New Year’s Resolutions

I have not made New Year’s Resolutions for years, simply because I have never been able to keep them when I’ve made them. Now, however, at the age of seventy-two, I’ve become aware that I may not have many years left to live. Oh, no, I’ve not been diagnosed with a terrible illness, but at seventy-two, how much more healthy living can I expect, inshaAllah? Will I see ten minutes, ten years or fewer, twenty, or even thirty? الله أعلم Allah knows. Even ten years may sound like quite a few years to a reader who has not yet reached senior citizen status, but when I review my life in segments of ten or twenty years, I know how quickly the time can pass without accomplishing long-term life goals.

One’s life span is with Allah, and is generally not known, so I am well accepting of that fact. Now is the time, however, to focus on those goals that always seemed far off, desirable yet elusive, perennial in their attraction, ephemeral in their distance.

Now, I will make some New Year’s Resolutions, because it’s now or never for some of my goals.

I’ve actually started on a goal I’d made in 1986– to learn Arabic language. I’ve completed two modules of the wonderful Ribaat Arabic program, and I am eager to enroll in the next one on January 1. I also returned to studying Arabic independently, using on-line resources and texts I’ve accumulated over the years. No longer do I aspire to fluency; that aspiration maybe discouraged me in the past because Arabic is difficult and complex, and I did not create the best circumstances for learning it. I did get a wonderful introduction to Arabic and Tajweed when I lived in Riyadh; I can resurrect those teachings. My revised goal– achievable– is to keep studying for as long as I am able, to read the Qur’an in Arabic, and not to give up again or get discouraged.

Another goal I’ve already worked on is returning to horseback riding after a thirty year hiatus. That one is starting to fizzle out naturally because I’ve been unable to lose the fifty pounds I’d gained since my days of skilled horsemanship. My volunteer work at LifeStriders therapeutic riding facility has satisfied that goal well enough. I intend to keep my body healthy enough to continue that activity as long as I can.

Writing a book is a goal I’ve had for at least fifty years. I’ve actually completed a 90K word draft, so my goal for 2023 is to edit and polish that manuscript and make it suitable for publication. I want to start two more books– a collection of my Riyadh remembrances, and a collection of letters to my grandchildren which have been written only in my head. May Allah give me the resources to complete these projects.

A fourth manuscript suggests itself, too, one documenting my journey along the path of Islam, but that one may not get written, not because I won’t have time but because I am not sure I want my eccentric attitudes toward Islam and religion made public. Allah wants us to cover our negative thoughts and our sins. I’d have to include those events in such a book. In any event, I’ve got many writings from my Riyadh days that need editing so I can post them to this blog.

On a more practical level, I resolve to organize my living space, pare down, clear out, minimize and optimize my belongings. That means tweak my wardrobe, make those photo books I’ve been wanting to make for years, refrain from buying yarn while continuing to knit neck warmers for my Etsy store.

I established an Etsy story for my knitting, but I’ve never worked the store, because I hate doing retail sales. Also, many of my shawls are unsalable, either because of the style, fibers or price I’d want. I got the idea to make neck warmers, which are small, comfy, salable and easy to make. I could sell them for less than the shawls. I knit as a sort of therapy, a winding down, a relaxing activity, so I do not need to make profit on these items, but I do need to find a market for them.

In support of these resolutions, I resolve (as I resolve repeatedly, New Year’s or not) to improve my health, meaning my diet and exercise. Managing my eating disorder has been a work in progress for my entire life. Nonetheless, I resolve to give it more effort and a better attitude as 2023 rolls into my life.

Happy New Year to you, too!

About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
This entry was posted in Arabic Language, Blogging, Health and Medicine, Horses, learning Arabic, Life Writing, Religion, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Qamar says:

    Assalamu Alaikum.
    May Allah bless you and keep you in good health.

    “You are never too old to set another goal
    to dream a new dream.”
    — Malala Yousafzai

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