Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolving joy

I warned you that there were some resolutions brewing. But these are not for the weak of heart (or stomach or brain or, um, lowers). These resolutions are for those out there who are so goddamn sick of denying themselves the things that bring them the most joy so that they can "be happier" or "be healthier."

The irony of resolutions is wax dripping from a messy candle. Oh, and it does eventually harden for easy removal.

My inspiration for my resolutions, or, I should say, for my attitude towards resolutions, has been building over the last several weeks as I have fretted over virtually everything I could; money, food, family, the holidays, mothering, work, gaining weight, losing weight, losing hope, trust, health, bills, college name it, I've been nearly paralyzed worrying about it.

Until one magic yoga class on Christmas Eve. I was sitting there in a suspended lunge, my back leg shaking shamelessly, my mind unable to focus, when our instructor broke through my thoughts with, "Think about your practice. Why are you here today? You are doing a good thing for yourself."

And here I thought I was being selfish by spending $15 for a drop in and some sanity. Guess what, not selfish. I am now calling it self care. If it's going to make me saner and able to breathe easier, then, man, I'm gonna do it. Without guilt.

Of course, the yoga was just the beginning. I did read my poetry on New Year's Eve. Yes, there were other writers there, yes I was nervous, but then, there were naked women dancing and languishing in their ample frames, and that's when resolution #2 hit me. My body is not a nuisance shroud that I will eventually shed, god willing. It's awesome. It's strong. It is DIRECTLY CONNECTED to my priceless little brain, therefore, it is of use to me.

Sound like a bad essay in Cosmo? Maybe, but the truth rings clear. I've been nit-picking my poor self to death about this flaw or that. What for?! What friggin' for? So what, I've had two kids, so what I don't work out every day, so what, I LOVE cheese and bread and food and wine and dancing and nakedness and rare European perfumes and expensive cigarettes. If I sit around and wait until I'm perfect to really be able to enjoy these things, I'm gonna turn to dust. Literally. This is the shape I got, and I better start liking it now and giving it some non-Puritan attention.

You see where I'm going with all this. Resolutions should be about pleasure, not denial. Why wouldn't you try and enjoy life? Especially now, since things are so sparse and difficult. Why not people watch, eat bread, work a little, take a nap on Sunday, go for a walk at night, drink a little too much wine, fall in love with strangers or friends?

I'm going for it. I'm sure you'll read about it in the news.

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