Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Resolutions and Whatnot...A Fresh Semester

There's something so lovely about a resolution. A goal, a change you want to realize, something you want to accomplish. Its inspiring- "wow, you're going to digitally disconnect every night after 9pm?! that's such a brilliant idea!" "you're going to run a marathon this year- holy cow, you're mental!" Its also somewhat of a lark, isn't it? Digitally disconnect when you know that a new season of Game of Thrones is coming? Are you out of your mind? Voluntarily get up at 6:00am on Saturday mornings to run for four hours?

But the seemingly delusional, exaggerated goals aside, the idea of a resolution is also totally self-confirming. It starts with admonition: there is something we need to improve about ourselves, or something we can make better. It's disastrously humbling, acknowledging imperfection, especially in a culture where perfection, or feigned imperfection, is so highly touted and seemingly "totally achievable." But for me, resolutions are bold and brave and actually quite hopeful. It's the I want to make it better idea, the I'm ready to make a change attitude, that is wholly terrifying but totally liberating. The Ziggy Stardust, you know?, the chance to be who we want or maybe just emphasize a quirk, a quality about ourselves that could perhaps be better externally or internally represented.

A litany of brilliant moments, events, experiences, and people weave through the last few years- if anything, this blog documents how to be absolutely gobsmacked by the beauty of friends and places. But coping with the traditional emotional let downs attached to growing up (who signed me up for this, by the way?) coupled with the heartbreak of a failed relationship, workplace uncertainties, the 8,000 km distance between me and my family, and copious amounts of resulting self-doubt makes for heavy hearts. There's beauty in the trough, no doubt. The ever-wise Karen-O, shedding her leather, gorgeously reminds that the bottom dip on the roller coaster is often when we feel most alive (its advice for my hometown hero's teen-focused magazine, but this is universal wisdom, pinky swear).  Nonetheless, the economist in me is studying the business cycle (time is on the x axis), anticipating any indication that things are on the uptick, that the recovery is around the corner, one more akin to the US recovery than that tremblings of recovery plaguing the Eurozone, of course.

Resolutions seem like the perfect antidote. Admit to mistakes or shortcomings, find ways to improve. Terrifying but bold. And its not the audacious, entirely consuming sort of resolutions I'm after- instead, its about finding ways to reinsert positivity into the picture. For me, it starts with being more engaged. Sit up straight, improve posture, really dig into this, whatever this is: research, a conversation, an article to read or write, a pulled pork sandwich, whatever. It means giving a little bit more of myself even when I think I can't: run faster down the footie pitch; push just a little bit more into pigeon pose; give that extra half hour a week to something or someone good. And most of all, it demands new focus- mails and whatsapps can wait, concentrate! (a new mantra of sorts?)- not just at work, though, but focused on all the good, the sheer number of stunning moments that make my life one in a million (or 7 billion...).

So 2015, for me, will be the year to don the platforms and face paint. Its not a reinvention a-la Madonna, more a Robyn-like rebound (another afficionado of the platform). Here's a sneak peak at just a wee bit of the beautiful that, subtly or not so subtly, has already snuck in this year.

babyshower for my soon-to-arrive nephew

visiting this beauty, my grandma sue
Weekend in Marche-en-Famenne with the football team

breakfast near King's Cross, London

St. Paul's from the Tate

Pro punter, Jed Odermatt

Trinity College

Evensong at King's College, Cambridge