Thursday, January 1, 2015
Resolutions Should Be Fun and Should Not Use the Word Should. Shoot. I've Already Broken My Own Rule.
And that one rang true to me. I don't know if that was my actual post or if it's only wishful thinking. I do know that my resolution last year was to sleep naked more often. Though I started out strong in the new year, just as with other, less fun resolutions, I slacked off on this as the year went by. By year's end, I was more often in a tattered baseball jersey in bed rather than in my birthday suit.
But I stick by my premise (or whoever's premise it might have been). Resolutions should be fun. Otherwise the new year starts out on such a punitive note. Lose weight. Get more sleep. Work harder. Work out. Spend more time with your kids. Eat right. Quit smoking. Quit drinking. Read more. Watch less TV. Quit Facebook.
New Year's resolutions are for the puritans in all of us, I swear.
I'd rather resolve to spend more time with friends. To push myself outside of my comfort zone. To do something I've never done before. Go somewhere new. Shake things up a little. Activate the gray matter in my brain so it doesn't slowly slip into atrophy as the years go by.
This year I would like to spend more time with friends. Go out with my girlfriends once a month. Host more parties. Not make such a big deal out of having parties. The house doesn't have to be perfect. (It already is, let's be honest.) I don't have to cook all of the food. I don't have to buy all of the booze. (My friends come with plenty.) I think my perfectionism gets in the way of my socialism. (Yes I know it doesn't mean that.)
I'd like to resolve to be more impetuous and less perfectionist.
I'd also like to get a little more uncomfortable sometimes. I went to a Startup Grind event in December. I saw Veronika Scott speak about how she started The Empowerment Plan. Her initiative is one to help the homeless. Her company makes coats that turn into sleeping bags for the homeless. The coats are actually made by women who were formerly homeless. Therefore Scott is not only making a product that helps the homeless, her company itself is employing the homeless to make that product. It was in inspirational evening on a dark, cold night in Detroit. A night I didn't feel like going downtown. A night I just wanted to leave work and go veg at home in front of HGTV.
There are Startup Grind events each month in Detroit. And each event features a different entrepreneur from our city. I'd like to resolve to go to Startup Grind each month. Once a month I'd fling myself out of my comfort zone. Once a month I'd go out instead of going home. Once a month I'd meet new people instead of hermitting away in my own home.
That's a start.
I'd like to go to temple more often. I'd like to connect to my sangha. Every time I go to temple, I leave with a head full of good thoughts. I'm often inspired to write. Sunday mornings at Still Point Zen Temple last much longer than the hour or so of time they require. That hour feeds my mind for many hours and days afterwards.
I'd also like to be naked more in 2015 than I was in 2014. Even though I fell off the wagon last year, I want to make another effort. Humans are animals. We crave closeness. We crave intimacy. Babies can die if they don't get enough skin-to-skin contact with their mothers. Little baby monkeys prefer the comfort and warmth of a cloth-covered fake mother than the cold, hard fake wire mother with a bottle of formula. You see, comfort and warmth takes precedence over even food.
We often forget this.
Are our New Year's resolutions meant to be punitive? A strict set of rules on how to be better people? Better looking? Thinner? Healthier? Smarter? Or should our resolutions make us happier? What makes us happy? What does science say?
I've heard it time and time again, but our minds crave new experiences. Our minds crave change. Throw yourself out of your comfort zone in 2015. Do something inconvenient. Go to an event and meet new people. Wake up early on a Sunday. Get naked with your significant other even when it's cold and they're annoying.
Keep life interesting. Keep your brain guessing on what you might do next. You might be surprised by how happy getting out of your comfort zone makes you. It's counter-intuitive really.
But I find that the smartest things usually make the least sense at first.
Happy New Year to all of you. I'm making this post in all its imperfect glory. I'm uncomfortable with that, but here's me pushing myself out of my comfort zone on this first day in 2015. I challenge you to do the same.
And let me know how it goes.