A New Year’s Resolution
We have a cabin on a lake in NW Wisconsin. For the past twenty years, I’ve battled to keep the outside out. It seems mice find interior warmth alluring, and they are ingenious at having their way. Each year, I search out and seal ports of entry, but the mice always engineer new ones. Mousetraps and outdoor bait stations are only marginally successful. It’s hard work keeping the outside out!
I’m not any more successful in keeping the inside in. I don’t like to expose my feelings and find being vulnerable hard work. The other night, some friends were reading poems on a Zoom social event. I read my favorite Kahlil Gibran poem, “On Raising Children,” from his masterwork “The Prophet.” I am overtaken with emotion every time I read this poem, that particular night being no exception.
Afterward, I felt foolish. It’s hard work, keeping the inside in.
I have come to the conclusion that keeping the outside out and the inside in is futile. Frankly, it upsets natural balance. Nature seeks equilibrium, and that includes human nature.
Perhaps we should let the outside in once in a while by opening ourselves to people we usually avoid. Similarly, it’s probably ok to let the inside out and share our feelings with others.
It’s that time of year when many of us make New Year’s Resolutions. I must confess that the ones I make usually lapse before the snow melts (Hello diet!). There is one, however, that I continue to work on. In fact, I turned it into a poem. The title is “Inside-Out.”
I offer it to you with wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
When I stop to think about it
Nothing much has changed
The feelings that I call myself
Have all remained the same
I wake up every morning
Safe inside my skin
No evidence of wear or tear
Has ever entered in
But out there on the surface
Where skin collides with air
I must report inevitable
Signs of disrepair
My hair has thinned
The mirror reflects
A face that cannot lie
An unmistaken chronicle
Of time that passes by
So upon further reflection
There can be little doubt
That I would be well advised
To live life inside-out
Inside there are no blemishes
Inside there is no pain
Inside’s a place I call myself
A place where youth remains
Some folks turn to the South or West
To seek a life of ease
Others find that the North or East
Are directions that will please
Me, I’m turning inside-out
I feel it’s my best plan
To live a life of youthful joy
For as long as I can
Fundamental Principle: Bringing mind, body, and spirit into balance.
A Question To Consider: How much effort do you devote to keeping the inside in?
More information including background principles, suggested reading, and a library of previous posts can be found at http://tim-coats.com
5 Replies to “A New Year’s Resolution”
Enjoyed your message this morning. A good analogy with the cabin. I feel with the pandemic the letting the inside out and the outside in has been compromised. But like everything some for the bad and some for the good. That’s life, but covid has made me more aware of the peace and solitude of inactivity. A forced slowing down of life that has been appreciated. Of course I am also very fortunate to not have the worries that so many others have at this time. And through the solitude I have become more aware of my fortune and found time to help others.
Well said. Me too!
Always good to read! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and works. Happy 2021
This is lovely, Tim! ❤️
The world could do with a little more genuine foolishness. Very often I find myself altering my behavior to conform to a world that, frankly, is not paying attention. Better to be a fool for who you truly are than a sage to those foolish enough to fall in love with a façade. Great message.