If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

07 January 2006

Overdue: the cliche' resolutions post.

The holidays flew by. 2006 was rung in. Six days in, I am resolutionless. *(I am also Christmas or New Year’s Card-less, but really, you all know by now I’m not going to get my act together to send them. I am in awe of those of you with lives organized enough to have sent me greetings, through the real-live-mail … pictures of kids, dogs, happy families, wishes for peace, love, harmony … You all are seriously my correspondence heroes.)

My friend Michele says that “resolutions” are somewhat confining and passé; Intentions are better. I tend to agree.

And so, in 2006, I intend to …




(Oh, the pressure!!! I can feel you sitting there staring at your screen waiting for me to be interesting before your very eyes. And for my next trick … )

I intend to: Close the loose ends. Which means getting my visa/permit/permesso status here finalized and more permanent than it is today, one way or the other.

Get out of my cave. At least occasionally. Working from home, particularly a home on 20 acres of land, (even nestled in front of a fireplace that’s super-cozy), is a rapid path to isolation. More on this – aloneness v. loneliness – soon. But it shall suffice to say that I will reach out more.

Buckle Down in Verbland. Six months in, I’m still cobbling together sentences using only marginally well the present, past and future tenses in Italian. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve moved here and made my way with the language without anything other than a few lessons on audio CD, the 501 Verbs book, a LOT of super-patient people, and a good mini dictionary. Have skipped that whole “take a formal class” step, which probably would have helped immensely at some point but would just frustrate the crap out of me now. There are at least four other commonly-used tenses and an additional seven not-so-commonly used verb tenses that I need to strap myself down and just … freakin’… learn. I did it with multiplication tables, I did it with marginal lines in high school plays, I did it with poems in English classes, I did it with the #%@$! Periodic table of elements (Though I do now FINALLY get it … Pb is lead. It’s “piombo” in Italian. Oh!!! I do so love the little gifts of unexpected method in the madness.) I can do this.

Shuck the clam. (I can hear the Old Soul laughing.) Confession time: I am classically emotionally unavailable. Truly. I know this. On the surface, I seem funloving, irreverent, open, candid, extroverted. Touch me the wrong way; I close up like a clamshell. I am convinced that part of this is genetically encoded, the rest exacerbated by playing the conglomeration of hands that life dealt me. Knowing is only part of the solving of the problem. Take more risks. Leave the shell open a little more. Let people in. Try.

Get organized. Don't get me wrong. In my professional life, I'm a virtual paragon of organizational excellence (in a manner of speaking), or just a reeeeeeeeeeeeallly good juggler (plate spinner). It's my personal life that's a wreck. The Mom thinks its hysterical that I don't balance my checkbook (I rely on the bank for that) - I don't see that changing. But I do need to get travel-friendly-organized enough to actually have a good recordkeeping system for receipts that can go back and forth with me (so that the idea of having to file my taxes doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out and just leave money on the table because I don’t want to go through piles of ‘unreimbursable business expense’ receipts… The Marathoness is my HERO on this front.) Organized enough to feel ahead of the game in correspondence: to send thankyou notes on time. Birthday greetings. Real Christmas cards next year. (Okay, THAT might be overreaching.)

Let go of stuff that just doesn’t matter. Not physical stuff, but emotional stuff. Because carrying it around is more trouble than it’s worth. You know what I mean.

To be genuine. To laugh more. Life’s too short.

To not borrow trouble from tomorrow.

To reconnect with lives once touched, paths once crossed. Not all, to be certain, but I have been haunted recently by some strange dreams of people in my past; a nagging feeling of dropped stitches in the fabric of my life.

To learn to sail. In somewhat of a tribute to my grandfather, this has been on my intention list for many years, continually carried forward year after year. 12 years living near the Chesapeake Bay; this intention remains unfulfilled. Central Tuscany has a lot to recommend it but seems an unlikely candidate for this. (Though an opportunity just arose; life’s funny sometimes.)

(You'll notice that there's nothing here about lose weight, exercise more, eat more vegetables, fit into my skinny jeans, blah-blah-blah. Nope. If it happens while I'm here along the path of more natural foods, fresh air, hiking more ... I'll take it. But it's not an intention. Seriously. With all this other good stuff to intend to do, how self-absorbed would I sound to "want to fit into a size 8 again"? Besides -- wanting and intending are NOT the same thing. At least not in English.)

To make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate than I.

To say thank you more. To the people who touch my life in ways they themselves probably don’t understand.

And, so ... starting strong on intention fulfillment, Thank you. .

(Not a bad start to the year, if I may say so myself.)


Blogger michele said...

And the key is to give yourself enough room for setbacks. Intentions are living , breathing things... enjoy! I also recommend the sailing intention... one of the best things you can do for your soul.

Happy New Year - see you in February!

4:17 AM  

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