Rachel

New Year’s Day Intentions

Here we are in the New Year. I would love to say I woke up early and and put on quiet music and did yoga and lit a relaxation candle and wrote in my journal and started off the year mindfully and properly and the way someone committing to a practice of yoga and writing and co-blogging about it should start the year.

But the truth is I woke up much later than usual (after 8 am) a bit bleary from champagne and hot toddies and drank coffee and raced off to return a rental car. Most of the day was spent unpacking and doing laundry and folding and sorting and answering piled-up emails doing whatever else attends transitions back to real life. I was hoping to, as my mother would say, “get ahead,” not just keep up. Not just do the laundry piled up, but fix something, get a stain out, organize a pile for Goodwill, figure out what in God’s name to do about the totally unsustainable current “solution” I have for the kids’ clothes. (My four-year-old’s clothes are still mostly in my room; My nine-year-olds are half in a tiny night-table chest and half in plastic containers and not fitting in either.) But I didn’t get ahead. I just treaded water. Stayed afloat. But I did it in slippers and sipping “Winter Solstice” tea–a beautiful combination of apricot and cloves and rosemary and other stuff too–from Java Joe in Park Slope, where Alex once worked. And I did have candles going and music and I washed and gazed all day at the new yoga blanket my sister got me.

We had planned to have New Year’s Eve company, but in the end did not. Planned to be away, but in the end, were here. My nine-year-old is a bit sick, nothing bad, but just enough of a fever to wear pajamas all day and eat saltines, leaving crumbs everywhere.

It was quiet.

I’d like sometime to write about resolutions vs. intentions.Resolutions sound fixed and closed-off, like they could be written in a ledger, accompanied by check-marks; goal accomplished—yes or no. Intensions feel more mystical, open-ended, more about sending out a hope and harnessing the power of the universe to make it happen.

As for today, I can’t say I followed through on my intended practice, I can, with four hours left in the day, under this Supermoon, follow through on intentions more generally, not to judge myself too harshly. This is what I did and did not do. This is what I’ve done and left undone.

I see that Kajal posted last week, wonderful essays posted on her usual days but with an expansiveness to her voice, I imagine, because for once she had a little more time to process the events of her days. I don’t know what gave me the idea that we weren’t posting last week, but it somehow got into my head and stayed there and I never signed in or checked anything last week. I didn’t realize she had posted until last night when I came across a stray email “Liking” a blog post whose name I didn’t recognize. I first felt embarrassed that I had not posted. Then I wondered what Kajal thought about it. Then I thought about how neat it was that she just went ahead and did her work and didn’t worry about what I was or wasn’t doing. There is something rare about that. Something gentle. Most people seem to seize the chance to “check in” somewhat critically. “Did you forget…..?” or “I see you haven’t posted…” or something else that gives them the upper hand.

There were days I did not post when I (now realize) I should have posted. Yet nothing about that feels heavy. One is allowed to make mistakes. Realizing it, acknowledging it, pausing to think about Kajal’s quiet acceptance of it, makes me feel light.

 

—Rachel

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