Another New Year and a new opportunity to take stock of my life as I, oh-so-reluctantly, dismantle the comfort and warmth of Christmas lights and decorations and start January with a fresh slate. Mother Nature helpfully provides the backdrop of fresh, white snow, the better to take up my pen and create my next chapter. What will the next year hold for me and my family? Will this be the year I really break out and live fearlessly?
Taking stock also means reflecting on what I’ve done, or, perhaps more accurately, not done. I’ve found myself looking more to the past to dissect every action or inaction and its result and grade myself accordingly. I’m a pretty harsh grader, I must say. Here are just a few examples from January 2015.
Goal: Lose the rest of my excess weight. Result: Did you think this year would be any different? What’s Next? Try again for the 20th year in a row.
Goal: Find and start my next dream job. Result: Barely got out of the starting gate. What’s Next? It’s back to the drawing board to figure out what that dream job really looks like before I’m eligible for social security.
Goal: Exercise regularly and eat healthy. Result: Decidedly mixed (see first goal), but better than the last year. What’s Next? What else? Recommit yet again; giving up is not an option.
Goal: Learn to be more patient, kind, thoughtful, and generous. Result: Ms. “Get ‘er done now” and Ms. “Let me tell you what I think” are still in the house. What’s Next? Sigh….
Yet, as I look on the perfect blanket of white snow outside, I think of a new resolution this year — to look back and have no regrets. Everything I’ve done, or not done, said, or not said, is mine and mine alone. I may fail forward, but I can learn from my mistakes without shackling myself or my spirit to my perceived failures. I can strive and fall short without feeling insufficient; I can reflect without self-judgment or punishment; I can forge forward in my imperfect but wonderfully made self. May this be the year I make purposeful steps on my fresh canvas, learning to embrace just who and where I am and not waiting for an impossible ideal before I hit the “go” button.