New Year’s resolution: replace brooding with making

I've been dutifully writing Reverb10 entries for most of this month, but I'm not actually posting them because most of them fall into at least one of the following categories: 1) far too personal to share with the entire world, 2) far too mundane to share with the entire world, and 3) far too repetitive to share with anyone who doesn't want to watch me (metaphorically) pace back and forth across the same smallish patch of mental turf over and over. It's been a good tool for reminding me of which problems and preoccupations have been uppermost in my psyche of late, but that's not really matter for this blog.

However, several of the Reverb10 prompts did lead to a New Year's resolution of a sort, which I'm posting here because I want to be able to remind myself of it later. What I noticed, after writing my way through a bunch of those prompts, is that I spend far too much time pondering the things that aren't working in my current life, and it doesn't help solve anything; it just makes bad moods worse. I don't know how to get rid of the broodiness; it's probably innate. But I can tell when it's happening, and I want to do something to derail it.

So the resolution is this: When tempted to mope and feel sorry for myself, I will either make something beautiful, or read or look at or listen to something beautiful.* I want to replace my tendency to brood with a habit of making beautiful things. If I feel myself starting up the vicious cycle of ruminating over a bad mood, I will write something, or knit something, or design something, or, at a pinch, cook something more elaborate than I usually cook. If I don't have the time or energy for any of the above, I will listen to some opera, or pull one of my favorite poets' collected works off the shelf and start reading at a randomly selected page. And then I will blog about the results.

Unlike a lot of my New Year's resolutions, I might actually keep this one. Probably because it's not so much a resolution as a strategy.

* Or, perhaps, go somewhere interesting. Another thing that kept coming up in my Reverb10 entries: the UK trip was the highlight of my entire year, and I would love to travel a whole lot more.

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