March 1, 2011

Any New Year’s Resolutions Left?

In the new year my students and I discussed New Year’s Resolutions and whether in private lessons or groups, there was always a discussion. To my surprise only one student made any. No one else believed in making them.

In our discussions culture came up (was it because they were Quebecers?), as did maturity (they are all from 30-50), or realistic ideas (are making resolutions a dumb idea?). I’ve always been led to make resolutions (or at least one) every year by family, friends, or even their parents. During Christmas holidays there are always a few people who ask ‘What are your resolutions going to be this year?’. I’m not alone and have no idea if it’s an English thing or a North American one. Many a blog listed the writer’s resolutions for the year, some with small or meaningful endeavours while others contained life-changing events. I purposefully avoided it – a rebel with a minute cause.

Most of my students didn’t think change should only be actioned on January 1st. Why not any time of the year? One enrolled in language training in the fall while another took up knitting 2 weeks ago. In November another vowed to do more outdoor activities during the winter. The one student who made a resolution kept it simple. Her one and only resolution was to start reading again because she missed it and getting lost in the plots. Coincidently, another student decided to put herself first, not as a resolution, but because she was tired of putting herself last. Now at the end of February she is quite content and enjoying herself.

One student in my group intrigued us all in telling us about a Haitian custom. They make wishes for the year instead of resolutions. This student made a small list of wishes she would like to come true. If they don’t, it’s no big deal, but if they do, how wonderful it is. She wouldn’t dare share her list for fear of them not coming true (for the same reason birthday wishes are kept secret). Looking around the table many looked lost in thought. Thinking about wishes, maybe?

For the second year in a row I haven’t made resolutions. Like many of my students I make changes if and when I see fit, not solely on January 1st. The one student got me thinking though. I’m too active for a wish list as I can’t sit idly by waiting for something to happen. Instead a made a ‘Would Like List’. It is a list of things to see/do/experiences for this year. There are things that intrigue me and things that I enjoy, and maybe one or two that are a challenge. Like my student, if they don’t happen, no worries, but if they do, fabulous!

Learn what to do with kasza (buckwheat groats) – Kasza is part of Polish food – I wouldn’t say cuisine though. It’s supposed to be healthy so I’ll figure out what to do with it and give it a try.
Cook with quinoa – A cousin introduced this grain to me and I enjoyed it. It’s full of good stuff for your body so I’m going to try and bring it into my diet more.
Make a dent in my family tree – I’ve been interested in my family’s history all my life and the task and paperwork has gone to the wayside in recent years. This year I’d like to try and delve into my granddad’s military history in WWII.
Experiment with sweet potatoes – Like quinoa, I don’t know what to do with sweet potatoes. Since regular potatoes have had to be pushed out I’d like to try and replace them with this orange tuber.
Read more – I enjoy reading and usually have a book in my school bag so I can read during my lunch. I think I should read more at home as I’m spending way too much time in front of the TV this winter.

Make muffins – They’re handy and easy to take with you, plus you can make them healthy.

Tackle my Style at Home recipes – Donna Hay joined the S@H team in 2010 and provides the magazine with great recipes. Every one I’ve tried has been delicious. Now I just need to work my way through the stack in my kitchen.

Breakdown and take fish oil – I need my Omega3s and purchased some oil from my naturopath. But I haven’t taken any. Well, I did twice and it made me gag. She’s given me a few ideas, but I need to move past that oily texture and just do it.
Go Whitewater Rafting – I finally did this last summer after 15 years of putting it off. The summer program I work for is doing it again and I want to go. I love it!
Go ZipLining – This looks like fun, but I’m not fond of being up high. I think I’d enjoy it.


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