Cuddling and other resolutions I’d never considered


I believe in the promise of the new year, and hence I’m committed to formulating a resolution. A few years ago, I added the concept of a new theme and the new year took on an added layer of complexity—and fun.

This year, I’ve crafted a list of goals, resolutions, themes. Maybe it was because we drove 900 miles on New Years Eve as a winter storm chased us across the plains of Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri, and I had abundant time for contemplation.

Or maybe it’s because the older I get the more I realize that I must be vigilant about my fitness if I want to remain active.

Whatever the cause, I pecked away on my phone as steel grey clouds approached from the north.

Lots of this

Then, my daughter-in-law texted a resolution discussion she had had with her son, my grandson, Jack. First she explained the concept of resolutions to him and then shared her specific resolution. Jack considered this before declaring that his resolution was to cuddle more on the couch while watching TV.

So close, buddy.

Yesterday, Jack came to our house in the afternoon, and he mentioned that he had spent time that morning cuddling with his favorite blanket while listening to music.

As my son Ryan speculated, “This may be the best self-care resolution I’ve ever heard.”

In my own life, my resolutions were more of the standard fare of self-flagellation followed by onerous regiments typically enacted predawn. At what point did running a marathon become a good idea? For several years I gave up on resolutions until I realized that change doesn’t have to cause misery.

As the corn fields wizzed past, I considered Jack’s resolution and then modified my own.

My theme continues to be The Paris Project, and my goal is to get to the year 1871. I’ve added to this a deeper look on the role immigration plays on the American food scene coupled with a commitment to eat more street food and embed more Middle Eastern and African recipes into my home repertoire.

I have goals around health: to eat more fermented foods, to never consume commercially raised meat at home, to add more mindfulness practices into a fairly robust workout program.

I have travel goals: Walk the canal du midi. Take one completely spontaneous trip. Return to Bratislava and Budapest.

I have fun goals: read books by six African writers.

And silly goals: Try every macaroon flavor at my coffee shop, Petite Marie Bette.

The goal which most approximates a resolution is to buy nothing—as in no thing. (Our walking shoes being the sole—pun unintentional—exception).

Both Pat and I have committed to this for lots of reasons—environmental concerns, avoidance of clutter, a focus on sustainable sources of happiness.

I’m trying to break the way-too-easy cycle of:

Look at that!


Arriving tomorrow.

This year, to stay the course with all of this, I’ve added a monthly checkpoint with myself. Some of you probably think this sounds absolutely soul sucking, but for me, it’s a continuous reminder of where I find my happiness—as well as a nudge back onto that path. As Covid continues to engross the world, I will need this reminder.

Yesterday, Jack came over and spent a snow day playing with “gramps.” As the afternoon wound down, Jack asked for popcorn and a movie. Settled on the couch, I overheard him say, “Gramps, let’s cuddle.” I walked in to find Jack nestled into the crook of Pat’s arm, a Disney song was playing and popcorn was crunching.

Outside, the ice from Monday’s storm was starting to melt. A weather alert promised more snow overnight. And there sat Jack, completely content, cuddled in the arms of his grandfather as another year played on.

Categories: Ruminations

Tags: , ,

12 replies

  1. I always love your posts, thank you, Julie, the writing, the thoughts, the news, the photos, the whole damn package. Go, Jack! Some of us are in apartments alone because of COVID (I’m one of them) and Skin Hunger (close cousin of cuddling, of course) is a hot topic among us. Every time I meet a friend for an outside walk, I beg for hello and goodbye hugs. One friend told me that she burst into tears taking her Christmas tree to the curb because in wrapping her arms around it, she’d realized that she’d had no hugs in forever. Nonexistent segue to new year… my religious society has encouraged those of us who want to, to choose a Word Of The Year. Mine is CREATE. I have no idea (it’s January 8) what that even means yet, but I’m showing up to create this year, please. My other resolution is one daily tarot card “pull.” For me, tarot cards are most excellent Rorschach blots! And that is my two cents! xoxo Lexi

  2. Definitely printing this one out!!!!

    Sue Scoggins facebook: sue scoggins studio instagram:sue scoggins studio


  3. My resolution has been to buy nothing for similar reasons. That resolution stayed alive for one day. What do you do when you are left to look after 7 chickens and a dog for a week and it rains most of the time and your shoes are ruined … I say ruined. I had to give in and go buy some Croc lookalikes, probably made in China.
    We get great fresh eggs

    • Oh Linda…. So many answers! The most obvious: RUN!! But we are where we are. Life happens! Minutes after we made this resolution, I walked downtown and my purse strap broke. It’s one of those cross body types. Tiny. And the only purse I own. Pat found a new strap for it. Last year, I would have just tossed the purse. I’m going to write all these purchases down and see how we end up. I hope you keep going! (Good grief. Feed the chickens!?)

      • Chicken update. One chicken escaped on Tuesday. Picture this …3 adults and one child running down the street chasing a chicken named Michael Jackson. A neighbor was standing in the middle of street slowing down traffic.

        So best answer- why did the chicken the road?
        He was practicing his Moonwalk.
        Looking for a Thriller

      • Ok. If you don’t have an agent, I’d like to apply…. 😂

  4. Wonderful in so many ways! And I especially appreciate your goals/intentions/resolutions. Thanks for inspiring us!

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