Home > Daily life, World events > New Year resolution? None.

New Year resolution? None.

New-YearI forget them as soon as I make them, so what would be the point? One day at a time or even one hour at a time is how we can best deal with things, on our terms, with the unavoidable bumps and mistakes. To what specific area should I turn my attention? Well, there’s the crucial and ongoing effort of jettisoning clutter. That includes people guilty of one or more of the three unforgivable sins: rudeness, arrogance, and stupidity. It also includes cleaning out cabinets and rooms and closets that keep on filling up no matter how little I acquire. And the more insidious clutter of thoughts, the absurd spurts of anger, the repetitive longing for what didn’t happen, the crippling sense of incompetence or failure, and the projects too grandiose to come to fruition. Also, throwing out poisonous memories to keep only the good ones, those that spread a pleasant glow inside me as my fireplace with its just-swept chimney does inside the house.

I still refuse to sidestep the ills that plague the world, though; I won’t close my ears to that clamor, no matter the sorrow it causes. Recently, an artist I know told me she doesn’t want to hear about politics, wars, or societal issues. “I’m too sensitive,” she added by way of explanation. This other acquaintance declares that she’s too delicate to see films or read books with difficult/heavy/intellectual contents that might upset her. Oh, you poor sweet dears!

At the other extreme, you have me, duty-bound to participate in life as it unfolds. Not that it helps any but I get enraged by the Bashar Assads of the world or the rapists on the Indian bus or people broke, hungry, without hope, or the rampant torture and violence in too many places. But I can also be enthralled by the stories I hear every day of selfless individuals, be it an anonymous rescuer of abused animals or billionaires many times over such as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet who believe their wealth carries with it duties toward the rest of the planet. The more time passes, the more I believe that evil is deviant –an anomaly, really–and that people, given half a chance, are more decent than we like to think.

Above all, what saves me from occasional despair is art, literature, cinema, the world of thought, of creation, all these offerings that nurture our need for transcendence. Also, for writers such as myself, there’s the mysterious way in which our mind comes up with a bounty of ideas, insights, stories, a few of which at least we manage to coax into coherence. For us, that’s the key to achieving a degree of satisfaction, a sense of time not wasted.

But I meander—I guess the closing of this year and having the next one round the corner bring about a certain pensiveness. So, a 2013 resolution? Not really. Work more, care more, spend as much time as possible with those dear to me, see, listen.

And always wish everyone well.

  1. Susan zahedi
    December 31, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Saideh jan
    I wish you and your family all the best in 2013.
    May you always be happy and healthy.)


  2. bobbietroy
    December 31, 2012 at 2:33 am

    I agree!


  3. Maryam yekta Steininger
    December 31, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Dear Saideh Pakravan, I wish I could write as well as you, very carefully worded and excellent English and French. This said, I wish you a very sweet and joyful New Year
    for you and your family and friends. I hope we will receive more and better news about Iran and your good writing.


  4. Narguesse Stevens
    December 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Maryam says it all – you are always a pleasure to read, and always give me food for thought. Have a great 2013 – and don’t stop writing!


  5. Melinda Barnhardt Jud
    December 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    What an absolutely thoughtful and profound approach to the New Year. May I borrow it?


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