Resolutions for 2009

Last year I had six resolutions. In reviewing them, I made progress on all of them. None of them was a once and for all kind of accomplishment, but we have plants (and worms) growing on our balcony. I found a good job. At several points in the year, my desk was clean and organized, even if now is not one of those moments. I gave a fair amount of effort to communicating with my husband and living in the Kingdom of God. And I wrote a lot.

For this year, I have some new resolutions, some more concrete and some more elusive.

The big overarching theme for the year is balance. This will be a year for establishing new patterns of work and play. I want to find a healthy balance between work/ministry/family/self, with particular emphases on writing, exercise and marriage care, because these are the things I am more likely to let slip and take advantage of their good nature or lack of urgent clamor. I'm now realizing that I will go crazy if I don't make time to write, just as I would go broke if I didn't make time for a job. And in between I have a family, and Quaker commitments, and I need sleep. So I'm looking for a flexible rather than a rigid balance in my life in 2009.

In the more mundane, I commit to buying and consuming more organic/fair trade products and less of everything else. This has financial, environmental and nutritional trade-offs. Organic meat costs more, but we ought to eat less of it anyway. If we ate less processed and packaged snacks, I could afford to make organic granola the way I really like it. Another item that's on my list is new towels. (Nothing like getting ready for houseguests to make you look at things and realize that every fifteen years or so, new towels would be a fine choice.) But I'm waiting to get organic cotton versions. Later this year, when I've saved a little more money for the project. About a year and a half ago, there were really nice, reasonably priced organic towels at Target. But we couldn't afford all new towels then, so I just bought a couple of hand towels. I still regret my decision, however prudent it may have been then.

On a very personal note, I have to give up caffeine. It's just not good for me. It upsets my digestive system more than my nervous system. (But I like coffee and tea and chocolate, I whine. Can't I just commit to fair trade versions? No, Robin, that's not the point. Taking care of your health is more important. Darn. Goes my internal dialogue.)

Last, but not least, I'm experimenting with "Give to everyone who asks of you." I specifically mean people on the street who ask me for money. I'm trying to keep a little change in my pocket and a supply of granola bars in my purse. Since I'm back to taking public transit and walking a few blocks in the city every day, I am being asked more often than I had been for a long time. I'm trying to just say yes, and not worry if it's not much, or what people will do with the money. I'm practicing one of Jesus's teachings. And I'm taking some time on my walk(s) every day to check in with God. Which feels like a good contribution to the original goal of finding a balance.

Anyone else want to share your resolutions for the coming year? And do you think it's Quakerly to make New Year's Resolutions anyway?

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Blogger Liz in the Mist said...

These are from my blog--pretty generic since some big life changes are occuring. But I was trying to keep them simple and achievable.

My goals for 2009:
To be in Rwanda! I can't tell you how excited I get to type that!
To be ministering to missionaries children effectively.
To be open to God using me in the ways He sees best.
To fully and joyfully embrace life in God's kingdom.

1/13/2009 8:11 AM  
Blogger Imperfect Serenity said...

Like Liz, I use the term goals instead of resolutions, so that when I slip up on "be patient with the kids" I won't feel like a failure, just the striving to improve person that I am. This year I wrote goals in different categories, but the most challenging ones have to do with eating more healthily (Is that a word?) and not spending so much money eating out.

Robin, I did give up caffeine a few years ago for similar reasons. I'm now hooked on organic, fair trade Roiboos tea. Don't miss coffee nearly as much as I expected, but if I do accidentally have something with caffeine (even decaf coffee or green tea) I get a headache because my body is not used to it anymore. Good luck!

1/13/2009 11:46 AM  
Blogger Martin Kelley said...

Wait, you can buy towels in a store? I just thought you used those ones your mom packed for you at 18 until they wore out completely.

I'm not big on resolutions but I'm not sure there's any theology behind that. I just know myself too well. When I do something big I usually do it secretly for awhile to see if it's really something that I want to continue. Maybe I'm testing the leading. Turns out, my secrecy is pretty obvious. It didn't take long for a few observant workmates to realize my pants were going monochrome when my plain witness first began! I do have something that started on Jan 1 but it's a challenge and I told myself I wouldn't tell anyone till the end of the month. So far so good.

Good luck on your resolutions. At some point a decade or so ago I resolved not to try to give up coffee anymore. The back-and-forth wasn't worth it and I couldn't see any particular physical harm so I let myself go on that one. But I'm always proud of others who give it up and will do my best not to tempt you next month.

1/14/2009 10:00 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Liz, may God bless and keep you safely in Rwanda. These are good goals!

Eileen, I've only had Roiboos a couple of times, it's not quite what I'm looking for. But I have good luck with ginger tea with honey, or chamomile or peppermint tea, or just plain hot water when I need something warm to hold. I tried just a little decaf cappuccino after lunch the other day and I felt it hit me like a heat wave. Why is it that aspirin takes 20 minutes to take effect but caffeine is like 5?

Martin, we'll have a chance to compare progress next month. Hurrah!

1/18/2009 8:38 PM  

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