Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year. Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

So was yesterday. So will be tomorrow.

Again and again we are given the gift of starting over. Every minute is the minute when we could decide to change our lives, to REALLY go after our dreams, to live into our selves.

So why do we place so much emphasis on days like January First? Building it up to be the time, the day, the moment when we finally RESOLVE to fix whatever is wrong with us.

It's all a fallacy.

There's nothing wrong with us.

Our life does not end at the stroke of midnight and begin again in the next instant, maybe better if we have someone to kiss.

This whole life thing, it's an adventure. It's all about making mistakes and taking steps and learning what comes next. It's not about achieving, it's about trying. It's not about winning, it's about being.
Mixed Media on paper, 9x10, 2003

So what the heck am I talking about? I'm not sure, because I had a beer with dinner and lightweight that I am, it all seems to make so much sense but I don't. Haha, no I joke.

What do I mean? We put to much pressure on ourselves to start everything over new just because the calendar flips from one year to the next. We build it up to mean something. We make THIS the YEAR where ALL our DREAMS come TRUE. The problem?

Let's say we planned on finishing our novel in, oh, eight weeks, and yet the first day of the goal, we didn't sit down to write, but instead spent the entire nap/break on internet surfing. Let's say that happens. Is it a disappointment? Maybe. Why couldn't we TACKLE THE UNIVERSE on our brand new day/brand new us? Why couldn't we DO WHAT WE SAID? Does it make it that much harder to try again tomorrow, when we are already A WHOLE DAY BEHIND? Do we keep focused on our goal, or are we already thinking, "I can't do this I fucked up already? Why bother, I'm such a loser?"

But all these dates in the calendar? Well, they aren't real. What's real is your will and your ability to rebound from setbacks and your commitment to the goals that you have considered important enough to dedicate your next 12 weeks or 6 months or year of your life to having.

We aren't losers because we don't hit every expectation. There isn't something wrong with us because we don't manage to jump out of the gate like a racehorse with a flaming jockey on his back. Let's step back and take the long view. Are we talking about our lives here? Or just living up to some resolution?

If it's the life that's important, then we need to allow setbacks, sickdays, gentleness, self love, falling off the wagon, and any other moment when things just don't meet our expectations.

We can NOT beat ourselves up for our imperfection. Instead, we simply pick up our intentions, dust them off and start focusing on the next step we plan to take to reach our goals. Don't obsess over why we can't write. No, don't do that... the next step after that is declaring it a writer's block, which might never end. What we do instead is start thinking, "Hmm, I wonder what my main character would do if she encountered this?" Or start jotting down ideas for our next painting. Or making lists of the next adventure we are going to start on.

We've got to ride this wave, you see, my friends, and keep moving forward (even if forward motion seems to be moving backwards, for the moment).


Anonymous said...

Tackling every day as the adventure it is.

Great post.

Super Nova said...

yep, ride the wave, feel the water, get a sunburn, each step leads us to the next, but it's the act of taking the steps that makes everything perfect.

my story is perfect


so is yours

Jena Strong said...

Happy new year, happy new day.

debra said...

having seen many new year's days flow under the bridge, i no longer put so much pressure on myself, nor do i beat myself up for being human (i.e. failing). i aim for simple things: live more consciously in the moment; think of others more and myself less; learn something new (i want to make paper this year).
i think we put emphasis on jan. 1 simply because it's the time we all begin again TOGETHER. we take stock of our lives, and then take those first steps into the future ~ this measurable space of time called 2009 ~ together. with comrades. with hope.

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