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