Zazen Day 3 – Resolutions

In spite of starting this practice dangerously close to the new year, I don’t really make resolutions. I say “really” because I’m sure I’ve made some boring promises to lose weight or write every day in the past, but I can’t remember any one set in detail. When I moved to Boston for grad school nearly 10 years ago (horrifying) I made a journal resolution to buy a vibrator and start smoking pot. The former was accomplished, the latter not until years later – and neither changed me in the ways I thought they would. The blank slate and promise of a fresh start that occurs for some on January 1st never felt like such for me. Resolutions are made to fail.

Attempting 28 days of Zazen now was not the product of any cava-soaked pretense of accomplishment, but the end of a very long road of suppressing my own needs for the sake of others. When I was in my teens and 20s, I was perpetually mortified by my mother’s behavior when she disapproved of someone; her disdain was visible, tangible. But my mother used to joke that she was nice when she was my age – then she started to know better. I’m still unfailingly polite, probably to a fault, but I get what she meant. I have fewer fucks to give, and I’m pretty much going to be trapped at the blue-line forever if I don’t start going after what I want and caring less about what people think of me.

So I was thinking today about what I would resolve to do – little things that are achievable but can seem insurmountable. I came up with two that were direct but not conditional (e.g. Start going to therapy, contingent upon affordability)

– Leave the house wearing lipstick without feeling morbidly self-conscious
– Write (at least) one short story
– Go to (at least) one live music show

A silly little list, really. I’m missing my mother a lot today. I can’t fix or change anything that’s happened recently, but I can do my best, for them.

Best online thing I read today: The Ride of a Lifetime by Sheila Weller / Vanity Fair

Song I loved today: Place to Be / Nick Drake

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