1 No Resolutions! | Traveling Light Blog by Travel Writer Colleen Friesen

No Resolutions!

 London Eye - Colleen Friesen

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives…”Annie Dillard

Didn’t we just do this? This, of course, being this whole New Year’s thing. You know how it goes. I/We write out things that sometimes look like this.

             I resolve to …

  • be sculpted and fit and full of vitality.
  • be a meditating vision of serenity and composure.
  • be full of peace and light.
  • be a model of restraint and composure.
  • be exuberant and optimistic.
  • be a vision of love and hope.
  • be an artist.
  • be a mentor.
  • write a book.
  • scale a mountain.
  • run a marathon.

              …or not.

I am a great believer in the power of intention and the writing of resolutions. And. I have also been made miserable by those same lists. Like a bad butterfly, I’ve pinned myself to the board of my intentions.

Besides, I’ve now been on this crazy-mixed-up-planet for over half a century. That fact alone demands a slight pause, a shift on the Earth’s axis and perhaps a reflective moment to think about doing it a little differently this year.

It seems I am not alone in this slightly different spin on the New Year’s thing. I have had a few conversations with friends where we’ve discussed that rather than a checklist of accomplishments (that must be done in order not to feel like an abject failure at the end of another frittered-away year), we would instead have a loose plan. That, instead of a to-do list in black and white, we might simply sketch out a plan in sand; an adaptable plan that leaves room for those unscripted moments that life requires of us.

Black & White - Colleen Friesen


Because, I know too, that if I don’t have some sort of course set out for myself, I will drift. This is not to say that drifting is not a good thing. It’s just that I’ve discovered it’s not particularly good for me.

As a result, Kevin and I have drafted out some trip plans. I have ideas for a few new writing projects and some art project ideas that I will work on a few days each week.

And, Lord help me, I have also sketched out a daily outline for each day. These are very basic things like my new blogging schedule of Tuesdays and Thursdays, or continuing my Wednesday drives to see my dad. These standing dates have evolved into wonderful family events that various relatives and friends now incorporate into their weekly plans. This is not to say that I don’t often return with an overwhelming need to go fetal under the duvet. I am, after all, watching my father slowly disappear into a recliner. But, in between my despair, there are illuminating moments of laughter and love.

Greatgrandfather - Colleen Friesen

Therefore. Be it resolved that this year I resolve to be resolution-free. Instead, I will rough-in an outline for my next 52 weeks, a twelve-month framework where moments and memories will have room to be hung like crisp sheets snapping on the line.

And, as often as necessary, I will remind myself that how I choose to spend each day is how I am choosing to spend my life.

To that end, I look forward to filling each day with tons of love and good dark chocolate.

Happy New Year!


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7 Responses
  1. sarah says:

    Sounds like a great non plan to me! Oh and I love the pic of the two Hanks!!

  2. Colleen Friesen says:

    Thanks Sarah…I seem to becoming more and more of a non-plan planner.
    Agreed that we love the picture of the two Hanks :)

  3. Catherine says:

    That’s the best way to be as resolutions are usually broken.

    Happy New Year to you and Kevin.

  4. Mary E says:

    So wise and so nicely said. And the Hanks pic speaks a thousand words.

  5. Colleen Friesen says:

    Hi Catherine – I found that I was frequently just reviving the same resolutions that I hadn’t completed from the year before. I am working on the mini-monthly plans now and I think the shorter and more focused time frame will help me. Certainly worth a shot!

  6. Angie Mizzell says:

    That’s how I like to operate… within a loose outline… just enough structure to keep me from drifting out to sea. No resolutions for me, just a commitment to be more intentional with my time. To ground myself often by reconnecting to what feels like my purpose and those people and things that make me feel most alive. Cheers to you!

  7. Colleen Friesen says:

    Thanks Angie, I especially love this “…those people and things that make me feel most alive.” Amen to that sentiment. Just Say No to Enervating People!
    My non-plan plan is to incorporate new little tweaks into my day, tweaks that I hope will become as habitual as brushing my teeth; a daily big walk, meditation, big honking guffaws of laughter and silliness, a continual prayer of gratitude, love, love, love…in other words, some essentials!

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