Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What's A Day?

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson  
New Years Eve...New Years Day...A New Year. What does it matter? What 'changes'? Nothing. Nothing changes. The birds, and the worms, don't care. Don't know. The stars and the mountains continue on as they were. The earth revolves. And yet we humans seem to put so much stock in this whole New Year thing. Good riddance to the old. Hooray for the new. The new is good. The new is change. It's the same as when we vote in politicians for 'change' even if we don't know what that 'change' is. Change is good. Right? And like magic - a new job, a new house, a new car, a new lover, a NEW YEAR, will make 'it' all better. And even if IT is pretty good, the new will be even better.
“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering 'it will be happier'...” ~ Alfred Tennyson
Ah. Hope. It's a good and a bad thing. Hope is great when we act. But hope without action brings little that's rewarding. Yes. We can be 'lucky' in life and things just come to us - like good fortune - but do we feel better about ourselves based upon good fortune alone?

What the New Year does encourage us to do, as intentional beings with a concept for the future, is, it encourages us to take stock. We look at the good, the bad, the ugly, and decide where we want to go next year. The sad things is that most of us forget about these goals, dreams, aims, desires before the calendar reaches mid-January. Then we sink back into our safe little habits - some of which may be good, but some of which may be holding us back from what we really want for our future. 

So. I am writing this, and will post it to my wall as a constant reminder of what's important to me now, while I'm paying close attention to these things. While the world becomes new again. And the possibilities are grander:   

My goals continue to be what they have always been, every day, day in and day out - Cultivate Courage, Be Real, Be Fierce, Be Fair and Just. But with the dawning of a New Year I simply want to remind myself that this is what I've always been after and will continue to strive for.

Do Something Scary: Be Courageous
I want to do something that terrifies me. Not a foolhardy kind of thing, but just a 'big thing FOR ME' kind of thing. The kind of thing I'm scared to commit to AND the kind of thing I'll be sad about if I don't commit to it. A key part of this, though, must be my willingness to accept failure if I must. It's easy to 'commit' to the things you are pretty sure you can do. But those things that are on the outer reaches of possibility (of course, this is always personal), those are the things that cause fear and trembling but also make life so much more vivid. Courage means feeling just the right amount of fear - and I will continue in my quest for this virtue (though I continue to fall so very far short of it). Courage also means going on when things feel like they aren't going well - believing that it all matters when you feel like nothing really matters. This is more a life issue than a running issue. As I say many times to many people: Running is easy. Life is hard. And sometimes that is true.

Focus on Who and What YOU care about. Remember the difference between what is real and what is image:
Okay. I admit it - In the past I never gave a hoot what people thought of me. I did my own thing and for the most part that was all that mattered. I cared about what those near and dear to me thought, but that's as far as it went. Now, I find myself sometimes, sometimes, dragged down by things that really should be unimportant to me: The opinions (supported or not), lives (real or embellished), and successes (earned or imagined or happy fortune) of those who really don't matter. Social media is great, but when little things start eating away at you, things that really don't matter, then you know there's a problem. I tell myself it doesn't matter. I KNOW it doesn't matter...And yet some things eat at me, and I'm not proud or happy about that. So. I will do better to focus on me and mine and what is real and what matters. 
One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. ~ John Burroughs
Don't compare. Be fierce:
Need I say more on this??? Have I ever NOT said more on something?? I will keep at my little, busy running thing, I will keep at my silly, seemingly pointless blogging thing, I will do the best I can as a mother, wife, coach, friend...and I will not put myself down because others seem to be running farther and faster and getting more hits, and I will keep plugging away at this little project I call ME and my life. Because that mythical land "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."  doesn't exist except in Lake Wobegon, which of course doesn't exist. I will continue to fiercely go after what I care about because I care about it. (Now. Follow my blog so I feel good about myself!!! Bwahahahahaha)

Live well. Be Fair and Just:
This is just something I always hope to be. I know I fall short at times, but I try. The concern about fairness and justice motivates many, if not most, of my choices in life. It's a major reason why I decided to go into Philosophy. And I try, always, to treat people this way. In my personal and professional life I am hell bent on doing what's right for those with whom I live and work and love and call friends. I try to stand behind what I say. I say what I mean. I don't pull punch. And I am what I am. That's the goal, anyway. 
 
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It's all a work in progress. We are all in progress. We aren't just what we are, though we are that. We also are what we will be (but not yet), and what we will be in the future is somewhat undecided right now. The fact remains, though, that this whole New Years thing is nothing but symbolic tradition. But then lots of important and meaningful things are nothing more than that. It does give us pause and make us believe that we are new again. That so many things stretch out before us waiting to be realized. The things we give up on later are now still living possibilities. But these are my goals, my resolutions I suppose, for each day, not the year. And I resolve to revisit them everyday - I hope I can make it past mid-January! And in all of this, I am proved to be, against my better judgement, an optimist.

If only we could hold on to that thought, that desire, this notion of the possible, from today until next December 31st, and on and on until the end of our days.

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Addendum:

And ignore the pessimists ;)
Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient short comings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion. ~Mark Twain

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