Happy New Year from The Green Study!

canstockphoto11419687Ah, so here we are. 2013.  I’ve read tons of blog posts that are hopeful and optimistic about the new year. This won’t be one of them. I’m still hungover from 2012. I’m exhausted from the holidays, flus and colds, elections, horrible crimes, struggling to get myself back into workouts and good eating habits, struggling to be a better parent, spouse and human, struggling to be a better writer. I’m only grateful that I don’t have to quit smoking (did many years ago) or start a new diet (short-lived morale squasher which I refuse to engage in).

I’m a realist and I know that hope and optimism won’t get me far. The same applies to discouragement and pessimism. Those are emotions that are about tomorrow and I can’t think about tomorrow right now. It’s too overwhelming, too long term. I’m here. Right now. And that is what I can handle. My daughter is in the reading chair behind me, hungrily gorging herself on a book (she’s caught the bug!). My husband soundly sleeps in the next room after a New Year’s band gig (he’s a keyboardist in a cover band, when not being an upstanding cube citizen).

Right here, right now. I am surrounded by the people I love. In a warm house. I am not, at the moment, afraid or anxious. I love my cup of coffee. I love that it’s 7am and I’m writing and the house is quiet. I love being here right at this very moment.

I don’t make resolutions anymore. The word “resolution” suggests there is something to be fixed, completed, ended. In the context of New Year’s, it means “a firm decision to do or not do something”. Sounds extreme. My favorite definition is one used in the context of music – resolution is the point at where dissonance becomes consonance or harmony. Dissonance becomes harmony.

What is the dissonance in your life? Is it the constant battle you have against a negative self-image or against addiction or against physical maladies? Is it the unhappy relationship you’re in? Or the job that makes you boil with rage inside or drains you of any positive energy? If you firmly resolve to do or not do something, is something in you putting up an equal fight? Are you walking around, listening to a cacophony of voices in your head trying to convince you, stop you, berate you?

It’s easy for me to hear the dissonance in my life. I have wonderful intentions, but on a day-to-day basis, I can be quite moody, easily irritated and quickly derailed. My heart and my head have big generous, creative ideas, but my disposition finds me growling at passerbys and pushing away the ones that love me.  I reach out and I push away. Dissonance.

Many years ago, I participated in several improv comedy workshops. It was perfect for me. I was tightly wound, physically self-conscious, worried about making mistakes. By the time I was done, I was still all of those things, but just a little looser, just a little more willing to be foolish and silly.

One of the first rules of improv is to “Say Yes! and… “. One player does an action or word or piece of dialogue and the other players build on it by mentally, physically or verbally saying “Yes and”. It means that you stay open to the suggestion – you don’t hesitate or pass judgment or worry so much that what you say or do is right. You just take the ball and run with it.

That is my intention in 2013.  I want to see what happens when I take the ball and run with it. I want to hear the harmony when I stop fighting and start listening. I want to quit struggling so much, fighting against my first impulses, when so often those impulses are good and right and better than what my judgment and disposition offers up. I want to say Yes and…

Wishing all of you many wonderful moments in the upcoming year!canstockphoto4839212

Quick Note: The Green Study has joined Bloggers for Peace (see the groovy icon on the sidebar) over at Everyday Gurus. It was my first Yes and for the New Year.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the 2nd Place entry in The Green Study Holiday Humor Contest!

37 Comments on “Happy New Year from The Green Study!

    • It’s more like a habit that I’m doing my best to repeat. So often, I’m barely present and I feel like I miss so much at times. I keep saying happy new year to people, but that’s a whole lot of expectation to put on people. I’m just wishing moments of joy at this point. That’s manageable! So have a few happy ones today!

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  1. Happy New Year! I don’t make resolutions, either. What I intend for this year is to figure out how we can live on less money so I can retire early and spend my time on writing and photography. I also intend to finish and edit my two NaNo novels before this year’s NaNo starts. I intend to keep my Gratitude Journal, too, as that has helped keep me focused on the positive.

    So have fun with your journey – one step at a time is all it takes! 🙂

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    • I’m still on my journey to need less and live more. I am focusing on wrapping up the NaNo novel and developing a website for serialized fiction. Lots of writing – makes my heart sing just a bit! Good luck with your novel edits – I hope it makes your heart sing a bit as well!

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    • Thanks – it’s amazing what can happen when a person stops and acknowledges the moment they’re in. That bit of happiness can slip away so easily unnoticed. I intend to pay better attention. Have a good day with lots of those moments!

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  2. Okay, I’m gonna do it! I WILL join that improv class that my husband keeps asking me to. — I want to learn to be a little bit less wound.

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    • I had so much fun in my classes. Mostly I spent my time laughing – I met so many funny people. I only quit when a newborn insisted on keeping me up all night – that was a piece of improv in and of itself!

      Let me know if you do it and what you think. Have a lovely day!

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  3. Take the ball and run with it! And if you are coordinated enough to dribble the ball… you can go even faster! 🙂 Received your postcard yesterday…. Thanks! It’s hanging on my fridge!
    Keep those good (and REAL) thoughts coming… that’s what makes you YOU!

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    • I don’t know why I use sports metaphors – any time a sport requires equipment (balls, rackets, skates), you would think I had six thumbs and two right feet.

      Glad to hear your invaluable postcard reached its destination! Have a lovely day!

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  4. I love your honesty. I’m a lot like you. A good friend once said, “You’re like a feral cat. Watchful, wary, hard to get close to.” If someone starts liking me too much, I back off–afraid they’ll discover something about me they don’t like. (I think I should write an honest post about this, don’t you?)

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    • I’ve gotten better over the years. Still, on occasion, I’m surprised by the lovely people around me – what were they thinking? I’d love to read a post about your thoughts on this subject, Teresa. Writing is a great way of processing and moving forward, as I’m sure you’ve discovered. Have a happy new year’s day!

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  5. Happy New Year, Michelle. May 2013 be a happy, fulfilling year for you. I’m with you on not doing resolutions. Except perhaps to not spend all my time blogging!

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    • Thank you and I wish the same for you! Blogging is an enchanting habit, isn’t it? Except when you run out of clean laundry and dishes and barely remember to pick your child up from school…

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  6. Beautiful start to 2013. I am taking some time to reflect on the dissonance in my life and what may be out of my control. Thanks for challenging some new thoughts. Be well!

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    • Isn’t that one of the keys? Figuring out what is and isn’t out of our control? I have often experienced dissonance trying to control things that I didn’t have power over and not exercising my choice when it was well within my scope. That’s a great reminder – I probably need to review that for myself as well. Wishing you some happy moments today!

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  7. Pingback: 2013 hope? and a labyrinth.. | bodhisattvaintraining

  8. Yes, and if we all change dissonance into harmony imagine the peace we will achieve. I love this post, Michelle. I love the honesty, the intention, and the wisdom. Can’t wait to hear the harmony. {{{Hugs}}}

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    • Thank you. I have to start listening better first! That is my intent for today. Listening, looking, paying attention and spending some time in quiet. The holidays brought so much noise! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  9. Love this post. ! also don’t do resolutions. They only create dissonance 🙂
    Blessings for 2013.

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    • Indeed they can – it’s a bit of a false chord to impose on top of everything else. I like the word “intentions” – so much softer and malleable. Wishing you many happy moments this year!

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      • Yes I like intentions. I find it so much more powerful.
        Wishing you also much happiness, and blessings for 2013.

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  10. I love how you managed to inspire in spite of yourself ;). The improv comedy anecdote is wonderful. Good post.
    Luanne

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    • Thank you. I tend to do a lot of things in spite of myself! I love that improv idea, too. I am the kind of person that thinks first of all the objections to an idea or plan and I know that approach can be an obstacle to trying new things.

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  11. Wow – if I could be up and writing at 7 am, that would be a miracle resolution accomplished right there! I just returned from my annual new year’s beach trip, where my friends and I make “predictions” – mine is that by this time next year, I will have taught at least one writing class. Realistic, achievable, and probably low-balling it…that’s my kind of goal! Happy 2013. Love the blogger for peace – yes!

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    • It sounds like you have a lovely way to see in the new year. Low-balling on the expectations seems like a good plan for anyone! Wishing you many happy moments in 2013 (even if they’re not at 7am!)!

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