What I know

IMG_9426

Our family resolutions, on New Year’s Eve, with our up-much-later-than-usual tree visible in the background.

I’ve started the last few years writing about things I know, which is my version, I suppose of resolutions.  This year, Grace asked all of us to write down three resolutions on a paper star and hung all 12 of them from the chandelier in our dining room.  Over dinner, with our star-shaped resolutions spinning gently in the air above us, we talked about them.  Mine were pretty simple: Be here now, meditate 5 minutes every single day (I want to take a several-times-a-week habit and commit to it as a daily one in 2016), and stop snapping at my family.

In general, though, I don’t much go for making resolutions.  Rather, reflecting on what the year that’s closed has taught me feels like a good way to move forward into a new one.  So, with that in mind, I’ve been mulling for several weeks what I know now.  These dovetail, I find, with the resolutions I articulated when Grace asked me to.

I know that I need 8 hours of sleep.  I also know that I am prone to insomnia.  These two incontrovertible truths are often at odds with each other.

I know that the fastest way to gratitude and awareness of my blessings is paying attention to what’s right in front of me.

I know that I love most of all the three people I live with.  It is too easy to treat those who are closest to us poorly.  We trust them, and so we fall apart with them.  But this is backwards.  They deserve the best of us, not the worst.

I know that I happier when I move my body every day.  Yoga, walking, running, spinning; it can take lots of shapes.  But it helps me sleep, it helps me be present, it helps me inhabit my physical self and thus my own life.

I know that my intuition about people and situations – which I refer to as my Spidey Sense – is very rarely wrong.  I need to start trusting it more often.

I know that poetry is my lingua franca, the language my soul speaks.  I need to read it often.

What do you know?  What are your resolutions, if you make them?


Get Lindsey's thoughts on mindful living and parenting in your inbox

18 Comments

  1. Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Those are all good points and I love this idea of starting from “what we know.”

    admin Reply:

    Me too. One thing I know? How glad I am that you’re in my life! xox

  2. Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I love this list and so many of yours are mine too. Especially the need to sleep and the need to move… Happy New Year to you all!

    admin Reply:

    Amen to both. xox

  3. Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Beautiful stars… ‘What I know’ is a fabulous way to look at the new year. I’m not a fan of resolutions either. What I know this year is that I don’t know anything. But, hopefully, I’ll find my way. Best to you in 2016.

    admin Reply:

    Yeah, me neither, truly. I think all the time of that song line, “the more I know, the less I understand.” One thing that has surprised me about adulthood is the way that it involves less, not more, certainty. About everything. xo

  4. Nadine
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I, too, know I need eight hours of sleep and that I’m doing no one in my family a favor if I don’t get it. Also regular snacks and good, healthy food (I get hangry).
    I have further come to realize that I need reading time. This is so obvious and I’ve always known it, but at times I forget how much it sustains me and that I need to make it an active priority in the current stage of my life.

    Thank you for inspiring these thoughts, and best wishes for 2016!

    admin Reply:

    Yes, me too on the reading time. It’s so hard to protect it, when my professional life speeds up, but I really swear to try. xox

  5. Michelle
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I love Grace’s idea of writing out three resolutions and hanging them above your table.

    A couple of months ago I started a routine of reading at least one poem before getting out of bed in the morning. I mean to do it every day, and I do it most and I love it. Sometimes the poem I read lingers in my head all day long.

    Happy New Year to you. Thanks for sharing.

    admin Reply:

    What an absolutely marvelous practice. I love that. How do you pick?

  6. Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I know I want to write a novel before I die. I know I am a good writer. I know I need to force myself to write an outline so I can finish the novel in sentence one. I know I am the only one stopping me from accomplishing what I know.

    admin Reply:

    That last one? Yes. I know that too. It’s hard to admit, to acknowledge, and, most of all (for me), to move past. Welcome, 2016!! So grateful you are out there. xox

  7. Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Great post, Lindsey. Those are all great points. And I have to second what Stacey said about moving more. It helps in every facet of life. My goal for 2015 was to walk 600 miles. I didn’t make it, but did walk more miles than I’ ever walked before, so I consider it a victory regardless. This year, I plan to keep moving, both physically and spiritually, and just live a more positive life in general.

    Happy New Year!

    admin Reply:

    600 miles! That’s major. Bravo on walking more than ever before. I love that, as a goal and also as a metaphor. xox

  8. Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Such a good practice to take stock of what you know, and what better time than the turn of the year.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so much. xox

  9. Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Ah, sleep, insomnia, loving those in our homes, poetry, presence, movement…yes, yes, yes. Wishing you much happiness in 2016.

    admin Reply:

    And you, too. xoxox

  10. Julie
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Lindsey. I love the “what I knows” – an inspiring yet practical take on resolutions. And I, too like the poem every morning idea! Much nicer than checking the phone!

    admin Reply:

    Right? I may need to adopt that poem practice!

  11. Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely adore this, Lindsey.

    Meditating is on my list as well. I am trying for one or two minutes a day. If you have a chance, check out CBS Sunday Morning (yesterday’s) – they highlighted a powerful story on meditation. Here is the link – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-quiet-power-of-meditation/

    admin Reply:

    I will check that out! Did you read Dan Harris’s 10% Happier? It is really compelling.

  12. Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    I know that I need sleep, too. Eight hours would be devine. I need alone time. I need sun. I know that a consistently busy schedule rattles me to my core.

    admin Reply:

    Me TOO. I still don’t quite know how to halt the spinning once it happens, but I know I need to figure that out. Maybe that’s progress?

  13. Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    “Divine!” Oops

  14. Michelle
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    For some reason it’s not letting me reply to your comment above.
    I choose one of my books of poetry from my bookshelves and work my way through but might pick up another on some days. Or I’ll google a poet I feel like reading something from if I don’t have a book of theirs. I’ve also been taking more poetry books out of the library recently.
    🙂

    admin Reply:

    I love this practice.

  15. Posted January 5, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I love this, Lindsey. Some of your “what I know” statements are mine too – I know I need sleep, need to move, need to pay attention. Such a good way to start the New Year. xo

    admin Reply:

    Thank you! I’m not surprised that we KNOW some of the same things. xox

  16. Posted January 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I love how you are building on what you know, Lindsey, strengthening from those points and stretching more into yourself, creating your best you in this way. I am going to follow your example as I consider my year ahead. Thank you!

    I’m also going to approach my intentions for the year as just that rather than vows. Last year I made broader, more open spaced intentions for devoting time and practice to what mattered to me and despite what you often hear about the importance of making your resolutions accountable, I found this approach rewarding (and a little less nerve-warcking g) than the harder structure I’ve used in the past. Maybe the thing that worked here was also grounding my intentions into what I know deeply matters to me.

    Best wishes for your year and thank you for this blog that adds insight and thoughtfulness to my life.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so, so much. This kind comment makes my day. And I like the image of grounding our intentions into what matters most. xox

  17. Posted January 5, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Yes to all of these — and I get you on the spidey sense… I say that it may not be the “correct” sizing up of someone in general, but it always seems to be the spot-on sizing up of the person/thing for me. xo

    admin Reply:

    Exactly! xox

  18. Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I love this post as a way of brining in the new year.

    I have always been one of those people who makes overly ambitious resolutions and then fails to keep them. I don’t want to be that person. Last year ended in a very unexpected way for me and so I’m hoping to approach this year with a more open-minded attitude so my goal for the year is simply to surrender to the experiences that unfold in front of me. I find myself still processing exactly what 2015 taught me but I think a huge part of the lesson was that I can’t force things to happen and I need to let go of the expectations I’ve imposed on myself and that have been either directly or indirectly imposed on my by others.

    None of this is concrete and none of it is easy but it’s what I’m trying to start 2016 with.

    admin Reply:

    I think the goal of surrendering to our experience as it unfolds is about the loftiest and most important one we can have. Don’t you? xox