I know, I know. I’m going there. It’s that time of year when the majority of people resolve to do things differently, be kinder, lose weight, laugh more, stress less…yada yada.

I use to be real into that as well. I’m pretty sure at one point I even had a journal, The New Year’s Journal (yes, it is entitled to propercase font), where I’d list my resolutions each year so that I could keep track of them.

But the past couple of years have felt like an unwinding and an unlearning of that mentality. Not to mention how easy it is to fail at those resolutions 35 days or 35 hours in, and the pervading sense of heaviness, frustration, and quitting which tags along. This year, from now on, I want to be different. Or at the very least, I want to approach the blessing of a new year differently. So as a reflection of where I am today–which just happens to be the 1st day of a 2014–these are my two unresolutions.

Live an unclenched life.

f801b3844bd9f6b981d0cd0362fa9502Several happenings in my life as of late have revealed to me how tightly and deeply I foolishly (and falsely) hold on to my life. I harbor it. I worship it. The loss of both my parents in two years; the feelings of confusion, unanswered questions and deep wounds which surround that loss; my mental imprisonment to panic attacks; the immediate tension in my body, racing in my heart, and assuming in my mind I feel when someone I love comes down with the slightest of coughs or aches; the physical knots in my body; my toxic sense to control others’ beliefs and actions–all these reveal my obstinate clenching.

Somewhere along the lines I became God and took over my life. And it has not served me well. With clenching comes so many complications: stress, illness, paranoia, depression, anger, bitterness, judgment, frustration, joylessness, weight, isolation, fear.

I want need to live life openly, spaciously, in surrender.

Treat every day like January 1st.

I need to get over this idea–this boundary–that January 1st is THE best day to start anew and make commitments. I hold to one of my favorites from Lamentations here:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.

With God, every day is January 1st. In grace, every morning is a new beginning. I’m sure this walks hand in hand with my need to let go. My desire for control leads to my obsession with perfection. And where a goal or plan or day is tainted…well, it’s just much easier to shut down and wait for the proverbial New Year. How much more gracious, spacious, joyous to wake each day with the Happy New Year mentality.

So on this January 1st, these are my unresolutions. May they be nothing more, nothing less, than a faithful friend who walks beside me daily, in light and laughter.

And may the friends on your journey be just as much a blessing to you, each and every perpetual New Year’s Day.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stefani
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 01:35:23

    I soooooooo needed this. Thank you my friend.



  2. Trackback: lifeinthedport
  3. Trackback: with just a word – Life in the Dport

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tried and True Teaching Tools

writing into meaning


An archive of reflective pieces included in school memos and publications.


"To sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."

Escaping Bars

Writings on Love, Pain, Overcoming, Hope, Longing, Justice, and Injustice


Strength \ Vision \ Service \ Exploration

A Tree On Fire With Love

But it's still scary sometimes because most people think love only looks like one thing, instead of the whole world

teaching With "Ang-sigh-eh-tea"

The life of a teacher who struggles with anxiety and depression.

Sampa Sympatico

A Yankee Teacher's Experience of Sao Paulo, Brazil


The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Once Upon a Time in México

Living my dream of teaching, traveling, and discovering culture

Teach. Travel. Taste.

A peek into the life of an American teacher in Colombia


Adventures in Globetrotting

Nomad Notions

Tales of Expat Living, Teaching, and Tramping in Taiwan and Beyond.

Sojourners' Journal

“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people." —Albert Einstein

Middle East by Midwest

Observations and Experiences of Bahrain

Ex(pat) and the City

The life of a twenty-something Canadian living & teaching in Korea.

International Schools Review

ISR Discussion Boards are open to site members and visitors alike. Your Voice Counts.

Teaching & Traveling

The Life of An International Teacher




Teaching in Brooklyn in Spite of Everything

Actively Dying

by Peter Fall Ranger

Practicing Presence

An attempt at mindfulness in life, learning, and love


by Aleya Kassam

Words Half Heard

writing into meaning


A snapshot of my journey to living each day with gratitude and striving to be full of greatness

Imperfect Happiness

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. ~ Mary Oliver


"I'm too old to live my life in fear of dumb people." - Charlie Skinner, The Newsroom

Perfectly Pleased

Finding joy and beauty in the simple things

Cultivate Clarity

creative writing and mindfulness-based coaching, workshops, and retreats

Crawling Out of the Classroom

In everything that my students and I do together, we strive to find ways to use reading and writing to make the world outside of our classroom a better place for all of us to be


writing into meaning


Purpose, Perspective, and Perseverance for thriving in a challenging world


Taking the journey, bumps and all

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

Nonlinear Compilations

Parenting, teaching, writing, and learning to find beauty in the present

talk from chalk

What I've learned while teaching

Thoughtful teaching

Thoughts on teaching in the modern world.

Hope, Honor, and Happiness

A blog for the book “Kingdom of the Sun” and discussions on finding the Hope, Honor, and Happiness in education, life, and the seemingly impossible.

Secret Teacher

Life inside the primary classroom

A Confederacy of Spinsters

Sex, Dating, and Surviving Your Twenties

Miss Four Eyes

Seeing twice as much absolutely counts as a super power.

%d bloggers like this: