishing I wasn’t there. There are things that heal and mend and teach, but sometimes I have to shake myself by my shoulders and say go. I say thank you later.

But change is tiny things, and I love having a list to check off. So here’s mine for this year:

  1. Get a big girl job in the real world – hopefully one I don’t hate.
  2. Drive across the country and back (safely, cheaply, wisely).
  3. Read 20 books I haven’t read before.
  4. Find (and put to use) a delicious fridge pickle recipe.

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