January 1, 2012 § 4 Comments

Isn’t it a funny word? I find it interesting how many definitions the word resolve has. What fascinates me particularly is how resolve can be synonymous with determination (“He stepped forward with resolve”) yet it also can mean to move from dissonance to consonance – most directly in music, but the idea extends to matters of opinion, problem-solving, working through an issue – ending the tension to reach a resolution. And yet – and yet – the word can also mean to separate. What?

Language is so strange. English, especially.

My conclusion, as I’m inclined towards peacemaking, is that resolutions might be built on this handful of definitions. As we make lists of what we want to do or not do this upcoming year, can we move with determination towards things that will bring us together into pleasing consonance? This doesn’t mean we all have to operate on the exact same opinions, beliefs, and perspectives – we can remain our separate, unique selves, like notes in a chord. And yet as we consider who we are and who others are and who we want to be, perhaps we can learn how to live together in harmony.

On that thought, here is my 2012 resolution list:

1. Be generous. Even when I have little. Generosity needn’t be expressed only by the giving of material things. Time, work, kind words, a small note in the mail – these count, too.

2. Be frugal. Don’t spend on unnecessary things, and get what I owe paid off. (All right, that’s a bit lofty for a year, but make significant advancements in this direction.) Debt creates discord, in one’s spirit as well as in relationships, even purely financial ones.

3. Be healthy. That means being healthy personally as well as promoting health in my environment – physically, ecologically, and economically. If my body is forced to operate on poor fuel and/or my actions contribute to degradation and toxicity around me, that puts me (and others) in a state of disrepair. True, we all age, but let’s age well. And let’s have land and water that go on being clean and fertile beyond our lifespans. Good health tends to foster happiness! And happiness tends to foster harmony.

4. Be optimistic. I must confess I have been a bit of a negative Nancy this year. Part of me wants to defend myself by saying that I feel everything strongly and express it openly so y’all get to go on the ups-and-downs with me. But the truth is that I have caught complaints coming out of my mouth far too often and have gotten into a habit of tampering my eager, rosy hopes with the dim glasses of criticism and self-doubt. (It doesn’t all get on this blog – but my friends and family have heard it more than once.) And the worst part? It drags the people around me down with me. Aiyaiyai. So optimism. Looking for good, holding onto truths, closing the door on regret and shoving aside fear and self-deprecation.

5. Be faithful. For me, this goal directs itself towards two closely related realms. First and foremost I seek to be faithful to my Father God, His saving Son, and the amazingly wildly loving Holy Spirit. Second, I will be faithful to my loved ones. This means to stand up for them. To step in for them. To be there when needed. Even to put them before myself. Because faithfulness is the fruit of the kind of love that is more than just a feeling.

Can I do it? Will I do it? The good thing is that these are not deadline goals. They are lifelong goals. (And I am a lifelong learner! Yay!) The next steps for me are to (a) remain conscious of these goals – maybe put a list on the mirror or refrigerator or nightstand, and (b) map out what changes I might make – big and small – to foster and further these things in my little old life.

I am not one of those who is afraid of resolutions! No, sir. I am resolved. Resolved to resolve.

What are your goals this year? Do you like or dislike New Year’s resolutions? Do you have any suggestions for me regarding mine?

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