Well, it’s that time again. We’re standing at the brink of a new year, looking down the road that lies ahead. It’s a blank slate on which we can trace whatever path we choose. Granted, there are always limitations and restrictions, but if we don’t at least try to direct that path, who knows where it’ll go?
As much as making New Year’s resolutions is trite and overdone, the first of the year is still a good time to take stock of where you are, and where you want to be, and what you’re doing to get there. It’s far too easy to just let the days slip past, believing that life will take you in the right direction. But the years pass, and I realize that if I intend to accomplish certain things, I’m going to have to do something about it.
So, here’s what I’ve come up with.
I have to get busy doing things that I’ve always wanted to do. I find myself thinking, “I’d love to X.” Or, “Someday I’ll do Y.” Yet the years pass, and I still haven’t done those things. So, I’m working on a list. I’m going to hang it on the wall, where I can see it every day. And I’m going to make sure I start marking things off that list. Because no one else is going to do it for me. And who knows how long I have left to make those things happen?
I’m going to try to find my happy, carefree, sunny, positive attitude again. The last six months have been rough, and I’ve cried way more than I’ve smiled. But my friend Chris reminded me that you choose your mood each morning – something that I’ve forgotten recently. I need to focus on what I have, instead of what I’ve lost. (That one’s gonna be a little rough; those holes are pretty big.) Appreciate where I am, and not mourn where I was. And maybe, in the process, I’ll find that which is lost again.
I need to set some goals. Dream some dreams. Instead of just saying, “I want to be happy,” I need to list what would make me happy. What am I working toward? If I don’t have concrete goals, I can’t mark progress. And I’m a person who needs to see measurable progress to feel like I’m achieving something. I have a friend who has very specific goals. He puts all of his energy into achieving those goals – sometimes to the exclusion of other normal real-life stuff, but that’s his choice. I admire his single-minded pursuit of those goals. At the end of each day, he can measure the progress he’s made. He fills his time working on things that he loves. Me, I spend my time like a hamster on a wheel, working at a job I don’t particularly like to pay the bills, but not getting anywhere. So, I need to be more like my friend, and less like that hamster.
I need to appreciate where I am right now, instead of always looking ahead. I struggle with being present in this moment, in this place. Maybe in this second half of my life (then again, since I plan to live until I’m 140, I haven’t reached the second half yet), I can finally master that concept of being present, and of enjoying this moment and this place, instead of gazing into the future (or the past) and wishing things were different. Where I am right now isn’t that bad, after all.
I need to get back to my writing. This is a start, posting to this blog again. But I have books languishing on my laptop that I need to do something with. I need to be creative again. My writer friend Kelly said that when writers don’t write, we spend way too much energy making up stories in our heads that spill into our real lives and make us crazy (or something to that effect). Maybe putting words on paper will help me solve some of those other issues I’ve listed above.
Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking right now. Don’t hold me to any of this; it could easily change tomorrow. But at least I’m working on it, and trying to make a plan. It’s a start. I don’t want to be standing in the same place next year, saying the same things. I want to be able to list how far I’ve come, the goals I’ve reached, the progress I’ve made, the things I’ve done. I’ll just have to find a way to remember it all…
Stay tuned to see how quickly I wander down that road! I hope you’ll make your own lists, and set your own goals, and walk it with me.
Happy New Year!