Kwanzaa and resolutions

I took what I learned about Kwanzaa in Epcot last year, and used it as a guide for making this year’s resolutions. Who am I as an individual? Who am I as a member of a family? and Who am I as a member of a community and a society?

So to be a better individual:

  • Stop being so lazy!
    • Eat right again and get back to exercising! Not doing this not only endangers my health, it affects my spirit.
    • Get back to that great writing schedule I used to do! Writing makes me feel better, and while I’m not a great talent, I can do something with it. Not acting on our gifts, as so many have said, is a slap in the face to Nature or the god who gave them to me.
  • Get rid of the clutter! I’m a packrat, and there’s advantages to not throwing everything out, but a lot of it can go!
  • Know when to say something – holding things in can wreck me inside, it can hurt people by not being there for them, and because some things need to be said. But also learn when NOT to say something, because either people are close minded and won’t listen anyway, or I will hurt someone, or it’s not the battle to be fought, at least not in that way. And learn how to say it, not just that it has to be said.
  • Continue educating myself like I did this year with history, religion, writing skills, and job skills.
  • Stop being so selfish and self-centered.
  • Stop whining.
  • OK, I hate my job. But I can’t let that affect my work. If nothing else, CYA and don’t give people ammunition to attack me.

To be a better member of a family:

  • Keep learning how to communicate with John. Keep going out on dates. Keep that wedding vow of supporting him as an individual and being there for him when he’s low. As the couple celebrating their 50th anniversary just told us at Disney, no matter who else is in the picture — kids, in-laws, friends, and society — it’s the two of us together. Make real time for just us, for romance, fun, and laughter, for being best friends and equal partners…. or it’s not a marriage.
  • We keep making the same mistakes every year with things like money. It’s time I stop that pattern in myself!
  • As for the rest of my family:
    • be there more for them, even when it’s hard for me, because it means a lot. Ask them to go out and call just to say hi.
    • Accept that Mom won’t call me unless she needs something. It’s just her; she doesn’t mean it to hurt.
    • Accept that I’m low on the totem pole because I don’t have kids, and that nothing I will do will change that for many people in my family. It’s their loss, not mine, but I can’t be a poorer family member because of it.
    • If it comes up, don’t let my family push me around with their chips on their shoulders, their manipulations, anger and guilt. I have to be a better family member, but not a weak one.
  • As for the furballs…. I already made the pledge this year to make their lives as great as possible. I will no regrets this time about what I could have done, the time I could have spent, when it’s time to say goodbye. The little boogers sleep in a king sized bed; they get to go to Disney World, the beach, and strut their stuff in places like Animal Kingdom, Smithville, and Cape May’s outdoor mall. My one friend said if she dies young, she wants to come back as one of my dogs.

As a member of a community:

  • Being a piece in the mediocrity does not excuse wearing blinders. I got to know what’s really going on and make a difference! Keep getting the facts, keep calling my government and speaking out, keep getting involved! A phone call or an email only take a couple minutes! Remember the people I have met who have busier lives than 10 people combined, but they always worked in time to learn the facts and make a difference. So can I.
  • Get more involved with being a volunteer at the animal shelters. I did only the minimum this year.
  • I can help a hungry family by adding those slips at the checkout line; it costs me less than a lunch out. Like Harry Chapin said: it’s great that I contribute to food boxes at Thanksgiving, but what are those people eating the other 51 weeks of the year?
  • I can give blood at least 4 times a year if I keep up with making appointments. This year, I only did it 3 times because I got sloppy with scheduling donations and my eating habits. That one lost appointment meant 3 lives! [Updated: I’m wrong, I can give 6 times a year – every 56 days.  So I screwed up even more lives than I thought.]

In summary: People are born to be something of meaning and given tools to do that. It’s time I stop doing nothing other than the day to day grind, and it’s time to stop complaining about things in myself and around me and do something about them. A little thing affects everything. If I got things together for Goodwill or Veterans, I remove clutter in my life and improve my well being. That makes John happier too, living with a happy spouse and a better home environment — not to mention helping our taxes! In turn, someone in need gets the sweater they need or a fun thing to put a smile on their face.

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2 responses to “Kwanzaa and resolutions

  1. This is beautiful. I’ve never looked at Kwanzaa before as a way to shape my resolutions for the next year. I will not be lazy in 2008. If I keep that one resolution, everything else will fall into place.

    I really should start giving blood again, too.

    Lovely lovely post.

  2. >I will not be lazy in 2008. If I keep that one resolution, everything >else will fall into place.

    Isn’t that the truth!

    We were really moved by the woman who explained the Kwanzaa celebration and its focus on all our facets as people, both in celebrating them and how we can improve. We especially liked the Unity Cup celebration.

    I was thinking about all that on Christmas Eve as I was thinking about how I can’t let my temper, fears, and laziness stop me from doing things. The two trains of thoughts gelled and created the idea that I could do what Kwanzaa is saying and look through that same focus as I head for another year.

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