06 January 2011


I've been explaining these resolutions to myself in my head for several weeks now. I think I have them sort of worked out, even though my very first resolution was against resolve:

1) Be more aware and observant. Be present with people and don't let goals and what you think should be happening get in the way of what is. So all of the things on this list are subject to number one, and I have to be ready and willing to let them go if they interfere with number one. Number one is my guiding principle for 2011. Unless observation tells me to get rid of number one. Or something like that.

2) Go for a walk once a week. This seems modest and attainable, and perhaps shocking to you folks who love the outdoors. Christian has dubbed me the indoors-y type, and he couldn't be more right. I'm so happy in a small, cozy hole, like Mrs. Tittlemouse. But I think I'll be happier if I get more sunlight, look around more.

3) Formally express gratitude once a week.

4) Read the New Testament.

5) Finish the libretto begun in 2010.

6) Limit kids' screen time to weekends only, thereby giving us more time for:

7) Family novel reading. Ingrid jolted me into this one last week when I commented about how much she and Eva used to read and loved to be read to. "Yeah," she said. "No computers." I've become lazy with the kids and don't read to them as much. They get crabby, lazy, and unimaginative when they're online or watching TV too much. Eva and Ingrid didn't have a TV a lot of the time growing up, and I want the younger kids to have the benefit of limited screen time. If you're so inclined, list your favorite read alouds for an almost six and almost eight year-old. I read Harry Potter to E and I at that age. We read Stuart Little and Little House on the Prairie last year.

8) Go to Salt Lake once a month. Now that the kids are a bit older, I need to get out of my rut of a quick dinner or movie in Provo and get back to my earlier, more adventurous ways. We used to go to so many cool events, which was easy to do when we lived in NYC, San Francisco, and Seattle. It's a little harder to do here, but necessary to maintaining a connection with what's going on artistically in the world.

9) Work on duo with Christian. In the picture above, snapped by our friend Hailey Meyer Liechty, we are performing with master percussionist Greg Campbell at our December Salon. A link to our duo can be found on the side of the blog. I really enjoy this work, and want to do it more. It feels like a perfect meshing of our particular skills and relationship. The text, the improv (it's all improvised except for the text), Christian's genius with timbre and form, etc.

10) Work in small, daily practice, like I learned to do in yoga, but with my job/career/art or whatever it is called. I don't even know what it's called or what it is. Be comfortable with that. Let it be what it is and just do little, enjoyable things with little enjoyable challenges. But don't be in charge. Don't try to control. Just live and do. (Please don't mock my mish-mash of eastern philosophy influenced thinking here. It's working for me right now.)

There is almost nothing I love more than hearing other people's New Year's Resolutions. Feel free to post many of them in comments.



Janet McA said...

Do you know Helen Frost's books? She is wonderful and they are wonderful. And would be great read aloud, I think.
I love your list and plan to borrow from it.

Margot said...

I love your resolutions. Not as eloquent as yours, but my abbreviated resolutions are:
1) Expose my kids to more. More ideas, more stories, more world.

2) Cook for reals 2x a week.

3) Apply for grants, performances, etc.

4) Play more, work less.

Thomas said...

Let's go for a walk in Salt Lake City, killing two birds with one stone!

lara said...

Haven't read Helen Frost, Janet. Will do so immediately. Her books look great. Margot, fantastic goals. You have a free year in '11, though, for finishing your ph.d. Thomas, walk in SLC would be divine.

writermama said...

Can I just steal all of your New Year's resolutions? Although I have to walk by necessity here. I am prone to hiding out indoors, too.

I want to try something new this year. Get out of my comfort zone. I ended last year by ice skating for the first time. So something like that.


Marni C. said...


sarah said...


Great list. I really do love the clean slate of a new year.

My kids have really loved Roald Dahl this year (they are 9,6,4) especially Danny, Champion of the World (my favorite), the BFG, and Fantastic Mr. Fox (they HATED the movie...so did I...the book has so much more charm). Another JI/YA author that I've just found is Rebecca Rupp. The two books of hers that we've just read are: The Dragon of Lonely Island (Asher, 6, especially loved this one and there is a sequel that we haven't read yet) and The Waterstone (which Ella and I loved but was a bit too scarey for my two boys at bedtime). A few other series that we love (more girly....)are the Betsy-Tacy books and the "geneology of Laura Ingalls Wilder" books----the "Caroline" books (her mom), the "Charlotte" books (grandmother), and "Rose" (daughter)books, and the "Martha" (great-grandmother) books. Start with Little House in the Highlands by Melissa Wiley. If your kids enjoyed the Little House books these are even better!


Mark A. said...

Lara, love your resolutions. All just right.

In terms of books, as much as they get a little precious, I find any Kate DeCamillo book to be wonderful. Desperaux is a gem but I actually liked "Magician's Elephant"--her latest. And because of Winn Dixie is a good read too. Edward Tulane is not bad.

Isaac loved Series of Unforutnate Events and I didn't mind reading them, until the last couple.

lara said...

Julie, I always think of you as someone who's constantly out and about. You're my inspiration for doing cool stuff with kids. Sarah, thanks for the suggestions! I'm definitely going to read BFG and will check out those Little House suggestions. Mark, I just started "Despereaux" with the kids and they love it. Going to the Lib. today to find "Magician's Elephant." I do like her writing a lot. A bit like E.B. White in the subtle humor. Marni, I don't think of you as unforgiving. Do I need to change my outlook on you?

Marco Antonio said...

Nice resolutions Lara. I was thinking of the books that made an impression on me. I don't remember authors but I loved One Hundred Dresses for Cecy and Lula (also good for a cry) it involves an underdog and flour sack dresses. It was a Wendy pick of course:). Summer of the Monkies for Moses and Cecy. Might be a little old for M but he is extra bright :)It's about a little boy growing up in the Ozarks.
xoxo, Katie

Marni C. said...

When I say forgiveness, I mean this song. This is the song of my new year: listen. And dig it.


Geo said...

I like your mish-mash, actually. Your goals are inspiring.

May I suggest the Moomintroll series? Not sure what's the perfect age for those, but they are great children's books, and we two adults at my house love to read them aloud to each other, 'specially in mid-winter. Provo and Orem libraries have most of the titles between them.

My overarching goal this year is to be creating daily. That takes in a lot of territory in my mind and has more to do with positive, deliberate, living-in-the-present energy than anything else, though it would make me happy to get a lot writing and music and making done this year. Relationship work. Phone rehab. Gratitude expressed. Ice skating. Those are some others.

lara said...

Georgia, I'm really interested in the Moomintroll series. Looking forward to reading it. I'd love to hear about your writing/creating regime.