Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Moments of Resolution: Last Year's Delusional Drunken Elderly Fellow versus This Year's Overly Earnest Spiritual Seeker

Last year we celebrated the end of our holiday trip with two days of driving twelve hours with a five month old, returning home from visiting my in-laws.  He cried for the last three hours of the drive, inconsolable in the carseat.  We arrived home, he looked around, let out a huge sigh, and finally went to sleep.  I collapsed on the couch with relief and sat staring out the windows at the light snow falling.  I drank two glasses of white wine and my stomach was empty and I was immediately overcome with such a feeling of goodwill toward man and rollicking hope for the future, I can only describe it as wildly delusional.  The comparison is crass, but the most apt I can come up with:  I imagined myself an old, old man, out at a pub, surrounded by the most nubile young women, like delectable delicacies to me: tired and sunken in to my everyday routines.  Two drinks in, and I am feeling certain I am going home with one of them tonight.  The night is young and I am old, but I am deliriously delusional, young and virile again for one evening.  I felt so grateful to the universe for allowing me to feel the delusion of youth, of rebirth.  I felt, for at least those moments that night, like I could accomplish anything.  I looked at my life and I thought:  I can do anything!  This will be cake; it will be beautiful; and I will do it perfectly.  That feeling carried me through most of the past year, and I'm still intensely grateful for it.

This year we ended our holiday trip with a three hour drive home from my mom's house, arriving in the early afternoon.  I drank two cups of coffee, and then Sun declined the generous parental offer of a nap in his very own bed, and dashed my hopes of cleaning the house with my caffeine buzz.  I looked around at the bags to unpack, the mess my son was currently creating with a whine, while overtired and teething, the afternoon already beginning to grow dark and get away from me, the unspent caffeine buzzing in my veins and I felt frustration rising.  I went into the kitchen, made a pizza and put it in the oven.  While it cooked, I went upstairs and sat alone in the attic.  Our attic is converted; it's a bedroom with diagonal walls, built into the roof of the house.  I lay on the futon we keep upstairs for guests and stared out the window at the thick, white, fast falling snow.  My husband called up to tell me that we were in a storm and would likely be snowed in through tomorrow afternoon.  As I watched the cold, winter weather from the safety of my warm, wood-colored attic, I felt my frustration melt away, and turn to awe.  I felt humbled by my luck and my blessings, and my earlier feelings seemed petty, unworthwhile and easy to release.  I felt deeply humbled by the blessing that is my baby, unworthy of such a gift, and I rushed down the stairs to hold him, to breathe in his scent, to carry him to my husband and clutch his hand, and to kiss them both.  I was overcome with a feeling of deep commitment to doing the best I can, not just for myself, but for them: for my family.

This feeling was so different than last year because last year I felt:  this will fall into place.  This will all fall right into place.  It will happen like magic.  I can see over vistas and into the heavens from right here on my couch and I can smile and make magic happen.  This year I feel like:  Now it's time to work.  Now it's time to climb.  Gather my loved ones close, and count my blessings.  Now I must earn this, create this.  I feel a calling this year to reach outside of myself in some way that I haven't defined yet.  I'm still sitting with the feeling now, and it may end up taking some time to define, but last year I sat atop a vista and this year I'm in a valley, and I may have some climbing to do once I gather my bearings.

My New Year's Resolutions flowed from the moments described above.  So last year's were a bit delusional and over the top, but I did eventually scale them down and achieve some of them, or steps toward them.  Others I failed completely.  And I think this year will end up being more of a recommitment to the day-to-day work of the same dreamy ideals I conjured into fancy last year.  With, as will be my new annual tradition: a few wild and unrealistic dreams tossed into the mix as a shout out to my Inner Old Perv, and a wink and a thank you to the Universe who nurtures us, Old Pervs, delusions and all.  Happy New Year!

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