There are lots of reasons why I never make resolutions in January. One big one is my genetic disposition to not do what everybody else is doing. Examining my life because society tells me so is not my idea of fun, and besides, I hate being slave to a calendar.
Another reason is that January is simply an inconvenient time. After surviving December (and being a musician, let me tell you, December is a serious survival kind of month), the last thing I feel like doing is making a self-improvement wish list. Come January 1st, all I want is a long winter's nap. I don't need resolutions. I need recovery.
For me, recovery comes in June. It rolls in on salty waves, soaring low over the tide with the pelicans. It tickles me with that wonderful ooshy feeling of sand between my toes and then melts me into a puddle of relaxation as I settle into my beach chair with a good book and a cold drink.
It's no wonder that I spend fifty frantic weeks of the year waiting for beach time. No matter how stressed I am or how overbooked my life has become, the cure for what ails me waits at the end of Highway 12 in North Carolina. And it's here, with fishing boats, laughing gulls and the warm sun on my back, that I have both the time and the inclination to sit down, think, and take stock.
This year as I pondered my personal state of the union, it occurred to me that I spend a lot of non-vacation time thinking about vacation, waiting for vacation, and wishing everything would hurry up so it would be time for vacation. How dumb is that? Why do I think I have to travel six hundred miles to relax?
The answer, of course, is that I don't have to. Or maybe more accurately, I shouldn't have to. My oceanside resolution (less a to-do list and more an attitude adjustment) was to carve out those spaces in my life and in my house where I can relax, and think, and read, and just be. This isn't to say that I don't need to go on vacation anymore and sit next to the ocean and ponder. No, no, that's still very important, especially since oceans, sea turtles and slow southern drawls are in short supply here in Michigan. But if I can create spaces that aren't crammed full of commitments and possessions, maybe I can rediscover a little bit of me that gets lost along the way 50 weeks of the year.