I had an annoying habit. Okay, I still have it, but I am working on stopping it and have mostly done well. Sometimes, when Prajna would ask me to take care of something or see that something got done, my standard response was: “I’ll try to remember.” Pretty good right? I was being as honest as the day is long. I would not say “Yes. I will do that” because, gee, what if I forgot? If I said that I would do it and then, God forbid, I forgot to do it, well then I would have lied. I hated lying. So instead I gave the most honest answer and retained my integrity, right? In truth, I made it easy to forget to do what I was being asked. Perhaps if I had promised to do it, I would have been concerned enough about keeping my integrity intact that I would have made the effort to follow through and remember.
It is so convenient to be non-committal. There is safety and comfort in not promising to do anything or dedicate oneself to anything. From “forgetting” to clean the rain gutters to flippantly standing aside while the Rebellion prepares to attack a battle station. It’s all about taking the easy way.
On the subject of easy, I remember one of the most common writing assignments in school, right behind “what I did over summer vacation” was “My New Year’s Resolutions”. The teacher was always pleased with me when I resolved to do better at math and to write more neatly. But I never really got good at math until I used it on the job and my handwriting today is, if anything, worse than it was when I was in school. Maybe it was making those empty promises that soured me on making any kind of promise at all. But once I was no longer required to make any kind of New Year’s Resolution, I never did. And it’s been so nice and comfortable.
The last thing I passionately committed myself to was National Novel Writing Month this year. I exceeded my expectations for a word count and completed a novel-length first draft in 30 days. But when I was done, few people were impressed. Only I was really awed at myself. And that wore off in a week or so.
But I did prove to myself that I can resolve to do something and follow through. I never had to “try and remember” to get up early and write each day. It was something that I wanted to do most days. And on the days I didn’t want to I did anyway.
It’s the last of the year. Do I dare make resolutions? Resolutions that are not vague, but observable and measurable? And what’s more, do I dare post them here for everyone to see, thus making me accountable? I’d better do it now before I chicken out.
This year, in 2013, I want to write an honest spiritual inventory for Celebrate Recovery. It will be a refection back over my life with a list of life-shaping events. It will include who has hurt me and who I have hurt. Spiritual Inventories include what my part might have been and the lasting effects and damage. Everything I have heard about doing this inventory says it can be painful, but ultimately rewarding and healing. While writing this may be easy, I also need to develop a support team. That is most definitely out of my comfort zone. I feel writing this is something I must do before I ever write anything serious. And I have a serious writing project in mind. I want to write a memoir. I have never considered publishing anything but a memoir that tells about Naomi and me and all my struggles and recovery. There, I said the “P” word. No, I do not resolve to publish or to even try to in 2013. But I do hereby resolve to write an honest spiritual inventory and have it done by spring. And my other resolution is to begin work on a memoir and have a first draft by November. In November I would like to do NaNoWriMo again. I can’t stop thinking about a space western to write.
So there are two resolutions for this year. I have no excuse to follow through. And now that I have told a few close friends (my dear readers) I am committed.
I won’t try and remember. I will.