New Year's day was 2 months ago. The groundhog has come and gone with his reliably unreliable predictions, and March has arrived less like a lion and more like its exiting lamb; we have only had one fire since February.

As holidays line up, New Year’s is a favorite, I’m sure because I am a person who requires frequent restarting. There’s always something going wrong that needs to be made right, overturning that needs straightening out. Accidents and oversights, needing pardon. The entire erratic course of the year seeking revision on that first day of the new year, empty and open as the boughs of winter trees.

Also known as resolutions.

Among other things, I hoped I would find more ways to be present this year, though I’m not certain I even know what that means or how to go about accomplishing it. Have more meaningful conversations, sink into quiet time but seize all teachable moments. Avoid echo chambers. It seems like each one of these things gets in the way of the other. Everything takes time.  Everything takes away from something else.

In many ways, I think I am predisposed to live in that middle, unmoderated area between being fully present and not there at all. I like to visit with my lively neighbors and partake in the punch while my children run around wildly, parenting themselves. I like to believe the fact that they are clothed and fed means that I am a responsible person. That if I am kind and grateful and adamant about recycling, this will all rub off on them and they will fill the shapes of good and responsible people.

Am I so far off? If I have bathed you, if I have thoughtfully prepared a meal for you, if I take you across the street to play with friends, while I visit with mine, kissing your forehead whenever you walk by: isn’t this being present? If I help clear the dishes while you walks upstairs to see who is crying, if he notices my glass is empty and fills it, if you offer your most honest opinion. Are these not the moments we are seeking?

The present is a place you can easily lose yourself in, trying to keep up with that pervasive directive to “live in the moment”. Life will always be moving around us, a landscape that rushes by in a dizzying display of colors. We are part of this undulating motion. “Being present” is more than one understated resolution. It is learning the language of gifts, time, praise, service and affection. It is listening to know which one is being spoken, and learning to speak each one in turn.

Happy (somewhat still) New Year!

Enjoy reading through a few of our readers #resolutionfails, as well as my own, caught on camera, by the incomparable Kristen LeQuire.

20 sober detox days a month? Meh. I think I was just mad at myself for how much I drank over the holidays.
— Josh LeQuire
Over the holidays, I purchased a month’s membership to an awesome cycling studio. I was going to ride, ride, ride to skinny thighs over my extended break from work. But NO. Instead I was sick, took forever to get gifts from Santa Amazon Prime, had family visiting at our house for 6 days, had to knock out house to do’s, & had to watch Clemson football. Priorities! Second New Year’s begins later this Spring when Orangetheory opens in Mt. Pleasant! Wish me luck.
— BLT Sandwich
I just made my resolutions today. I like to make them the day after my birthday. This way I can carry them on into February while everyone else is started to poop out on theirs.
I resolve to eat better this year. Ask me in a month how that is going.
— Susan Irvine
2017- I resolved to have more “me” time. Now all I can do is laugh at it. I have 3 kids under 4 and don’t expect me time for the next 18 years or so. Bless my heart.
— Jackie McKellar
From the wayback files.. My resolution was to work out more. I purchased a few Men’s Health magazines. I taped up a poster that contained dumbbell workouts on the back of my bedroom door. Even went so far as to buy one of these resistance band contraptions that you can take with you when you travel (‘cause everyone does that, right?) and kept it in the back of my car. Long story short, the bands got used maybe twice, and the dumbbells are currently out in my garage where they’ve been gathering dust for a couple of years. That is, on top of the dust they collected for a few years in the garage at our previous house.
— Austin Atkinson

photo cred LeQuire Photo

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