Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

So … About Those Non-Resolutions …


Well, here we are in gloomy, cold February, launched headlong into 2011. Now that January’s gone we can no longer pretend we’re just starting the year: it’s clearly underway.

So back at the beginning of January, I told you how along with my regular resolutions to be better and do better in every little way (which are going about as well and as badly as they usually do), I had set three challenges for myself for this year. I was going to memorize the book of Philippians, write one real pen-and-paper letter to someone every week, and start reading poetry.

In the interests of accountability, I think it’s time for an update.

Philippians is going well.  I’m nearly to the end of Chapter 1, which is right on track for the memory plan I’m following. It’s not easy; it is a challenge, but it’s do-able. I’m glad my middle-aged brain still has the memory capacity to handle it, but we’ll see how it goes when we get past the one-chapter mark (which is the most I’ve ever memorized before).

Letters … not so good. I started off well and wrote two in the first two weeks of January. One was to Patty, who also likes the idea of reviving the lost art of letter-writing, and she wrote me back right away. And now … I still have only those two written and sent. So I am — what, three letters behind? At least. I keep having ideas about whom I want to write to and what I want to say, but the reality is, I get behind on answering my emails, much less sending actual handwritten letters. I still want to write letters, and I’m not giving up, but the one-letter-a-week goal is looking mighty ambitious.

And poetry? I have not read a single line of a single poem. I’ve been immersed in all kinds of fiction and non-fiction as usual. I’ve gotten great recommendations of poetry from lots of people. One kind person even loaned me two books of poetry. And I … just haven’t started. I find this resistance in myself that I didn’t know was there. What is it going to take to motivate me to read poetry? Is the effort worthwhile? What’s my problem?

There, I’ve told you the truth. Now, since the comments section is very skimpy these days and I’m feeling badly in need of feedback, I’ll toss it back to you, dear readers.  As February opens before us, how are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going????


4 thoughts on “So … About Those Non-Resolutions …

  1. Kudos to you on the scripture memorizing. I keep saying I’m going to do more of it but it never goes beyond talk. I looked up what you are doing when you mentioned it earlier and even thought I’d try it along with you, but it didn’t get beyond the thought. One of my “resolutions” is going well. I managed to get through January without missing a day of posting on my <a href="http://365daysofchildrensbooks.blogspot.com/"365 Days of Children's Books blog. I am, however, three days behind in the 90 day Bible reading challenge I started in January. Hoping to find the time to catch up this weekend.

  2. I had started writing more letters myself this last fall–mostly to my mother who is hard of hearing and struggling with her memory. In her last letter to me she told me how she has kept all the letters I have sent her in the last year and re-reads them. She even describe how she’s bound them together. She gets more out of letters than she does phone conversations. I did better at writing her before Christmas when I had a table set up with a stationary box in our living room just behind the couch. I was able to write letters while my wife and I watched television. When the Christmas tree displaced my writing table, I stopped writing. When the Christmas decorations came out, the stationary box went in a file drawer. Your posting has encouraged me to retrieve the stationary box and begin writing again. Thanks!

  3. I hope you keep up writing letters, David — I am going to try to get back to it! Jacqueline, I love the idea of your blog and have checked it out several times … it’s great.

  4. I’ve had the idea to start a little club with friends of mine in which we would write letters about the minutiae of life in a very Elizabeth Gaskell sort of way – you know, not to share breaking news, but to write about everyday things in a very contemplative way…but I haven’t had time! In some ways, I think we are going to have to come to terms with the idea that the age of letter writing is gone. Forever. Never to return. Nowadays it takes soooo much effort to sit and write when it is so easy to type an email or pick up your cellphone when driving down the road to keep in touch. I’m discovering texting (I know, I’m a little behind) to just say to friends far away, “Hi! I was thinking about you today…” Trudy, I had YEARS where I felt very isolated and LIVED for the letters that arrived in the mail. I miss that excitement over fetching the mail each day (now it’s mostly bills and not nearly as thrilling). I discovered once that a man I liked wrote the best letters, even though he talked very little when face to face. I miss letters, too. Maybe that’s the reason I feel nostalgic enough to start a club…maybe when things slow down (Haha!)
    One thing I used to do when memorizing (Shakespeare or the Bible, in particular) was to tape a copy of the passage in my workspace and over the kitchen sink. Seems like I was able to memorize well when my hands were occupied. Interestingly, in one very memorable church service I was in about 7 years ago, the minister (who was about 70) quoted the entire book of Hebrews. You’d think it would have been a dry sermon, but it was tremendous!
    Enjoyed your resolutions! Here are mine:

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