My own blog has gotten short shrift here of late, sacrificed on the altar of all the other blogs I had to write guest posts for. While fiction flows readily from my mind to my screen, the nonfiction articles take longer. For one thing, I suppose I don’t want to be writing simply because someone told me a couple of years ago, “All writers must have blogs.”What that means is I try to come up with a topic that will be of interest to people and will give them something to walk away with. The proliferation of blogs has been as great—or greater—than the proliferation of books in the past few years. So there are a lot of choices. That being said, thanks for tuning into mine. I do try to make the moments you spend here worthwhile for both of us.
Like many of you, I view the year drawing to a close as a time for introspection. For paging through what I did this last year and seeing what went well—and what didn’t. Obviously, no one wants to repeat their mistakes, but it’s seldom that simple. Take the mess in our nation's capitol. I’m sure you’re all heartily sick of the endless post mortems. The bottom line is this: a strategy someone thought would work didn’t. That doesn’t mean throwing out all the ideology for a particular party. But it might mean dissecting just what went wrong and why. And dropping the media and their endless (misleading and meaningless) polls into a black hole--forever.
Fortunately, our individual lives are easier to manage. We can take stock of what we want to accomplish in the year to come and apply the filter of our wisdom to figure out what steps we need to take to bring our goals to fruition. When I was much younger, it was traditional to make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know if anyone does that anymore. I remember some of mine. But then I’d put my list up on my bulletin board. Not exactly front and center, but close.
That’s the key to any sort of significant change. Prioritizing what we need to do to make it happen. It’s easy to get sidetracked. We all have busy lives. It’s easy to fall into bed and say, “I’ll do that tomorrow.” Nothing of value comes without effort. Sometimes a lot of effort. The effort can be subtle, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Like smiling genuinely at someone you detest because they’re your husband’s closest friend. We can suck things up. It’s actually not even that hard. Sometimes when we “act as if”, we discover the person we thought we couldn’t stand isn’t so bad after all.
We’re all just people. For the most part we’re motivated by the same things. Once our basic needs for food and shelter are out of the way, we’d like to be loved and we want to be happy. Having rewarding work helps, too. Sometimes we get sidetracked. It’s always helped me to look beyond a behavior that grates on me to try to see the person hiding underneath.
What plans do you have for 2014? Is it going to be the best year yet? It could be, but that depends entirely on you. We can have the best intentions, work our butts off, and still not meet our goals. It’s what happens afterward that defines us. Someone rather famous once said, “In order to get any good ideas, you have to get a lot of ideas.”So what if something you were banking on didn’t work out the way you’d hoped? Be resilient. Be flexible. Take the good parts, jettison the bad, and pay it forward. Anything we do to help others comes back tenfold.
Any stories you’d like to share about successes you snatched from the jaws of defeat? I’ll bet lots of you have them.