Friday, December 26, 2008

New Year's Resolution

I am making a New Year's resolution this year. I am doing it here, in public -- so that perhaps I will be a bit more likely to fulfill this little "promise-to-self". It is a one-word resolution -- can't get much more basic than that. One word that has the potential to impact my life, and the lives of those around me in so many ways -- economically, ecologically, politically, physically, artistically, emotionally, spiritually.... One word. Simplify. For 2009 I want to simply, well, simplify. Easy, right? Not!

Voluntary simplicity is nothing new -- in fact I've been studying the philosophy for a number of years. Use less stuff, spend less, pollute less, unclutter your home, your office, your brain... reuse, recycle, relax. Man, do I wish I could relax. At this point in my life -- empty nest, good job, good health, you'd think that might not be so much of a problem. But holy moley is my life at the virtual border of "out of control". When you're 55 and still wondering what you're going to be when you grow up... When you're working 60 hours per week (at least I'm working)... When you always feel like you need to move on to the next thing in order to just keep pace with yourself... When you're doing photography and people seem to like it, but not enough to pay the bills, but you love it more than almost anything... When you realize that the happiest times of your life were when you were on stage performing your own songs, and you want to write more but can't find the time, when the band calls and you have to say no... When you feel guilty for all of the social engagements, gigs, photo safaris, and pleasure trips you have to turn down... Perhaps it's time to ease up, pick a few priorities, narrow the scope. Simplify. Think about what makes you happy and focus on that.   In my fantasy world that would be:
  1. Photography
  2. Music
  3. Writing
  4. Reading
  5. Work           
In the real world, numbers 5 climbs to the top and the rest shift down one. Food on the table, need for lenses, bandwidth and all that, you see.                                                                                       
SIMPLIFY. A one word promise to myself. Life saving, I think. Sanity saving, certainly. There are plenty of other blogs dedicated to simplicity, uncluttering, Zen living -- and most, if not all written by and targeted to 20 or 30-somethings. Let's see how it goes for a 55+ over-committer.

 I'll let you know how it goes. Weekly updates. Promise.


1 comment:

I am a lover of children's literature said...

Photography, Music, Writing, Reading and Work - now the trick is to somehow make the first four your fifth - if only photography, music, writing and reading could be your work, now that would be perfect!

Unfortunately, very few people get to be able to do just that, and I certainly hope you achieve your resolution. Trying to simplify can be a complex task, but with determination I'm sure you can do it!

Your choices are basically the same as mine, except, of course, I would put writing first, then music, photo and then reading.

Like you, however, I too must learn to simplify as well, as my life presently is a little too chaotic to say the least.