I love a good list of resolutions. It’s not because I magically think that this will be the year that I make it back to France. Or drink more water. Or learn how to meditate. It’s because it could be.
Resolutions for my apartment feel slightly more concrete. But concrete or not, the list can still appear daunting. I know that I might not figure out how to organize my spice cabinet. I may never decide how to hang curtains in dormer windows. Come year end, I might still have a dining table that isn’t quite right. The ugly bathroom mirror might still be on the bathroom wall.
But it still feels so good to write it all down.
I understand that many people don’t feel a similar fondness for the new year tradition. Resolutions can feel like a whole lot of pressure. And at the end of the year, a glance back at a list of resolutions that you haven’t kept might feel like looking at a whole lot of failure. But for me, I admit that I get more panicky about not making my list.
For me, writing a list feels life-affirming. Even if I know that it’s filled with things that I might no get to, the very act of dreaming up a list of goals is so satisfyingly human. Hope in the face of challenges! A pledge to move forward in the face of inertia! Optimism! My list makes me feel like anything is possible. Even if it’s just finding the curry powder on first attempt. And maybe I’m naive, but I think that the list making is what makes things happen.
I come by the habit naturally. At my mom and dad’s house, there’s a list taped to the side of the refridgerator. It’s written on lined paper and my mom’s insanely neat handwriting spells out in perfect rows a series of tasks that she and my dad hope to accomplish around their house. Some of the tasks have been crossed out in thick stripes of yellow highlighter. Others are still left undone. The specifics of the list don’t matter nearly as much as its existence. Yes, it represents mundane tasks. But reglazing windows, pane by twelve-over-twelve pane, is also a metaphor for optimism, care, and intention.
As far as I’m concerned, there doesn’t need to be a deadline on resolutions. A month comes and goes and you haven’t cracked the first thing on your list? Fine. You decide that tearing down an ugly mirror in a rental is foolhardy? Been there. If you try and stop trying, you can always start trying again. Something you haven’t accomplished yet it still something you can accomplish.
So, here’s a little new year encouragement to draft a list. Cheers to January in apartments tiny and otherwise.