I’m Ada Limón and this is The Slowdown.
I’ve been wondering lately if resolutions, whether they are for New Year’s or just in general, really work. Are they too punitive? Are they too restrictive? Sure, it might be good not to eat too much sugar. And sure exercise is great for you! But do we really have to write these things down to remind ourselves of what we already know?
What about if we made our resolutions easier? Kinder? We know life is hard, and it’s not getting any easier. Maybe we should have resolutions like: enjoy life more or savor everything I eat or slow down time or kiss my dog more or make sure to wish my cat a good morning. This sounds like I’m being unsophisticated or hedonistic, but we know what the real work is, don’t we? We know we need elbow grease to better our lives and our world, but also maybe if we are less punishing with our own goals, we can actually be kinder to ourselves and others.
I set an intention every day and sometimes it is very simple, something like: be present or be flexible or stay aligned. Or sometimes my intention is just to have intention, but lately I think my intentions are leaning a little more into celebration. Don’t we need a little more recognition of joy? Time moves so fast. You don’t need anyone to tell you that, but it’s hard to linger. Maybe my intention today should be to linger.
I can hear the hardworking ancestors now saying, “No, do not rest, nose to the grindstone!” Or maybe some of them are saying, “REST!” And I’m not saying that I don’t work hard, I do, everyone I know works hard, but let’s make a little time for rest, for ease.
Today’s smart poem by Alex Dimitrov reminds us that our lives often happen in the moments we pause, when we recognize what is happening to us right now, that living is not about finishing something or achieving something, but savoring each moment.
by Alex Dimitrov
"Monday" by Alex Dimitrov. Used by permission of the poet.