New Year, new opportunities, new challenges. Yet, as we all realize, it’s largely the symbolic attribution to an arbitrary date. The impact amounts to nothing if we don’t internalize newness.
Resolutions, then, become the symbolic emotional housecleaning. My own list this year promises to be reinforced by a news story I just read, detailing how three planets and the moon will be performing a celestial dance of alignment on New Year’s Eve, just after sunset. That must be important--hope you saw it.
Most of my resolutions this year relate to my significant other. For one this may be a spouse, for another a friend, partner, betrothed-whoever is vitally important to you.
The first one, though, to stay on top of an exercise program, was really spurred on by my grandson, also vitally important. As we watched a movie the other night, he said “I hate this. Every movie I watch, someone’s granddad is having a heart attack.” We discussed the fear later, and I explained that is why I ride my bike, swim, lift weights and so on--that nobody can promise they won’t have a heart attack, but we can help ourselves.
If you’re like me, your exercise program gets sloppy during the holiday busyness. So, resolution to get back on it, for yourself as well as your loved ones.
Resolve to communicate:
We need to remind ourselves, at least yearly, that the person who shares our life is very likely not a mind reader. I spent a few weeks last winter pouting because, in my estimation, Janice would not help me free up a day so I could go up to Enchanted Forest and cross country ski. Did she know how much I wanted to do this ? Of course not. So, resolve to say what you want.
Resolve to be romantic:
Do not forget the little things. For many of us, it was a lean Christmas. In our family, the mutual gift of a new barbecue grill ate up most of the spousal gift money--a luxury, true, but one we use a lot. I guess I’m proud to say that, every year since 1998 I’ve gotten a Christmas flower arrangement for her--and lean as this year was, Santa still brought the flowers. Do not forget the little things.
Resolve to remember your spouse needs space and time:
She or he is not an extension of yourself. Whether it’s movie night with the girls, or going to an Isotopes game with his friends from work, a trusting relation ship does not have to be attached at the hip to the spouse.
Resolve to keep and deserve that trust:
In my thoughts, intimacy can survive almost anything except betrayal. To be more concrete, if I tell my wife I am going to Santa Fe with Rusty for the day, she knows I really am. (Rusty is a guy.) Same goes if she says she is going to Dallas to visit Lynn for the weekend. Trust allows the above mentioned freedom, and once it’s betrayed, it’s probably tough to get back.
Resolve to notice:
How broad, and how true. Are you the partner who assumes it is your spouse’s duty to wash all the dishes, after you generously put your dirty ones in the sink? Are you the partner who assumes it is your loved one’s place to wash and fold clothes--after all, you put them in the hamper, didn’t you? Then you’re probably also the partner who wonders why your spouse is always too tired, or never in the mood. Resolve--shared chores means more free time for everyone.
Have a great 2009.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at: