This is the time of year when many folks begin to think of ways to improve their lives when January 1st rolls around. Many resolutions are made, and then broken before
midnight February arrives. I don’t make resolutions – especially for exercise or diet (been there, not done that.)
I do think it’s healthy to examine the year gone by to make sure we are moving in the right direction. If not, this is a great time to reorient our life map and chart out a new course. Reorienting can be done any day of the year, but for those motivated by the freshness of a different year, it can spark revived purpose.
What is not particularly useful is rehashing all the perceived failures of the past year. (I say ‘perceived failures’ because our failures are often not failures at all…they are valuable experiences that just didn’t lead us in the direction we planned to go.)
Zeroing in on every face-plant only increases the likelihood that emptiness will be drowned in copious amounts of alcohol. I’ve seen the aftermath of New Year’s binge drinkers and they are a miserable bunch. I guess dehydrating your brain until it feels like it is being beaten by four thugs in a dark alley doesn’t foster human decency.
Of course I’ve had my share of perceived failures in 2011; I’ve had goals I never reached and dreams that weren’t fulfilled. But I choose to focus on what I have done rather than what I haven’t. I’ll use writing as an example, since that’s why I started this blog (even though it now blurs into other areas of my life.)
In 2011, I didn’t complete my second novel as I had hoped. In fact, I haven’t written a single word of it, but I’m not discouraged. On the contrary, I’m thrilled creativity hasn’t robbed me and dumped me beside the road on this writing journey. And 2011 has been a journey….I have:
- Read 22 novels
- Written 7 short stories
- Completed character development short stories for 3 of my novel characters
- Written 13 poems (links to poetry and short stories are on my Random Writing page)
- Written about 160 blog posts
- Read and commented on I-don’t-know-how-many blog posts
- And…here’s the big one: I’ve ‘met’ so many interesting blog friends that my writing journey doesn’t feel like the solitary trek that some writers bemoan. I’m having so much fun! Thank you 🙂
As I already mentioned, I don’t make resolutions…but I do set goals. My one goal for next year is simple: I will feed my spiritual self by setting aside fifteen minutes each evening to read a devotional page or scripture. Life is about balance, and that is the one area where I am deficient.
My relationship with God is the glue that bonds me as a wife, mother, friend, writer, employee, leader, and compassionate human being. Sometimes I feel like parts of me threaten to peel away, but I want my life to be held tighter than crazy glue between fingertips.
Um, not that I have experienced this, or anything…
How do you approach the New Year – with a bottle of Tequila and 100 of your closest acquaintances, or with quiet reflection and a good night’s sleep?