A New Year’s Resolution

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”

  1. 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.


  2. 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.


Leave a Reply to Emily Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: