Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Resolution

I've never really had a serious New Year's Resolution, and generally those I do make are pretty trivial. For example, last year's: get hair cuts more regularly. But this year, I actually made a real one: journal more, and regularly. Not necessarily blogging, but journal - pen. paper. hyper personal. 

There's a lot of back story I should really write about before I jump into this post, but I've drafted more than 10 posts all under the stipulation I'd publish them following the "catch-up" blog posts, which I'd draft later. But I never wrote the "catch-up" posts, and all those  still idle in a drafts folder.

So, here's the skinny of the back story for "all my readers" who aren't members of my family  (are there any???) and don't already know some crucial, recent developments: 

In June I got engaged.

I'd write more about all the excitement, passion and emotions of that moment, but I'm a bit too proud to divulge my softer side publicly

Anyway, fast forward six-plus months and several wedding check-list items later, my fiance and I found ourselves in the first of many marriage counseling sessions with the minister officiating our ceremony. I figured the sessions would be "surface-personal" so the minister could understand enough about us to include a few personal anecdotes during our ceremony as well as offer some general marriage advice, but our first meeting was deep, emotive and more like therapy than expected.

We discussed how we communicate and argue as a couple, the latter subject being a more difficult to share, yet it made me realize why it's so important I begin to journal and write again.

While my fiance is calm and worries very little about the future, I have great difficulty putting aside my thoughts and concerns as soon as they are conceived - no matter how unformed. When I don't release them as they arise, they mount within me and erupt in fits of rage or tears.

For most my life I kept a steady diary that not only satiated my passion for writing, but also served as a therapeutic release of these ideas and concerns. In recent years, I'd shared these feelings on this blog and others in conversations with my fiance. But some items were too personal for the blog, and some too vague to articulate in conversations, and so they would brew within me without escape. And although initially minuscule, over several days it transformed into a ferocious beast I could no longer restrain... leading to unfair, displaced frustrations and bellicose moods - all of which were previously mitigated through my practice of scribing and vetting out these inner workings in prose. 

As I realized this, it reminded of an email FWD my mom shared about holding and releasing stress (paraphrased, original source unknown):

A young woman leading a seminar on stress management walks into a room, pours a small bit of water into a glass and asks, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Several attendees offer measurements in ounces, but she shakes her head. "No, it isn't how many ounces that matters; it's how long I hold it."

She continues, "There is only a small bit of water in this glass, and if I hold it for just a minute, it's no problem. If I try to hold it for an hour, my arm will ache. If I hold it for a day, I'll likely need to see a doctor. You see, in each case it is only a small amount of water, but the longer I hold this glass, the heavier it becomes."

She explains, "That's the same with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, the small things become increasingly heavy and prevent us from carrying on."

So this year I made my first real and healthy New Year's Resolution: to return to my former, beloved and valuable habit of writing.