New Year’s Revolution: Give Birth to Something This Year

January 1, 2010

What is it that is gestating within you that you are meant to give birth to this year? What passion needs feeding? What internal-hidden-from-the-world secret hopes need nourishment if they are to flourish and burst forth into the world? It seems as though this should be easy to answer and yet many of us have suppressed our longings for so long that it is difficult to articulate them, much less make plans to bring them to fruition. I know, because I’m trying to do this today as part of setting goals for the quarter. I am very good at making lists of the things I have to do and doing them. I am less adept at making time for things that can be categorized as “just for me.” It would be a true revolution in many of our lives to commit significant time and energy to those things too.

As I look for a couple of snappy quotations from the stars about their plans for the new year, I find instead the Hunch website with its New Year’s Resolution generator. Answer some questions and get some advice. I am always interested in advice although I am not very good at taking it, especially when it’s attached to any kind of questionnaire. I do not like being boxed in by answers. Still, hope springs eternal. Maybe this time. . . . .

At Hunch.com I begin to go through the choices. Do I want to enjoy life more? Reduce stress? Learn something new? Yes. Yes. Yes. Do I want to recycle more? Not badly enough, so no. Ditto for helping others and fighting procrastination (my creative friend) and even getting out of debt. How about getting a better job? Nope. I like the one I have which includes the aforementioned helping others and helps me stay in debt.

And then come the challenges that let me know I’m in truly unhelpful territory and will likely have to generate resolutions on my own. Do I want to stop smoking? Yes or no? I never have, so how do I answer? And how about stop drinking? I have zero desire to give up an occasional margarita or glass of pear wine, but I don’t want to resolve to become an alcoholic either. And finding a soulmate? Do I deny the one I already have or imply that he really isn’t? Yes and no answers, like the true and falsery of exams leave me suspended in a vat of “it depends.”

I seek out more information about Hunch, going to their homepage and reading this: “Look. Decision-making is difficult, and decisions have to be made constantly. What should I be for Halloween? Do I need a Porsche?. . .In 10 questions or less, Hunch will offer you a great solution to your problem, concern or dilemma on hundreds of topics.” The Hunch folks also promise that “it will be awesome later,” as Hunch requires the input of the masses in order to provide Hunch advice. You gotta love collective ignorance.

On the other hand, Hunch is right up there with Dr. Phil in the good advice department since their answer for someone asking “Should I become a father?” is remarkably similar to that offered yesterday about motherhood on the DP show: Be prepared for a long term commitment. This is actually good advice. I once overheard two students talking about whether or not to have a baby, saying that it was only an 18-year commitment at the very most. Hah! A child is your child forever and that’s a lovely thing. Be ready for it.

You’re in trouble, folks, if you’re asking a website whether or not you should become a father or mother. You’re in trouble if you’re asking it if you should get a divorce or if your marriage is on the rocks. Check the collective pulse if you must to find out what book to read or where to go on spring break. Check it to get ideas for resolutions if you can’t think of anything meaningful for yourself. Seek professional help for the big questions.

As to what you need to give birth to this year, you are the only person who can answer this question. You may find hints in other places, but you’ll have to take a journey into your own mind to find the true-for-you answers. I hope you’ll make the trip today.

What are you meant to give birth to this year?

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
• William James

Sad but true addendum: Having a creative idea, even if you’re grappling with infertility of the mind, and giving birth to the idea, with all the labor that entails, don’t even begin to compare to the effort required to nurture ideas to adulthood and see them off into the world.


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