I took a walk on New Year ’s Day, and then another one the next day. That means if I take one today, I’ll be 3 for 3. Was it a resolution to take more walks? Not directly. Will the perfection fade as most resolutions do? Silly question. But the cool thing about taking walks is that I think about stuff that is a little like writing although much more fleeting. Hopefully I take notes, and often I don’t. As I started writing this morning I managed to capture a few idea breadcrumbs from those recent walks. They didn’t seem nearly as profound today as they did originally, but oh well, and they got me started.
Based on data and conventional wisdom, we should all stop making resolutions. In my limited experience, most people make them anyway. These days I’m more interested in creating visions and possibilities than in making rules for myself that I know I will break. By default and sometimes even by intent I’m a rules-breaker, as much as they would make my life saner and probably more successful. I lurch from one attempt at organization and structure to another with occasional feelings of success in between. I guess I’m OK with that.
At the crowning, culminating dinner of our recent holiday family get together, all four of my siblings and our partners are sitting around Jason’s huge table, dominating it in a way that has never happened before. I asked if we could go around and say what we are each hoping to accomplish this next year, in whatever way is meaningful to each of us. My sister reminded us that this occasional ‘tradition’, started by our mom, once resulted in Mom’s three-year adventure with long distance bicycling after announcing that she wanted to lose weight and get healthier (and she really needed it). Bicycling came up and on the spot we all jumped in to create a vision with her for how to get started (more on that story from a very outdated resume site).
They indulged me, even with pressure to catch the next ferry and make an early night of it so that people could get to plane flights the next morning. I heard some unexpected things, which was the point, and it created new connections with beloved people I don’t know as well as I would like. For some reason, it became important for me to boil down what everyone said into one word or very short phrase. This is what I heard: return on investment, virtual education, presence, offerings, meaning, stories, observations, liberation, and exploration. That last one is mine. These are not resolutions, but they are a distillation from a fleeting moment of verbalizing an inner yearning. A kernel of truth worth noting regardless of the outcome. There is some merit in capturing fleeting thoughts, even though–or because–they may get turned into something else entirely. It’s a kind of New Year’s magic I believe in. Maybe I’ll take another walk to see what I discover.