The topic of New Year’s resolutions is a tricky one. Every blogger in the natural world has an opinion on the topic. Some are enthusiastic supporters, championing the causes of all those committed to losing weight, trying a sugar-free diet, spending more time outside or with family, learning a new language, traveling more, etc. etc. etc. The list is longer than the post-Christmas-feast grocery list. Others argue that resolutions only last a week or two, so why announce them at all? These are the people cheerfully working out at home with the knowledge that the Resolution Rampage at the gym will fade in no time, and then they can get back to their routine without spending half of their natural lives waiting in line for the treadmill.
My opinion? Someone close to me recently said that every day should begin with a resolution. We should be thinking in units of hours and minutes, not years, when making our plans for bettering ourselves and our interactions with the world around us. Aren’t we more likely to make an actual difference beginning our day with the question “What can I do to make this day better?” than if we begin the year with some high-flung promise likely to be forgotten? At the root of it all, the idea of a resolution is this: Build a habit. Stick to it. Mean it.
With that out of the way, I’ll tell you my little resolution: Live like a belch.
(Don’t judge me.)
The Merriam-Webster dictionary has one very obvious definition to offer us. “To expel gas suddenly from the stomach through the mouth.” Is it the act which earns you a sharp reprimand and a slap on the head from your stern aunt during Thanksgiving dinner. It is the act which all unashamed teenagers then insist, in a taunting tone, is a compliment in some countries anyway.
I’ve always found the deed impressive. Granted, belchers sometimes sound a bit like something from a prehistoric age. Sometimes I fear that pterodactyls will come crashing through the kitchen window during one of many special burping occasions. But, I will admit, I have always admired and envied the ability to do such a simple and necessary bodily function. It’s unabashed, powerful, and goofy. I have never managed to make the expelling of air from my throat seem quite so admirable.
Unabashed. Powerful. Goofy. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to go through life?
The dictionary’s second definition of “belch” is a little more charming: “to issue forth spasmodically.” I think the very thing we all should aim to do at the start of a new day would be to “issue forth” like a billowing cloud of positivity and warmth which would seek to find its way into even the most remote corners. Spasmodically, then, means “happening suddenly and briefly at different times in a way that is not regular.” The phrase, in total, reminds me of small acts of kindness. Often unplanned and irregular, they are sometimes accomplished in the span of a few heartbeats, but aren’t those the acts that shine the most?
Issue Forth. Be kind (spasmodically, but not only just spasmodically).