Monthly Archives: January 2011

January Wisdom: Fully Embrace the Moment of Transition

Since I’m a recovering J (see about One Month Wisdom for explanation), I am still a bit addicted to resolutions.  I spend the last weekend of each year with a friend, having an in-home spa weekend and pondering my new year’s resolutions.  The website six-word memoirs suggested that people make six-word resolutions for 2011.   Six words?  How on earth could I do that when I had two pages of things I wanted to do in 2011?  I could hardly imagine narrowing it down to 12 items (one for each month, which was my original goal).  But six words?

I reminded myself that this year, if it’s going to be about anything, is going to be about allowing my true nature to overcome years of habit and reinforced J-behavior.  So I gave myself permission to throw out my list for 2011.  Every time I wanted to write a new list, I tried to write six words instead.  Amazingly, it only took me two days to find the perfect six-word resolution for 2011.  It’s amazing how productive you can be when you allow yourself to follow your instincts.

My 6-Word Resolution: Fully Embrace the Moment of Transition

Over lunch with a friend, I was describing the problem I have with transitions.  Not big transitions like changing jobs or moving or getting married, but small – every day – transitions.  Getting up, going to lunch, stopping work to go to the gym.  I even find it hard to transition to activities I’m highly motivated to do – like visit my nieces or go on a hike.  It’s not that I don’t want to go on the hike, it’s that I often don’t want to stop doing what I’m already doing.   I don’t want to transition.

Molly explained to me, simply, that I was a P.  I’m a person who thinks of the world in terms of activities, not in terms of minutes or hours.  I prefer to experience something fully before I move on to the next thing.  Why yes, I’d like to sleep for 12 hours and then go to work.  Why yes, I’d like to stay at work to finish this interesting project.  Why yes, I’d like to stay in the woods for another two days.

Unfortunately, my life is often carved up into short periods of time and rarely do I get to do anything I want to its completion.   I’ve always felt bad about this – that I’m not one of those people who hops out of bed to go to a job I like (I truly do) or that sometimes, when I’m reading a book, I’m unmotivated to visit with a friend I adore.   Could it be that simple?  Could it be that my true nature was just out of sync with our highly organized and scheduled culture?

I decided to give my 6-word resolution a try.

Since I can’t do everything I like, whenever I like, for however long I like, I will at least give myself a chance to embrace that transition.  I will – briefly – ponder what I’ve liked about the activity I’m doing (yum, this bed is nice and warm and I have so enjoyed sleeping in it) and then – fully and completely – embrace the opportunity to transition to the next activity (yes, I’m looking forward to breakfast!).  And you know what? It’s working.

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The January Resolution: Five a Day

It turns out the resolution I was inspired to make this January was to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  I like to think I eat rather well (don’t we all), but in the winter I get bored quickly with squash and parsnips.  Determined to eat as locally as I can, I just haven’t been getting enough of the good stuff in my diet.  So I allowed myself to purchase some imported produce (no, oranges do not grow in Pennsylvania) and made five-a-day my goal.

P.S. Did you know that fruits and vegetables are no longer in the same part of the Food Pyramid?

(Apparently the government has figured out that if you combine them into one category, people might skip the vegetables altogether.  They might convince themselves that a slice of apple pie, a banana muffin, some strawberry yogurt, and a cup of orange juice was all they needed to get their daily allotment of fruits and vegetables. )

The new Food Pyramid says I should eat:

  • 2-4 servings of fruit a day
  • 2-3 servings of vegetables a day

I didn’t want to be lame and go for the minimum servings (four), but I also knew that as a meat eater and a cheese-lover (I cannot overstate that), I would surely not be able to eat the maximum servings (seven) without also eating way too much food.  Since I’ve been averaging a pathetic two servings, I thought five was a nice goal.

 

 

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Rejected Resolutions

In the interest of full-disclosure, I thought I’d share the ridiculous list of resolutions and goals for 2011 that I wrote down before my moment of inspiration – or should I say sanity?

  1. Use up freezer and pantry food.
  2. Have a nothing new month.
  3. Go without alcohol for one month.
  4. Introduce a stretching routine into my exercise schedule.
  5. Do a complete home inventory.
  6. Spend a month fixing all of the little things that are broken in my house.
  7. Schedule a month of canning – expand beyond tomatoes.
  8. Try walking the dog every day for a month, even in the rain.
  9. Save up six months salary.
  10. Finish my thesis and defend before April 29th.
  11. Exercise five days a week.
  12. E-mail my parents every day.
  13. Submit article on thesis for publication.
  14. Plan and implement niece’s 16th birthday trip.
  15. Get to London again.
  16. Give an ark to Heifer International.
  17. Design my Halloween costume sometime before the 30th of October.
  18. Lose 15 30 pounds.

Ok.  I’m exhausted.  And this isn’t even the whole list.

You know the best part, my January resolution – the one I eventually picked – it’s not even on this list.

I’m embracing my inner P!

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