It’s been a delightful, ponderous, thoughtful, carefree, and good-company-filled “University Holiday.” Today is the final day of a mandatory vacation. I was apprehensive and worried about the unpaid days, but that’s just a little bit of life to sort out. What has been tougher to navigate this week is the idea of Resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions get bad press. We get twisted about where we are and where we should or could or would be if this or that did or didn’t happen. Lots of energy goes into venting and making a single or list of resolutions for change. We want to feel, look, sound, smell, and get paid better. We make “great proclamations” and vow to do, eat…smell better.
And then life barges in and upsets our best laid plans.
With this in mind, I’ve resisted resolutions for years until my friend, SuperDave, asked the assemblage to name one resolution for 2015. His kiddos spoke with wisdom of loving more and being more responsible. Both Dave and Katie spoke of gratitude for support given and a love that looks forward with hope and stick-with-it-ness.
By my turn, I was only hearing one word whispering in my thoughts, “Listen.”
“I want to listen more.”
(Crap. It’s out there and now I’m accountable!) What does this mean?
This is where the revolution comes in; I want to value others and their stories as I hope for my kids, friends, and myself. This takes the courtesy to listen with an open heart and good boundaries. I’ve got a lot of learning to do. A willingness to say the hard thing in love is one thing, but to listen with an open and – let’s face it – minimally-defensive heart? That takes resolve.
I want to listen more to the changing symphonies of the world around me; to pay attention with intention. To listen to hear and understand rather than to analyze, strategize, fix, or even to encourage. Just listen and see what bubbles up in the silence.
I don’t like great gobs of silence. If you want me to clean a car or house or focus on work, put in good music or an audio book and off I go. Music and stories take the edge off of drudgery and loneliness.
But maybe listening to the loneliness has merit.
Sometimes at least.
What bubbles up in the quiet?
Stop. Look. Listen. & Think.
We teach our kids to do this before they cross their own big intersections and make their busy way forward.
It’s time for me to do as well and wisely.
Listening. Still searching.