Part 2

So this year I am softening my “resolutions” into monthly promises for myself. Resolutions always feel like somehow we are “less than” and if we implement our RESOLUTIONS we will become “more than” .. . . . and when we fail to keep our resolutions . . . . we are now “even lesser” than we were before we made our resolve for the new year. Our resolve dissolved.

But maybe the resolve could use a little dissolving?

Maybe we aren’t “less than” at the get go, that we are as my horse Charlie nudges me to think about . . . . “pretty okay” at our core. We don’t need just resolve . . .we need to warm up to ourselves and give ourselves the warmth of promises we want to have for ourselves and
not resolutions that will somehow “correct us”.

On the December 30th, 2017 Connections Radio Show I had Eugenia Jensen join me to talk about wines, the fates and promises we can make for the coming year.

By the way, Eugenia does have an honorary Frontenac grape planted in her honor on the Prairie Heart Farm.

During our time together on the radio show Eugenia shared about educational wine cards she created that imaginatively tell the stories of different types of wine and can be used to reflect on our fates . . . . .as well as a way to explore and get to know wines in playful ways.

I love wine and began to ponder if wine may be the warmth I am looking for to support my determination in making promises to myself. Instead of just ringing in the New Year with champagne . . . why not have a wine of the month to toast me being “pretty okay” at my core. A wine to get to know and support with warmth my determined promise of the month.

I made a promise to our Connections Radio audience that I would share my 2018 promise of the month. Eugenia has given me a wine to consider for each of the first six months, and in June of 2018 we will in June update the wines for the promises of July through December.

I promise myself that I will unwind and not need to get a bazillion things done. I will keep caring for the farm critters but on one glorious weekend I will do absolutely nothing else “constructive”. I will be a total sloth and not get one darn thing accomplished. I am always so busy doing so much . . . I plan for one weekend not to worry about accomplishing work, cleaning, or bunches of doing things for everyone but me. I will deeply soak in a hot bubble baths and listen to Billie Holiday

Eugenia Recommends: And the grape would be Pinot Grigio. In the Wine Fate world Pinot Grigio is a grape that says you’re just fine the way you are. You can relax a little. However, perfect for the new starts of the new year, it is also a grape of great potential and that achievement is possible if you want to give it the attention and effort it needs. So use the time being a sloth to let ideas and plans and dreams come to the surface. You need to relax and let go of everyday expectations to let new things in to flourish

Of course there were NO Christmas / Holiday / New Year cards that got sent this holiday season because I am paralyzed by expectations that overwhelm me, so instead -- in February I will send Valentines.

Eugenia Recommends: I’m going to say you should celebrate Sangiovese in February. Sangiovese is the wine of Chianti and it stands for family-however you define it- loyalty, welcome, alliances with home and community. So just make sure you share your wine this month!

I will go to my annual physical check up AND I will not Google my symptoms whenever I’m feeling sick. Because every time I do, it tells me that “my exhaustion” could be a major symptom of cancer and then I spend a week sure that when I go to the doctor he will tell me that I have an incurable kind of cancer. So Eugenia . . . . what wine goes with hypochondria?

Eugenia Recommends: That’s a good one! I’d have to say Pinot Noir. We all know Pinot Noir as being one of the greatest, if not THE greatest wine grape in the world, but it is also the fussiest and most finicky of all the grapes. We need to not google symptoms, we should actually go see a doctor before googling our symptoms if our health is causing problems. And another way to look at it…maybe a little hypochondria is just saying we need to pay more attention to ourselves. Pinot Noir is a bit of a diva and I think more of us squash these tendencies and instead of getting freaked out by symptoms we should give ourselves a little bit of self-care…and drinking Pinot Noir is a great way to gently indulge in our inner diva.

For at least a month I will stop clicking on absurd online articles like “this guy went from homeless to billionaire by following 3 simple rules – or celebrities who get lip injections” a good pairing for this kind of discipline would be  . . .?

Eugenia Recommends: The wine of discipline is Riesling. This is a time to set some rules to follow and stick to them. Maybe along with not clicking on online articles you can include walking more, getting more greens in your diet, start meditating…Riesling is a good grape for this because it also represents controlled chaos. So, it acknowledges the difficulty you have struggling not to read these articles and forcing yourself out the door.

I will not check messages on my smart phone during meals, or when I am out with friends and family. I will not make fun of trying to be "present" I will take it seriously and explore mindfulness without being sarcastic. What wine is good to go with staying present?

Eugenia Recommends: I’d say Merlot is a good grape to explore with this promise. It’s the grape of welcome and harmony which I think the world needs more of. Its also a grape of teamwork and teamwork is difficult without being actually present and sarcasm is probably my favorite sport, but it can be damaging and get in the way of real connections and communication.

June will be the month I where I celebrate and nurture my creativity – I will do something new and special.

Eugenia Recommends: And the grape for that is Gewurztraminer! Gewurztraminer is a not-so- well-known white grape from Germany and it’s the grape of creativity, charisma, even flamboyance. Lets stop being sticks-in- the-mud and create something! Paint a picture, write a poem, start that novel, cook something out of your range from a gourmet cookbook and pair it with Gewurztraminer! Take some chances.

I will celebrate the weight I have lost. From November 2016 to December 2017 I lost 55 pounds by participating in Weight Watchers online. My hope for 2018 is that I will lose the last 20 extra pounds and work on ways to keep the weight off. In July I will toast the number of pounds that have been lost so far in 2018 . . . . and I will be kind to myself about my body and my physical appearance. In July I promise that I will not obsess over the extra pounds that
need to come off or the cellulite that does not seem to budge. Because everybody has flaws. Even the most perfect celebrities. Stressing out over things I don’t like about myself does not build towards feeling good about the success I have had in eating good food and getting daily exercise.

I will plant a cherry tree, go to the farmers market – and take a cooking class on healthy ways to cook vegetables from my garden. I will take more time to look at the moon and the stars, go to an outdoor concert with a picnic basket, buy myself flowers . . . . and I will celebrate the romance of life . . . life as a romantic adventure that no matter what age we are . . . . we can savor.

I will pay more attention how I keep active. I will more carefully track my exercise and get out and do some fall out and about fun stuff. Maybe go walk around a winery or an apple orchard.

I will do much, much more TRAIL RIDING on horseback. October is just about horse heaven weather. No bugs, the air is crisp and trails are turning all their beautiful fall colors.

November kicks off the holiday crazies . . . and I promise to be on the look out for the stresses that can overwhelm. I promise myself to do something meaningful for a local nonprofit . . . to give back in November before I give thanks at Thanksgiving. So I promise to spend a day at a food bank . . . or packing food for feed my starving children . . . or doing something for a local shelter.

I promise to review my promises from 2018 and reflect on what I have learned. I will begin to imagine the promises for 2019. Promises to oneself are not always easy. Healthy habits or habits that support our well being take some doing. Shifting the way we do things can be like thawing out a frozen horse trough. We can get numb to what is best for us. But as my Charlie reminds me – in our deep well of who we are, “we are all pretty okay”. We just
need to find ways to chip and thaw into our deep reserves. And when we work hard and open up to our inner flow there is an exhilaration. I promise you that. And consider this twist for 2018 . . . . our goals may get a warm-up by having some wine . . . . so why not consider creating your own little monthly rituals to mark commitments you want to make to yourself and successes you can celebrate from month to month? 

Cheers to you all and thank you for being a part of our Saturday morning conversations on AM 950, KTNF – the Progressive Voice of Minnesota. You make a difference, and I am glad that you made the connection.

Happy New Year! May your year ahead provide you rich opportunities to discover more about who you are as well as explore all the connections you hold dear in your community and the world around you.

Laurie Fitz
December 31, 2017