The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Resolution Distillation

Saturday, January 1st, 2005 in Illinois
Resolution Distillation

I’ve never been enthusiastic about writing New Year’s resolutions so we’ll see how this goes. Let me say at the start that I’m not going to be all militant about writing them, nor a stickler about fullfilling them. I’ll just jot down a few resolutions and see how it goes. I’ll revisit them from time to time—to keep them brewing in the back of my mind.

You see, I’m not all that interested in scheduling my life. My work responsibilities impose enough task-oriented, time-conscious structure on my life. I prefer my personal time to be free from the confines of thinking in terms of days and months and years. It all flows together doesn’t it? Shouldn’t it? And isn’t the present all there is anyway?

So to come up with a list of pliable resolutions that I could work with, I devised a plan. The first step was to write rigid resolutions that begged to be broken: go for a ninety-minute walk after work each evening and cook all my own meals, Sunday through Friday. After listing these impossible goals, I then contemplatated their source, their headwaters. For instance, one resolution was to improve my skills as a science writer and essayist. After diluting this daunting goal and filtering its essence, the resolution became simply: write more.

I then took my remaining aspirations and imagined putting them in a pot of hot water, boiling them up, catching the steam on a chilly surface, and collecting the condensation as it dripped down. The list below are the distillates—the refined resolution droplets—I recovered. An even dozen. Pure and simple.

  • Get outside and enjoy nature
  • Go with the flow
  • Write more
  • Read more
  • Paint with watercolors and oils
  • Swim, bike, run
  • Learn to cook
  • Eat nutritious food (see previous resolution)
  • Listen to good music
  • Watch insightful documentaries
  • Save some money
  • Declutter
Tags for this entry:    ·

Assortment

Low Tides and Seagull Skies
Low Tides and Seagull Skies
The tide was going out rather quickly. Inside the St. Ives harbor, little boats that had bobbed only a few moments earlier had been transformed into statues as the water drained from beneath their keels leaving them stranded on wet sand.
Altitudinal Attitude Adjustment
Altitudinal Attitude Adjustment
On a hike from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake, I discover that adjusting my attitude is the best way to deal with high altitudes. Because if you mope about being a bit breathless in thin air, you’re probably overlooking the spectacular views.
Jackson Lake Lodge
Crossing Wyoming
We drove into Grand Teton National Park along Highway 26, a ribbon of pavement that bisects the Teton National Forest from east to west. This quiet road winds its way through the pass between Mount Leidy and Mount Randolph.