Plenty of exasperating nonsense about making resolutions is written at this time of year, especially in the magazines and inspirational blogs, although this one (link posted by a Facebook friend) included a paragraph that made me pause. The author says it's pointless trying to change what is not within our control. So far, OK, so platitudinous, but ...
What do you control? Lots, actually. How about your thoughts [...]What about [...] how honest and kind you are [...] how you use your time, your tone of voice or how much [...] you judge others?Paying more attention to my tone of voice might be a good idea. My husband tells me I don't hang up promptly enough after phone calls so that my audible sighs or mutterings probably offend people at the receiving end.
Another Facebook friend suggests scribbling on a slip of paper and putting it into a "memory jar" every time something positive happens in your life. At the end of the year you tip out all the memos, read them, and realise what a good year it has been.
If I manage to keep updating this blog, I hardly need to do that, the blog being my memory jar. If only I wrote it as well and consistently as Alan Bennett writes his diary entries!
I suppose that making reasonable resolutions and taking note of what happens is all about mindfulness, which buzz word I thought to be of Quaker origin (like "centering down"), but apparently it was coined by a scholar of Buddhism, Rhys Davids, in 1910, so claims the Huffington Post.
Another phrase we often read these days definitely comes from the Quakers; it was "a charge given to Eighteenth Century Friends" to speak truth to power and it's strange to think that this phrase and notion have gone so mainstream now. Actually I should be careful saying notion, because that had negative connotations for the early Quakers:
Men are too apt to let their heads outrun their hearts, and their notions exceed their obedience, and their passions support their conceits, instead of a daily cross, a constant watch, and a holy practice. ~ William Penn, 1644-1718