Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Resolutions, part 2

Oof, getting around to writing this part 2 has taken me longer than planned! A past self would have used this complete-and-total-failure-at-blogging-and-life as an excuse to give up the whole blogging enterprise altogether, but (as you well know from reading this and this) I am choosing to no longer let my perfectionist all-or-nothing tendencies hold me back. So here we are - later than planned/hoped, but better than never - back at it for the promised part two.

The other resolutions-themed stuff I want to talk about is largely a reaction to the January email newsletter from one of my favorite MS bloggers, Kate Wolfe-Jenson of Dancing With Monsters. I adore Wolfe-Jenson's creative approach to life with MS. She uses creativity as positive fuel in the energy-depleting world of chronic illness. (She's even authored a book on the subject, Dancing With Monsters: Chronic Illness as Creative Transformation, which I've not yet read but will certainly review here when I do!)

Back to resolutions. Her January newsletter takes a creative approach to the subject, with wonderful results.  Basically, she explores the meaning of the word and reminds us that resolution has other meanings, including two from the arts world.  In visual arts, especially in the digital world, resolution is about the number of pixels that make up an image. In digital photography, for example, the number of pixels per inch has a major impact on the clarity of the image. So, a great analogy can be that resolutions are (or should be) ways to bring focus and clarity to your life. Resolutions that don't do this will no longer make my list.

My niece and I late on Christmas Eve, shown here with much lower resolution than previously.
This resolution is probably a more accurate reflection of how tired we were at this point!
As a musician, I appreciate even more her second refreshing look at the word resolution. All college music majors spend quite a bit of time in theory courses learning about resolution, or the process of moving from dissonance to consonance. Anyone with even a slightly developed ear instantly recognizes when a chord doesn't resolve, or doesn't resolve well. The reaction - even in those who don't really know why they're having such a reaction - is one of tension. A dissonant chord that doesn't resolve makes you feel tense and there is nothing quite so ahhhh-inducing as a beautifully resolved chord.  So in the life analogy, another great way to look at resolutions: ways to reduce tension in your life.  Old-me resolutions have tended to be so ambitious and rigid and specific (and impossible to ever meet for long) that they added great tension in my life.  New-me is going for the ahhhh-inducing tension reducers!

So, a big thanks to Kate Wolfe-Jenson for this refreshing look at the word.  May all your resolutions (New Year's or otherwise) take a cue from the arts world and bring you less tension and more clarity!

1 comment:

T. said...

I LOVE this! LOVE it!