Balance Those New Year Resolutions: Aim For Even

By KM Huber

Ah, the first full work week of 2015 beckons, fresh and full of possibilities. For the rest of the time recorded as 2015, we will mark seasons, changes, and challenges.

But in this pause before the legacy of 2015 unfolds, consider these observations for this new year from August McLaughlin:

August resolutions 0115

When I came across August’s resolutions for life—they seem to fit any year—I thought, “Now this is specific to the individual and appropriate for all.” To me, these resolutions sum up my philosophy for living–aim for even.

Aim for even is a relatively new philosophy for me, years in the making actually, but not really recognized until 2014.

For me, aim for even is something like this: in every experience I give what I am able to give, mindful that no two occurrences are the same no matter how similar they seem.

Remembering that uniqueness is key to maintaining my balance. If I offer more than I am able to give or if I give less than is possible, I miss my mark.

In 2014, I aimed high and low aplenty but by year’s end I found myself more and more in the middle—in balance, even—as I let go of a mind-set that skewed my aim.

Letting go meant giving up tried and true ways that comforted—at times even protected me—from the chronic pain inherent in my life. The subconscious is not easily dissuaded for it has had a lifetime to fine tune what comforts in order to cope. It’s its own infinite loop.

It would take me most of 2014 to break out of this mind-set.

In March, I was convinced I was slowly but surely losing my ability to walk. My response was I would adapt, like always. After all, I have an active online life and a great picture window that gives me a view of the woods.

By September, spinal and cognitive issues threatened my ability to blog regularly. Yet, I would need another warning from my body that old ways would no longer serve. My kidneys sent a short but clear message.

Only when I believed I had nothing to lose did I begin to dismantle the mind-set that had comforted me for decades. In turning to traditional Chinese medicine, I would discover I had a lot to lose.

Transformation leaves behind habits of a life lived. There is no “getting my life back.” Life anew is an accumulation of every misstep, every revelation we experience. The stuff of transformation is recognizing that the great teachers in one’s life have always been there.

One of mine is chronic pain. Our relationship has changed completely. I no longer need to cope because I no longer fear pain, emotional or physical. I no longer fear pain spiraling out of control. Rather, I sit with my emotions as my body sends sensations.

I aim for even.

My transformation is far from complete but the changes I am experiencing I cannot explain other than through my new relationship with pain. I walk without any limp and am just beginning to take short—really short—walks.

Every day, and I mean EVERY day, I have a level of energy, something I lost decades ago. On the same day I can complete errands, do some housework, and write. Nine months ago, I thought I would live from my adjustable bed.

The pain is not gone but the mind-set is. There is no seeking comfort to mask the pain. Rather, there is the slow movement of yoga and the stillness of meditation, the balance of acupuncture. And there is food that fuels the biological changes taking place in my body rather than inflaming it.

Every day, I aim for even. In giving what I am able to give, no more and no less, I resolve to live life as the ebb and flow that it is. I stay afloat.


KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry, and although her middle years were a bit of a muddle, she remains an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, writing prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com, may be followed on Twitter @KM_Huber or contacted by email at writetotheranch[at]gmail[dot]com.

© 2015 KM Huber. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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