i firmly resolve

Every year I make resolutions, because I like the idea of a fresh start, a definitive place to start, a moment you can point to and say yes, there. That is the starting line, and here is where we’ll begin. Every year about this time, I look back at the resolutions I had made (because I have a memory like a drunken sieve) and I think oh, those were good ideas! Too bad I didn’t actually, you know, work on any of that stuff. Too bad this year was exactly like last year which was exactly like the year before, in terms of Self-Improvement.

In terms of everything else, this year, and last year, and the year before have been amazing rollery coaster kinds of adventures, during which, if we have to be honest and fair, I haven’t had much time to think about esoteric improvement schemes. Mostly I’ve been trying to catch my breath and stay more or less upright and moving forward, wide-eyed, wide-awake, hoping not to fail. I keep saying that I think things were going really well for me until everything went to hell, and it kind of feels that way. The first ten months were nothing short of–well, really hard, for awhile there. Adjustments after my move, adjustments in my relationship, feeling isolated, worrying that I had made the wrong decision, that I wasn’t cut out for any of this, or maybe anything at all.

But I adjusted–fell in love with my boyfriend hard and in a forever kind of way, I think. Fell in love with Utah–less forever, but pretty solidly. Met friends, influenced people, started to get into comfortable routines, found a spectacular apartment that I’m slowly getting into shape and don’t ever ever want to leave. Got adopted by a dog, put lots of furniture together by myself, finished up a memoir proposal and sample pages, got a contract job, felt good. Cruising along happily and everything is good and great until about November, when suddenly there is that skidding record sound, and everything collapses. People I love have cancer and can’t afford their medications. I end up in the emergency room and clear out my savings to pay for it. I lose my main source of income right as I take on a car payment, turn down a full-time position, and my contract position halves my hours, leaving me wondering how I am going to pay rent on my wonderful apartment and also those stupid car payments. Things have felt, these last two months of the year, spectacularly terrifying and incredibly, horribly difficult.

For awhile, I’ve been checking out, just giving up on the idea of worrying about anything–money, health, my career, the rainforests. I’ve been letting the idea that everything is ruined overshadow, well, everything. I’ve forgotten that there was anything good at all, this year, and have only focused on the hard, the unpleasant, the unhappy, the frightening and the worrisome. It’s an easy thing to do.

I’m not going to make resolutions this year. I’m not going to worry about improving my mind or cardiovascularizing my heart or saving the world–they’re important things, and I’ll get to them eventually. Right now, though, I need to focus on getting things back together, straightening up the detritus, looking around and figuring out what my next steps are–how to pay the bills, rebuild my finances, take care of the people who need me. Steer into the skid and get the car back on the road, moving steadily ahead, before I start trying any fancy stunt driving. I won’t make any resolutions, but I have found that once the dust clears, I’ve got plenty of resolve.

photo by via moi

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