There are whole years for which I hope I’ll never be cross-examined, for I could not give an alibi. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
Another New Year’s Eve
When you look back on 2009, what single word would you use to describe your year? Was it a year of triumph, of joy, of wealth or misfortune? Was it a year of stability or change? Was it a year of loss, grief and pain? Was it a year of peace and tranquility? Is it a year you are glad to have lived or is the year for you already reminiscent of heartache, failure, struggle or regret? Is there, if you were to consider it, a theme to your year?
Another year has come, tarried awhile, and is on the verge of bidding us all adieu. This year no doubt brought its share of surprises, joys, disappointments, challenges and successes. As I consider 2009 as a whole, I’d have to say that one word above all describes it best. For me, that word is disappointment. This, of all years, in my recent history, has been most disappointing for me. Sure, there’ve been successes and some high spots and things are looking up overall. I’m incredibly grateful for all that, but just like a painting that has some red, some yellow, but is painted with mostly blue, I’d have to say 2009 was painted with mostly disappointments and false starts.
I’m not going to take the time to review my resolutions from last year. I’m certain I kept none of them though I got started on a few. They’ll probably all be on my list again this year. I do think, however, that I’m going to try something different this year. Instead of developing a list of things I’d like to accomplish in my life, because there will always be those things I hope to do and most of them are ongoing items anyway, I think I will focus on becoming. Instead of pondering what I need to do this year, I am going to stop with all the emphasis on "doing" and reflect more upon the person I should be.
Better, even, than this, I think I will just focus! Most of my problem this year, seems to be that I got distracted from my priorities by things that were not priorities, yet I somehow convinced myself to make them so.
Some things have transpired this year, and even this week that indicate to me that I have a bit of internal work to do. I’ve gotten distracted again. I need to take time to reassess my own priorities. Maybe you can relate.
Have you ever gotten to that place in life where you were just uneasy with your life? Things are not horrible, but they aren’t quite what you know they could be? You know you need to be doing things differently but instead you’ve been making excuses? Maybe it is that weight loss program you wanted to start but you keep making excuses as to why you can’t exercise now, or why you haven’t planned for healthy meals. Maybe you’ve continually said you wanted to do this or that but something always comes up and you are no closer to starting it than before. What is all that about? After considering that question, have you then gotten to the place where you finally are simply tired enough of the status quo and the excuses that you say, "Enough. It is time for me to change"?
Note, I did not say time for things to change. I said time for me to change.
Because it isn’t the things I am doing necessarily that are the issue and really most of the things in my life won’t change dramatically over the next year. It is the me that I am being that is problematic. I am my own worst enemy. I am the one who must face my own internal music, listen to the tempo, try to figure out the score, find the beat and play my life according to that. Anything else will only end up with me, at this time next year, writing about more disappointment.
New Year’s Resolutions
Now, I must also mention, since all this sounds so dismal that 2009, for me was not a bad year. It was actually a very good year in many, many ways. There are just areas, nagging little pockets of progress I’d hoped to have made in certain really significant areas that I did not. So with that, I will probably review my list of resolutions, but instead of writing a list that looks like this:
1. Get in shape
2. Learn to cook healthy meals that look good and are edible.
3. Read more.
My list will instead focus on the kind of person I’d like to work on becoming, but this is much more difficult to pin down and specify. It also demands some prerequisite contemplation about what my own priorities are, what my goals are, what I see my purpose in this world as being (and, no, I don’t see it as being all about me, but how am I fulfilling whatever role I believe I’m to be doing on this earth), and in what ways am I already doing whatever-it-is well and were can I refocus my thinking, adjust my time management, or change my perspective? It might very well prove to be an interesting journey, at least for me and those who are closest to me.
I hope you will consider, if you haven’t already done so, at the start of this New Year, taking your own personal inventory and beginning your own inward journey.
Happy New Year!
The Wild Mind
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~Carl Sandburg
Don’t let time take control of your destiny. Let your destiny take control of your time. ~Ulrick Ricardo Milord