The agony or the ecstasy of the year to come
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
Well, it’s that time again.
It’s New Year’s Eve and I am staring at a blank page pondering what to write. Considering what we have all just been through, on the one hand it’s very tempting to talk about the year that was, but I think I won’t.
Instead, let’s just swallow hard and look forward, for as much as we have accomplished, there is still much more to be done.
“But that’s too hard!” you wince. “I am barely hanging on as it is”.
Yes, indeed – but that is precisely the point.
No matter what you have been through, no matter how hard it was, you made it to here and all of that “stuff” is behind you.
Right then – back to looking forward.
Let’s do a simple visualisation exercise together to illustrate the point.
If I asked you to close your eyes and picture yourself on the morning of New Year’s Eve a whole year from now, how would you want to be looking back on 2021?
Would you want to be telling me that you wasted the year pining for the ’good old days’ and lamenting the things you have lost? Would you admit that you spent all your time complaining how unfair life was and that all of your problems were someone else’s fault? Would you want to elaborate on all the times that you were greedy, or selfish, or unforgiving, or untrustworthy or mean? Would you want to drone on and on telling me about all of the terrible things that had happened to you and want me to pity you?
After all, this is just a visualisation exercise and who in their right mind would intentionally dream of having a life like that?
So, what could you be telling me about instead?
Would you want to be telling me about a year in which you won the lottery, found six four-leaf clovers, or became Insta-Famous?
Perhaps, but how easy is it to plan for chance occurrences such as these and convert them into reality?
And now for the swallowing hard part – having considered and set some of these previous notions aside, in your real life what would you actually like to be telling me about?
Would you like to be telling me about a new job, or a certification that you completed? Would you like to be telling me about your triumphs at home schooling, or all the ways that you have found to express your creativity?
Or how about the occasions that you were tolerant, or patient, or introspective, or generous?
Or all the times that you simply paused to consider the consequences of your actions before making a move, and what you learnt from your experiences?
And finally, having now considered all of this, how will you now set forth into this year to be?