…comes from some other beginning’s end.
In January it’s almost impossible to watch television or venture outdoors without being coerced into a New Year’s resolution. Lose weight. Exercise. Send more greeting cards. I appreciate the reasoning inspiring resolutions, but I personally never make them. First of all, it seems a bit cruel to set oneself up for failure within the first few days of a new year. Secondly, for the past four years (and for most of my life, come to that) I haven’t exclusively followed the Gregorian calendar.
My life runs according to academic calendars. Add/drop periods. Finals. Registration. Beginnings and endings moving along an infinite cycle. Therefore each semester commences like a new year and with it a host of hopes: “maybe this semester I’ll finally manage my time better,” “I’m going to try to stay mellow,” or “this Spring I’ll pack a new lunch.” Of course towards the end of every “year” everything is held together by an ever thinning bit of string. By then, there are no packed lunches just sprints to the vending machine. And just when you think the string will finally give way, one semester ends and another begins.
Spring 2011 will be the final semester I take three seminars, like a regular graduate student. Come Fall, I’m in dissertation prep mode and suddenly catapulted into another stratosphere of student life. Maybe calendars don’t exist there. At least not in the same way.
But for now, I do have some habits, dare I say resolutions, that I’d like to cultivate:
1. Drink more yogurt — apparently as a baby I loved yogurt. Ever since I could hold a cup without assistance I’ve not been a fan of anything related to dairy. But when it tastes like strawberries and has the consistency of velvet it might be worth looking into.
2. Start the day with maté — after many failed attempts, I’ve finally figured out how to integrate this beverage into my routine. First of all, I won’t share my gourd. Even though this is an essential part of the maté-drinking ritual I can’t abide by it since I really hate sharing. Second, if I put my straw in at the end, I won’t swallow the leaves, which really improves the whole experience. Then I sip, relax, and pour in some more water.
3. Listen to music with lyrics — I can’t recall the study, but I did read that one’s capacity for embracing new music diminishes with age. And if you’re like me, you’re already predisposed to only liking what you already like. I think by now I’ve listened to my entire i-Tunes library at least four times. And when I do venture into new music, it’s film scores. So with the help of Pandora and rediscovering some old favorites, I might be able to squeeze in at least an hour of lyric-filled music everyday of 2011. The kids at PS22 have me currently re-swooning to The Cure.