A Sunset For Resolutions

I don't usually make new year's resolutions.

No, I've never been one to officially decide on January 1st that, for example, I'm going to try to eat less sugar, learn how to be a better cook, learn how to swim, and write every day. Instead, these are the things I think about year-round.

I've figured it's better to keep generating things I want to accomplish as the year goes on instead of just waiting for New Year's Day. I try to bring myself to account and think about what I need to do differently in my life every day.

Sometimes I am successful at this endeavor of bringing myself to account. Often, I am not.

Yesterday, something happened that made me change my mind about New Year's Resolutions.

I took this photo in Griffith Park, home of the Hollywood Sign. I'd been in the park with my sons and my husband for most of the afternoon, first at the pony rides, then at the zoo where, thankfully, we didn't see any animals trying to escape and kill someone.

We left the park around 5 PM and were driving west on Los Feliz Boulevard when suddenly we rounded a curve and the most beautiful sunset was blazing through the sky.

On impulse, I immediately made a right turn on Vermont Avenue and followed the twisting road to the top of the mountain at the Griffith Park Observatory. It was too crowded to park at the Observatory and watch the sun dip below the horizon, so I kept driving west along the winding Mount Lee road, finally stopping when I saw the view in the picture.

The image doesn't fully capture what I saw, but was the kind of sunset that makes lovers kiss, makes even the hardest hearted among us momentarily thaw. And I decided right then, on New Year's Day, that I resolve to see more sunsets like this. This year, I resolve to take the time to stop what I'm doing and notice the beauty that's all around me and thank God for it. I don't want to take it for granted anymore.

So I don't know how your first day of 2008 was but I am sharing this wish, this resolution, whatever you want to call it, with you. This year, I hope we all see and give thanks for the beauty around us.


Mes Deux Cents said…
Hi Liz,

That's a beautiful photo. This is a really good idea, to appreciate beauty more in the New Year. I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country and I constantly take it for granted. In fact I can walk and see one of the most beautiful views anywhere. People from all over the world spend thousands of dollars to see what I can see for free. Unfortunately I haven't taken advantage of that opportunity except for one time.

So thanks for sharing, I think I will heed your advice.

Side note; the story about the guys at SF zoo is very weird. There is more to the story then has been reported. The national news reports are overlooking some obvious things; like why would 3 men in their early 20's decide to visit the zoo on Christmas Day?

Also the surviving guys are now "lawyered up".

My feeling since I heard the story was that they were taunting the tiger some how.
Happy New Year Liz!

Great photo.
BZ said…
Well, my friends didn't leave the NYE party 'til 4am, so I spent much of New Years' Day in bed or watching football! LOL

Beautiful pic! And, I'm totally with you on staving off of the resolutions thing. I try to reflect on the past year and my accomplishments and vow to do even more the following year. It's worked pretty well. I try to focus on being happy with what I have and what I've done, rather than something I don't have or something I want.
Jameil said…
i loooooooove sunsets and sunrises. i've seen a lot of sunrises since i started this schedule and they never cease to amaze me. i just sit and stare.
the joy said…
I agree. No matter what we do to improve ourselves, taking a moment to "breathe in Jesus, breathe out peace" is the best we can do.

Really nice photo. I thought it was a gis at first.
Anonymous said…
A great resolution. We should all appreciate the beauty around us more instead of easy moans about the ugly things. My annual resolution is always to be less anxious about everything, but I never succeed because the anxiety gene refuses to die....
thailandchani said…
I remember those Los Angeles sunsets. They really are beautiful!

You make a good point, too. I remember living in Colorado and having people comment that they never even noticed the Rocky Mountains. It was impossible to imagine such heresy.. but we all do it.

1969 said…
Gorgeous sunset. Thanks for sharing yourself over the last year. I am looking forward to reading even more in 2008.
Hurray! What a beautiful moment and you can't ask for better company to share the brilliance with. Yippee!!

Happiest of New Years!
Sundry said…
Yay! Sounds like a wonderful experience. It's wonderful when natural beauty just steps up and takes your attention.

Resolutions? Not so much for me, either. This year it's about looking back and forward. Seeing where I am and where I want to go. I had a really amazing 2007 and I hope to continue to rise within myself.

Happy New Year, Beautiful!
Jen said…
What an amazing photo! Our first day in Michigan couldn't have been more different - haze over frozen trees with 6 - 8 inches of snow bending down each branch. I'll try to get a picture up. It was beautiful, but almost the diametric opposite!
Keith said…
I'm with you on this. I've decided that my resolutions will be to have more fun and be more positive. Part of the positivity push will come from seeing the world for the beautiful place it sometimes can be.

Cheers to you, and to 2008!
Liz Dwyer said…
I think about that too, about how so many tourists come to LA, especially for the past few days because of the Rose Bowl, and I don't always take advantage of everything this city has to often.

It is weird about the zoo. I heard today that they had sling shots and liquor. There were tourists taunting a peacock at the LA Zoo. The peacocks run loose and it was just infuriating to see the teasing going on. I did notice more security there but no one to stop what was happening. I almost wished the peacock would have attacked them!

Thanks for the New Year's wishes! I really like the photo too... I wish I had a higher quality camera so I could blow up and frame some of the images I capture.

Happy New Year, hon! 4 AM is some partying! Whew! I could barely last past midnight.

You know what's really killing me is all the diet commercials on TV. These companies seriously prey on people.

Sometimes I drive out to the coast to watch the sun set over the ocean. It's always best when the marine layer hasn't rolled in off the water yet. I love that moment when that last sliver of orange sinks beneath the horizon. It's awe inspiring!

The Joy,
I love taking pictures and the moment I saw this view, it just spoke to me. I screeched the car to a halt and rolled down the passenger window. The beauty inspires me but I have to do more meditation and reflection on what I'm doing.

Anxiety is a heavy burden to bear. I was just writing to a friend about how I sometimes feel chronically nervous, even if I appear calm and it's because even when things are going alright, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I agree, it's a good thing to let the anxiety go.

They are indeed beautiful sunsets, especially when it's clear. There's been a little Santa Ana wind action going on so everything's so clear. I'll bet if I'd gotten up to the observatory earlier in the day I probably could've seen the ocean.

I'm glad you come over here to engage with me. LA can sometimes be a lonely place and having a community of fab folks in the blog world definitely makes a difference in my life.

Happy New Year to you and yours as well. It was a truly, TRULY magical moment!

Thanks, Sally! I think '08 is going to be great for both of us.

As far as natural beauty, this morning I was hatching plans to go hike through there on Saturday morning, but given that we're supposed to have the torrential downpour this weekend, maybe not. I'm glad to have the rain coming though.

My sister came back home today from a week in Florida and has a foot of snow! Whew, those midwest winters with that lake effect snow! It is so beautiful when it first falls, and all the cardinals glowing red against the whiteness of the snow. Gosh, I miss it sometimes!

Having more fun is always a good thing. I just have to figure out how to psych myself into believing the things I hate doing (like washing dishes) are fun! The world is a beautiful place though when we look for the beauty.
Gorgeous photo. Absolutely gorgeous resolution. What is the use of living if we fail to see the beauty in life? Love it!
Anonymous said…
I'm not adding my two cents since i have bills to pay. I'm dropping my penny and I'll send you the balance later.

Gorgeous photo and it says so much about you that you've taken the time to appreciate the beauty.
Unknown said…
Great! May this year be all that you need it to be!
Liz Dwyer said…
Sometimes it's so easy to start to feel so negative and pessimistic about what is going on in our world but remembering to see the beautiful things around me helps me to stay grounded and believe that change really is possible.

Thanks, and LOL! I hear you! I could use two cents about now though! ;)

I hope so as well. I have to do my best to make it so.

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