I am not a believer in New Year’s Resolutions. If you have an idea to improve yourself, why wait? If you can’t manage incorporating the idea right now, why set yourself up with an arbitrary date? New Years Day isn’t magic, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was! Think of everything that would really happen! World peace, balanced budgets, kids turning in their homework on time, and the effortlessly kicked habits or dropped pounds. WOW. OK, that was fun, but back to reality. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions but I do believe in approaching the end of the calendar year with an analytical eye.
It is time to start assessing 2011. What did it mean, and how have we grown? What did we try for the first time, or in a new way, and how did that work out? What activity did we say good-bye to, to make room for other things? What juicy failures brought us hard-won epiphanies? What successes raised our bar for 2012? It isn’t too early to start the review, because even though we still have over five weeks of 2011 to try, desist, fail and succeed, the tendency is to lose the lessons in the noisy, demanding, swirl of everyday functioning. It can take some time to reflect. This isn’t a test. You don’t get an A+ if you journaled and cross-referenced exhaustively all of the above and are ready with a leather bound retrospective on December 31st. If you do that I will offer you my amazement and a referral to get yourself diagnosed. You also don’t fail if the only thing you can remember is to never, ever again send out emails when you are drunk. That right there puts you ahead of plenty of other people.
For me, 2011 has been a lot about bravery, honesty and mellowing out, but also about frustration and fear (always fear, darn it.) I know I have learned a LOT since I was sixteen years old, but I am bemused to find that I still so often see the world as I did then: as one big learning curve with no end in sight. I am thankful this November that the curve isn’t always painfully steep, and that there are continuously new things to take in and familiar things to perceive at a different level. I am thankful for every one of you reading this for sharing the climb, and offering me challenges along the way.
2011: What has it brought you?