Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Reward and Punishment

Last year was the first time I was ever cognisant of new year resolutions. My colleagues were all drastically changing their lifestyles, finding "solutions" to do more, eat less, be better. I found myself wondering if this is something that comes with age. As we get older, are we more likely to believe we are a problem to be solved?

Much like this deleted scene from Miranda July's The Future, I find my own strict resolutions feel like putting something precious in danger. I'm trapped, and my harshest critic (myself), rules with iron table legs. I am left blinking, silent, not knowing what to do for fear of disappointing the task master. These resolutions have a lifespan of a week, at most.

Instead of this reward and punishment system (where the reward seems weak and the punishment great), I prefer to look at this time of year as one of renewal. What are the parts of myself do I want to embrace? What parts have I been ignoring? What parts should I leave behind? I'm a patchwork girl, putting myself together with a blunt needle. It takes time, and I must go slowly and gently.

I may never be done putting myself together, and that's okay. I just repeat my favorite mantra: progress, not perfection.


  1. There's all this craziness with resolutions about NY where all people will become slim, stop smoking, drinking, bullshittin, etc...
    However it's almost impossible to shake an action where you review yourself and your presence of the ending year. It is there where you can decide to improve. I like your and share your motto: as long as we are improving that's ok.
    Happy New Year Nichole and let it be inspiring, creative and filled with fluffy yummy pancakes.

  2. what a great attitude, I like this alot :)

  3. love how you've phrased this. i'm very much of the same mind with resolutions.

  4. What a great, thought provoking post. Yes, I think we need to make sure that in trying to live better, we remember just to live.

  5. so true. i think we should be evolving our whole life. i try not put down harsh rules for myself because i ALWAYS rebel.

    happy new year!

  6. What a perfect, simple mantra, one that we should all of us repeat to ourselves from time to time. Thank you always for the inspiration, Nichole.

  7. I like this, its a little like my moto( simple but I am quite sure stolen from somewhere) 'Life is a Practice'.

    I have written on my board in my studio today. ' I will never stop trying to make our lives brilliant", this is reassurance to that little part of me that worries a lot about always practicing, its a part that need me to know that I always have her back, always loving her and always striving toward what is good, always living. But it also for me is accepting where I am at with a friendly smile.

    Sending a friendly smile to you Nichole. xx

    I would love to see this movie, has not made it over here yet. I like her work a lot.