The beautiful thing about getting to the end of one year and living in a culture that celebrates the beginning of a new year is that it gives us pause to stop and reflect on things past and on what we want for the future for ourselves. Most of our lives are wrapped up in thinking about other things and people – our jobs, our homes, our families, our community. All too often we barely squeeze ourselves in to the mix of what is important and when we make ourselves a priority we suffer guilt and then we suffer guilt when we don’t make ourselves a priority and fail to meet our goals. Oh geez – must life be so difficult?
New Year’s Day is all about the goodness that is “me”. It is about assessing the year gone by for its highs and lows and deciding how this year can be better, richer, more fulfilling, and both more self absorbed and more selfless. It is about finding ways to be more dedicated to what is really important in life which requires us to think about what is most important in life and how we can, i n the words of my all time favorite insect, accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. .
My goal for 2008 is to do just that – be more positive. Most of you don’t know this but I’m a bit of a cranky pants. I’m pretty quick to focus on the negative get all worked up about perceived injustice and then act on that and when I say “act” I mean “lash out”. And then I get a grip, stop and cover and apologize and smooth things over. I’d like to improve on that and really focus on seeing that glass half full so I don’t go through the cranky pants routine.
Another tendancy I have is toward self-sabotage so I want to start honoring my intentions instead of blowing them off with cheap excuses. I want to toss myself out the door for a swim or a run or a ride knowing that whatever reason I have to avoid it isn’t worthy of derailing my plans. I want to spend less time surifing the web and more time indulging my interests. I want to push for a strong finish in whatever I am doing be it a race or creating a report for work and not give up with that cheapest of all cheap excuses “it doesn’t really matter, anyhow”. In short I want to stay on top of things instead of putting myself in react mode and then pushing the rock up the hill against the added weight of self generated defeat. I want to march forward with a sense of purpose and optimism calling out “Feets don’t fail me now!” with no particular reason to think they will.
All of this reminded me of my favorite Tracy Chapman song – Change.
This song asks the question ‘how bad does it have to get before you’ll change”. The beauty of New Year’s is that the intention to assess and change isn’t motivated by fear or sadness or problems – it is motivated by hope and the promise of new beginnings and New Year that is as bright and shiny and unsullied as a newly minted penny. So here’s to everyone’s shiny bright New Year. May you realize your goals and may your penny be as bright and shiny at the end of December as it is today.