I’ve given up resolving to lose ten pounds (now it should be fifteen) and exercise more. I still hope to do those things, but know I can’t count on enough self-discipline to accomplish either.
So this year I kept it simple. Two discrete goals, time-limited. And a continuation of my jagged trajectory in the bigger sphere of spiritual growth.
A beloved baby grand piano takes up a quarter of my living room but sits unplayed. I love music. I want to play it. But something else always seems more urgent. One day Jim asked, “Could you just practice thirty minutes a day?” So I made a resolution to do that. I didn’t tell him, but I just sat down and played (badly) on New Year’s Day.
That afternoon our condo book club got together for drinks and snacks to celebrate the New Year. We went around a circle, describing something meaningful we experienced over the holidays or during 2019. When it came to Jim, he said, “My wife played the piano for me.”
I didn’t know such a simple thing would mean so much to him. So this is one I’m going to try to keep.
My other resolution was only for a month. I’m writing a third book and I promised myself (and my agent) to have a complete book proposal in her hands by January 31. Will I do it? I’m making progress. I believe I can do it, which helps.
The spiritual practices I want to continue (I won’t call them resolutions) are two. One is writing in a daily gratitude journal, in which I list up to five things for which I’m thankful. This practice keeps me grounded. It reminds me, even when life is painful, that something in my life – a warm home, a loving companion, enough money, good doctors, a supportive faith community – is a sign of God’s continuing grace.
The second is to carve out at least thirty minutes a day for silence. I may walk or journal or meditate or pray or read Scripture or other inspirational writing – or just sit quietly and listen for the “still, small voice” within.
Camille Harris says
Lovely post, Carolyn. Ironically, I just played my piano for about 30 minutes – for only the 2nd time in 9 months since we moved to a condo. It was so relaxing.
I just let go and played like I could play without sheet music – and it was fun! I made up some chords and arpeggios that sounded rather nice. I didn’t learn how to “play by ear,” so this positive experience encourages me to keep doing it!
Next, I opened up the sheet music for Handel’s “The Messiah” and softly, slowly played one piece. Of course, I missed quite a few notes. But that, too, was surprisingly encouraging!
I’m don’t think I can commit to playing piano 30 minutes/day. But I think I can commit to at least 30 minutes/week – maybe more! Playing music refreshes the soul!
Thanks for the encouragement – and all the best with your New Years goals!
Carolyn Parr says
Thanks, Camille. Good to find a piano soul-mate!