Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Fresh Start

I love mornings.  The earlier the better.  It's like getting to start a race before all the other runners hear the starting gun.   My epitaph, if we did such things these days, would be "Preparation is Everything".   Now, imagine you being up before the rest of the world and being able to prepare while everyone else is snoozing.  New Year's is such a day.  The world comes to a stop on New Year's.  It is a time for reflection, renewal, and to prepare for the coming onslaught of another 365 days.  How will you mark those days?  Will it be a legacy? An under-the-radar quiet existence, or perhaps nothing different than the past 5,000 days?  (That's 13.6 years by the way.)  It's like a fresh start every morning.

I know people who don't really make any changes, or even evaluations for that matter.  No reflection, no mid-course corrections, no meaningful or thoughtful considerations to the past.  They stay the course by reason of ease, by saying, "…ain't no thang."  They reason that everything is good, why change?  Or even, that they are but a steel ball in a pinball machine of life - very little change that they can affect, anyway.  They would not be entirely wrong.  

Then there are those who throw so much onto New Year's that they are doomed before the sun even sets.  Resolutions requiring Torquemada-like will power ranging from diets to money management, to personal relationships,  to redesigning themselves into a new Christmas morning Scrooge-like Wonder-Person.  They would not be entirely wrong.  

Thirdly, there are those who make necessary changes or corrections throughout the year.  In an almost knee-jerk fashion, these folks see problem, fix it, and go on their merry way.  These folks make no distinction for demarcation lines - New Year's is just another day.  If there is a problem, then let's tackle it, and keep buggering on.  They would not be entirely wrong.

And then there are those who find change in the smallest of increments, that grow into major achievements.  I know someone who would like to read more.  Another who wants to start an emergency fund.  I know a guy who has started making quilts.  Another who wants to try their hand at painting. Fourteen years ago today I didn't have a single cigarette all day.  Nor the next day or the next 14 years after that.  I'm not tooting my own horn here.  I'm just saying that sometimes there is a big payoff if we take the time to see a problem, and make a small change to correct it.  

It takes reflection, and today is a good day to do that.  It takes steely nerves to make permanent change, and today is a good day to brace for that.  It takes a different set of eyes to see us as others do rather than how we see ourselves.  Today is a great day to prepare for the battle.  To rest before the war.  365 days to stay the same,  or to fail, or be victorious in a small battle to win the war.   You would not be wrong.

Before I leave you to prepare for battle,  I saw this quote from author Neil Gaiman. It perfectly reflects what I believe is an admirable summation - read it once.  Then read it again.  



1 comment:

  1. Neil Gaiman always seems to know just what to say, doesn't he? Great post. :)