Friday, December 28, 2007

Waiting on the New Year

There's something so louche, so decadent, about the last few days of a year. It's so easy to put off starting the new plans until that magical day arrives, so easy to indulge in whatever pleasures attract the most, that it's sinful.

I reach for another cookie and think, "Next Tuesday I'll start eating nothing but vegetables. When the New Year begins, then I'll wake up early and exercise every day." I cook all the things I love the best, make any new recipe that strikes my fancy. I even scarfed down a box of Williams-Sonoma toffee, which I love. Ah, bliss. How I'd love to get another box--but it's too expensive.

Come January first, I will buckle down. I will get real with my diet and exercise plans. I can see myself happily eating salads, snacking on fruit, drinking water and green tea. I will dig out those exercise tapes (because my plea for $200 for karate lessons for me and my son -- as a Christmas present -- went unheard) and work out by myself. My body is a temple and I will treat it that way.

I found a book in which prayer was described--the kind of prayer I'm interested in learning about, where praying is a combination of thought and emotion, when you concentrate on feeling the blessing of having what you want to come to pass. Not a formula, not a mouthing of words, not wrestling, just entering the stream of reality and giving thanks for the ability to experience the joy of choosing a desired outcome.

So here is my prayer for 2008, that says to the God that is all around us and in us:
Thank you for my body, which has been my faithful servant for nearly a half a century and has done everything I have asked of it.
Thank you for giving me a perfect body, beautiful in every way, lovely even by the standards of the world.
Thank you for helping me to take care of this body and appreciate it in all its wonder.
Let me keep this body safe and healthy, show it love and gratitude, make it as lovely as it can be.
Help me live up to the responsibility of caring for its every need, lavishing it with attention and love as a privilege and not a burden.
Let me feel pleasure for each thing I do for my body.
Let me make this body a high priority in my life. As it has served me, let me serve it too.
Let me begin my next fifty years with a body that is ready and eager to advance effortlessly into the future.
Let me always remember what a blessing my body is.
Thank you for showing me my self every time I look in a mirror, and letting me see the beauty that is there.
Thank you for every day of my life on earth.