It’s a funny thing about me, in that I make use of the starting line of the new year while simultaneously rolling my eyes at its arbitrary power. New things, though, are useful organizing mechanisms–just don’t ask me to entirely eschew the part of me that follows whim and instinct. (That Jackie painted an unplanned faux wallpaper print in her closet yesterday. That Jackie made carnitas and corn tortillas this afternoon. That Jackie won’t be held obliged to repeat those tasks until the whim returns again.)

But, okay, this new year starting line–this setting of the feet in blocks and the launching into something when the ball drops at midnight 1/1–it’s useful. It’s what’s brought me back to the WordPress draft screen for daily blogging–maybe because it makes sense to do so when coupled with a moment others can relate to as indicative of someone showing up and doing something, whether different, with new vigor, whatever. There’s a gravitas and a deference afforded to communal starting line moments, especially ones that launch ships entire-year-sized–especially ESPECIALLY ones that launch the 2021 Carpathian rescue of of 2020 after it slammed into the COVID-19 iceberg.

Saying that reminds me that perhaps the most interesting resolutions made this year are the ones related to our communal health and wellness and ability to thrive. Yet couched within that need for broader thinking about our human experience and resolutions that support it are the individual humans doing that thinking, and the individual temperaments and dispositions and hopes and goals of those individual humans, me included, and maybe a slightly elevated degree of pinching stress as we slide into 2021 which has to somehow carry all these aspirations inside it.

I would be lying if I said I don’t have any goals for 2021 outside of our mutual humanitarian goal of progressing beyond the COVID-19 plot point (I hesitate to say something like our goal of “returning to normal life,” cognizant that “lacking COVID” and this vague concept of what comprises “normal” is dismissive of a whole lotta not so great things for a lot of people would smack as entirely obtuse, but I digress). I DO have goals, hopes–ones that if I turn to face full-on in my mind will bring me to tears because I need them so badly.

To pull this ramble into something of a close–I have resolution–firm determination–more than I have resolutions–firm decisions. I know where my disquiet lies and my hope is that I may work toward resolution this year in the way that I always try to do: with my head up and my eyes open so that I might have observations and reflections to bring to the resolution table (maybe the resolution drive-thru, as way-finding always seems iterative and comprising many touchpoints/laps around the building) instead of closed decisions.

It’s gentling liberating to say progress lies in a certain setting of the self–nestling into my disposition and longings–instead of X or Y benchmarks. I am imperfect to the point of self-betrayal, but I will try.

Today’s prompt: The “starting line” of the new year often brings with it thoughts of self-improvement, change, adjustment, etc. Write about your 2021 resolutions or goals—or maybe why you don’t prefer to make resolutions.  

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