“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happy New Year, ChoralNet Folks! We here at Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics will start the New Year blogs this January as we often do; with a theme. As we begin a new year, many of us make resolutions. But instead of resolutions, I suggest you try the Try Method this year; I am trying it myself. All four of my January’s blogs will suggest subtle ways I am trying to change my life without making difficult-to-keep resolutions.
I gave up New Year’s resolutions long ago, since with the best of intentions making resolutions has never worked for me. I am sure many of you agree! I’ve tried New Year’s resolutions in every aspect of my life for years and years; professionally, as a parent, as a spouse and for my own health. I don’t know if I failed because I don’t have the discipline to carry through or resolutions I chose were just not doable or were too complicated for me or I made too many.
Ten or eleven resolutions always seemed like a lot and were difficult to keep track of. With that many items to check off a list, we set ourselves up for failure. Since we do not seem able to follow through with one of our resolutions, the rest come tumbling down, one after another. I reasoned, how many resolutions would be ideal? I came up with four I thought I could work easily into my life (there are four Thursdays in January 2018—coincidence?????).
I mentioned in the first few sentences of this blog, I am calling this the Try Method. Why? Because “trying” is an action verb and doing something feels better than doing NOTHING. So, I will TRY. I may not always succeed, but I will try. During January, this is what I am trying:
- January 4: Beginning Anew (Try Something New)
- January 11: Being Honest (Try Being Truthful)
- January 18: Don’t Be Fake (Try Being Genuine)
- January 25: Say Something Nice (Try Being Nice for No Reason)
In one of my December blogs, I mentioned my father celebrated his 90th birthday in December. I also mentioned Dad was something of a well-known dancer, nationally and in Chicago. For his birthday/Christmas present, I took him to a relatively new production of “The Nutcracker” by the Joffrey Ballet. We went to lunch before (we went to a matinee; Dad is 90 years old, remember) and had a grand time.
We attended the ballet a few days after Christmas, and at lunch I asked Dad if he had been able to get to one or both Christmas Eve services at church. He chuckled and told me he HAD to attend all the services because he is the church projectionist. What? Yep, he proudly told me, he is the church projectionist as of last year. The church fathers thought because he had been in “show biz” he would know what to do. Dad said he had to learn to operate the projector—and really, he said, it’s so much easier to read the hymns when they are projected—but it was easy. Then he told me I should “get with the program” and try something new because I might like it—my 90 year old father!
I am trying new veggies and new music. Trying a new hair style (I went back to the old one, but even so) and trying a new appliance repairman. I am trying a new brand of coffee (and a new coffee shop) and a new way of organizing my choir’s music. So far, so good. I like the coffee, think the new music will be fun and can tell the new music organization system will be way better than the old. I already bagged the new haircut and went back to the old one but that’s the only thing which hasn’t “stuck.” I am evolving, perhaps not quickly, but enough so I can tell a difference. I am not sure about the kohlrabi though!