“You will not find a greater friend, or enemy, than the person you see in the mirror every day.”
2014’s Awkward Silence Makes Me Nervous
Something about the holidays and the upcoming new year seems to cause some folks to reflect more deeply upon themselves than they usually do. They may pull out the address books and decide who is worthy of their holiday cards and photos and, if not, ask themselves, “Why not?” Lists of resolutions are brainstormed and prepared for taping to refrigerator doors when January 1 makes its appearance. They tirelessly plan events for the next year as if there are deadlines to meet with dire consequences if they fail.
There is something uncomfortably final about tossing the current year’s calendar in the trash. With an “old” calendar up, one can flip back through the pages and say, “Hey, I got a lot done. Look at me go!”
But, like that awkward silence on every public elevator, a new, blank calendar is intimidating — so much empty space, so much uncertainty — and an impulsive desire to fill it with events, occasions, hopes, and wishes takes over.
Some things are certain: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. Thank goodness for those reliable fall-backs of the calendar conversation! It’s like talking about the weather with a stranger; you both know how to talk about it and it comes as an easy ice breaker. Voila! No more awkward silence.
But what about the rest? Weeks and weeks in between holidays. Perhaps months between birthdays. Brainstorming ensues: should I take a trip? Where to? What about dinner with so-and-so? Is anyone engaged? Graduating? Moving? Having a baby? Do I want to change careers this year? Do I want to go back to school? Should the kids going to summer camp or summer school, or neither? So much is open to possibility! It’s so easy to get carried away, to get overambitious and pack the calendar too full.
To Resolution or Not To Resolution. That is the Question.
But, then again… why get wrapped up in all that mess? There are many New Year’s anti-resolutionists out there. You know: those people who swear off resolutions every trip ’round the calendar. There are many reasons for being a New Year’s anti-resolutionist. I won’t bore you with those here.
Then there are the non-resolutionists. They aren’t AGAINST New Year’s resolutions, per se, but they aren’t FOR them, either. And can you blame them? How refreshing to just let it all go! To say, “I’ll ride the wind this year! Just go with the flow. Be easygoing. Carefree. That’s MY resolution!” How uplifting! How liberating! How… apathetic?
“APATHY: Our Country’s Leading Cause of Whatever…”
In her blog, ‘Tremendous Life Books’, Tracey Jones (aka: Tremendous Tracy) makes note of her late father’s humble advice:
“Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones says there are only three decisions we make in our entire lifetime. They are…
- Who am I going to live my life with;
- What am I going to live my life in; and
- Who am I going to live my life for.
Of these things, Tracy says:
“Once you commit to your life partner (and for us single gals it sure can be to ourselves) you are no longer a laissez-faire lover. You will work and fight to honor the vow you took. Once you decide what you are going to live your life in, your job becomes a passion and you realize that every workplace act is a reflection of your character and a chance to serve others. Once you decide who you are going to live your life for, you become full of passion for that goal, idea, or entity. And passion is the antithesis of laissez-faire.“
Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against being a free spirit! In fact, it can be an admirable quality in a person. But it’s important to ask ourselves: am I settling into my ideal, easygoing, free-spirit self, or if am I giving a foothold to Apathy and allowing it to rule me?
Tremendous Tracy makes it clear:
“When you chose the laissez-faire lifestyle you’re like the fig tree in the Parable from Luke’s Gospel, all leaf and no fruit. The end result is destruction.”
I encourage you to be reflective this holiday season. Commit — wholeheartedly! — whether that’s to riding the wind in 2014 or dedicating to a calendar made full in advance, or something in between. A person CAN be passionate about being easygoing just as a person can be passionate about making plans.
So, it’s time to start thinking… just who will you commit to being in 2014? What will that person commit to DOING?
I hope this post has encouraged you to eagerly anticipate the person you will meet in the mirror in 2014. Maybe that person is the same person you see today. If so, great! But, if not, don’t shy away. Be excited!! After all, that person is, like a good friend, in it with you for the long haul. Remember: you will not find a greater friend, or enemy, than the person you see in the mirror.
A very merry Christmas & happy holidays to you and your self of 2014.
“…a lot of people are walking around this planet dead long before they’re buried, but thank God he made it so we don’t stink until we’re put in the ground.”
(Livin la Vida Laissez, T Jones. May 8, 2012)