Like I said in my last post, I don’t do resolutions.  I also don’t usually find solace or meaning in ceremonies.  The big, grand statements of life do not move me.  The small moments, compounded together – the quiet moments of everyday life when you realize what they have added up to: that’s what creates meaning for me.  Change can happen any day – it doesn’t have to be the first of the year, or a big birthday, or any other artificial point on the calendar.

So why is it that in the first few days of this new year we have rearranged furniture, I have made moves toward brushing up my French, and I have this overwhelming awareness of the fact that I’m turning 40 in a few months?

Oh, and of course, I have had strong thoughts about rejuvenating my barely existent yoga practice.  Naturally.

Om Ganesha ya nama

I’m big on rewards. I like having things to look forward to, to have the sense of earning something, to cap an accomplishment with something that I will savor. Sometimes the treat is unrelated to the accomplishment, but more often it is thematically related, and sometimes even symbolic. For instance, if I get through the end of August and am still running (so far, so good), I will bestow an iPod nano upon myself, complete with Nike thingamabobs to keep track of my continued running progress.

Back in my unemployed days, I promised myself that I would buy a necklace from Satya when I found a job. As much as I live online, I envisioned going in to the shop and carefully selecting the necklace that would symbolize the resolution to the long quest that combined unrelenting tedium, abject terror, and bitter disappointment.

In the long-delayed denouement to this quest (I’ve been employed for over two years now), I went to Greenwich Village this weekend and purchased this. I was especially keen on finding a Ganesha (for a whole slew of reasons, not the least of which that an image of him was my computer desktop for months during my job search), and I loved the approachability of this iteration, which is less iconic than the usual framed approach. The addition of the gemstone’s color and the lotus were gravy – I have my little elephant-headed god hanging below the hollow of my throat.

A side-effect of carrying Ganesha around with me is that I’ve been thinking about obstacles – how they function, when they’re good, when they’re bad, and when you yourself can be the obstacle. Lianne has some good points about this today – to bend her metaphor to mine, what she carries or has carried has created her obstacles. To be perfectly obvious, it’s what we mean when we say we are getting in our own way. What can really be hard is knowing when we are the obstacles to our own goal.

I don’t know how I am currently being my own obstacle. In some ways, I am getting things right: for instance, I am no longer in my own way when it comes to exercise. I am back on the right track with my yoga practice. But I know there are things I want to accomplish that I am not getting done. I can’t even see the beginning of the road to getting there, or what to lay aside to lighten my load.

Do I need another reward? Some carrot to lure me onward towards my goal? Can the reward be the obstacle-remover itself?