“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” –Neil Gaiman
“If you live your life with the regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you will have no today to be thankful for.” –as posted by The Master Shift on Facebook
I’m not big on making New Year Resolutions. I’ve rarely made them. It’s not that I don’t resolve to make changes in my life, I just don’t confine making resolutions to the beginning of the new year. I do understand why people make New Year Resolutions. It’s the perfect time to take stock of your life and look back at where you’ve been and where you’d like to go in the coming year. It’s goal setting. However, every day is a new beginning and that’s why I don’t make resolutions at the beginning of every new year.
For many years now, I’ve been practicing living in the moment. I can’t say I’ve mastered the technique. However, the more I practice, the more I realize that I may make a resolution, then discover on the next day it has nothing to do with what I learned yesterday. That means I’m constantly doing course corrections. I know the common wisdom is to make daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. That’s just not how my mind works. There will be days when my head is so full of the things I want to accomplish, that I write them down and check them off as I go just to be sure I’ve accomplished what needs to be done. That is a rare occasion, however.
Some years ago I read an article about birth order. The study had shown certain traits that most first borns, which is what I am, second borns and so on exhibit. I didn’t fit the first born mold at all. Most first borns are over achievers, they like to make lists, they follow the rules, they like order. As I wrote in a blog post earlier this year, I’m a pantser. In other words I like to fly by the seat of my pants. It makes me extremely uncomfortable to be forced to follow strict rules, or to set goals and then stick to them even if they no longer apply. When I was teaching, I had to write lesson plans but I always left room for the miracle question, or the thing that would happen in class that was the teachable moment. You can’t plan those kind of moments. I knew this about myself at an early age and that’s why I chose the direction of theatre, teaching and writing. Being creative means you’re breaking the rules, or creating new ones, not following them.
I will say I have overall goals for my life, but I know from experience that often what I envision doesn’t happen in the way, or in the time span that I thought it might. That’s perfectly okay with me. There is something so exciting about being open to all the wonderful possibilities that might come my way. And boy, have I had some amazing things happen to me.
If you’re a person who needs to set goals and make resolutions, I applaud you because it shows a desire to make positive changes in your life. There are so many different personality types, and ways of being in the world. We need them all. Without the people who like to follow the rules and stick to schedules, planes, trains and buses wouldn’t run on time. The fabric of society would be strained. We need all personality types, and approaches to life. I celebrate all of us.
My point of this post is this: Be open to altering your resolutions, and don’t think you have to wait until New Years Day to make them. You can choose to make a change for the better at anytime. If you pay attention to the events of your life, you’ll get clues about possible changes you could make. Most people call them mistakes, or disasters. I call them opportunities. Sometimes we need to be shaken up to see a road that was invisible to us before. Take heart when seemingly bad things happen. Every moment is a new beginning. Just keep moving forward. The answers will come to you.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a fabulous 2015.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2015