New Year’s Resolution: Use What I Have

New Year’s Resolution: Use What I Have

Use what you have

Some years I’ve made a whole list of resolutions, only to make the same list in subsequent years, never having accomplished them. More recently, I’ve had a focus word for the year (see here). This year, I’m making a single widely encompassing New Year’s Resolution that has all sorts of possible ramifications. Concisely, it is to “use what I have.”

First of all, I have so much I don’t use. I need to get on with processing all this excess stuff, using it up or getting rid of it. But I also want all sorts of things that I can’t afford or access right now, and thinking about that is a huge decoy keeping me from all I could be doing with what I currently have.

For example, I want to take that next class or workshop, when I’ve got gobs of untried ideas and materials at my fingertips. Why waste time salivating over something in the wings, when I can just get on with what is right in front of me, which is deeply and intrinsically only mine to do anyway? Sure, I could spend a bunch of time chasing gallery representation, but instead I’m going to make art. Sure, I could teach a class or workshop, but instead I’m just going to get on doing the doing.

I have some ongoing clients in my work life that need major miracles, but am I filling my thought enough with healing ideas to bring that about? I have an amazing subscription to jsh-online, but am I dedicatedly up to date with reading and working with every bit of each current Christian Science periodical? And what about those articles and testimonies I’ve never sent in?

Am I going to the grocery, or am I using all the food in my freezer and pantry? Am I going to the library to see what’s new, or am I reading the books I already own but have not read yet? Am I casting about for news and commentary, or am reading the blogs that I already subscribe to as they come in? Am I busy looking at what others are doing on Pinterest, or am I pinning my own work on there? How about trying all those ideas I’ve already pinned instead of finding more?

Someone dear to me said once that old age is comprised of unfinished projects; so if I want to stay young, I better start finishing some of the many I’ve got impatiently languishing on the periphery. Those shells in the garage from Sanibel? Make those wreaths! Those old fax tubes I’ve saved since the ’90’s to make an intensely textured work of art? Use them or toss them! All those National Geographics? Collage them, distress them, cut them up, or make stencils out of them. Be done with them.

I think this resolution will simultaneously save me money and use up all sorts of excess in my life, allowing me to feel lighter and with more room for a fresh influx of good. I want to use my energy, spend out my inspiration, liberally distribute my joy. I don’t want to think one bit about getting anything.

How systematic am I about anything other than getting this blog out? Can I utilize all those routines and habits I know could work for me without getting sidetracked?

I have all sorts of intrinsic qualities and attributes I could express more fully. Some are so dormant, you might not even think I have them. It is time to dust them off, awaken them, and utilize them. When I liberate what’s surprisingly discovered within, I’ll blog about it and share my revelation and amazement. And I’ll be noticing all the grace notes, genuinely finding satisfaction with what is.

This year, I’m going to try to drop the decoys, the distractions, the trolling. No more looking over my shoulder at what could be, at what someone else is suggesting, doing, or offering. Instead, I’ll be absorbed in giving total attention to exactly what I already have. I don’t need anything else. I need to focus and use it all up!

So much more than ever before is coming at us each day than we’ll ever be able to process. I’m going to keep my eye attuned to the processing, utilizing, doing end of things, without thinking about getting. I’m not going to pursue the massive influx of glorious possibilities. I am going to prioritize what I am currently doing, not what I might do. I am going to live fully in the now instead of discerning, preparing, or organizing for the future. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” is what my mother would say.

The alps and fiords can wait. It is time to hunker down and do focused, systematic, earnest work here.

As usual, Mary Baker Eddy’s got it right, “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.”

For me, this is not the year to think about anything new. This is the year to avail myself of exactly what I already have.

What is your New Year’s Resolution?


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Heidi 7 years ago

    Excellent resolution! I’ve been trying to live by this method for the past couple of years, and it is indeed very freeing and feels very resourceful. :-)

  2. Jobina 7 years ago

    Thank you Polly – an inspiring resolution!
    My resolution is that my actions match the ideas that come to me from the “Great Heart of Christ”, as in this photo-poetry blog written recently:

  3. Cheryl 7 years ago

    Great resolution. I need to stop amassing books and recipes when I have lots of unread books taking up shelf space, and many untested recipes. I had already resolved to use up the food in the pantry, the refrigerator and freezer that has just been sitting there. Half my closet and half my storage room have been decluttered. Now I just need to finish the other half. Hopefully the goods I have given away will bless others. I certainly am blessed.

  4. Deborah 7 years ago

    What a great message! I now know that I am not alone. How similar our lives are. From where I sit you look amazingly focused; your art seems to flow out every day; your house always looks neat and tidy and interesting in pictures. I need to utilize my “pot of oil”.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 7 years ago

      Ah… But you never see photos of my office, my studio, my basement, nor my garage, do you! Maybe someday…


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