Another year and a chance to create a new way to view the past, the present and the future. I used to do that…make lists of what I had accomplished in the year and review what needed to change. This chore was done under the guise of welcoming in a new year, as if it were a clean slate. If I followed the clean slate theory I would have eliminated the ‘what you failed to do’ list which never failed to make me feel as if I hadn’t done enough. The mindset of ‘you can do better’ this year. What a silly approach.
A new year does not equate with a clean slate. There will always be whisperings from the past, like the vague outline of half-erased words you can still make out. We carry our choices, our triumphs and our challenges with us. We can not negate the past. Beating ourselves up about what we didn’t or did do is a lousy idea.
Two years ago I decided to choose a defining word for the new year. Rather than make lists and resolve to do things differently I now look at a feeling, emotion or way of living that feels right for me in that moment in time.
My Christmas-addled, sugarcoated, grandchildren-rattled brain cannot remember where I saw the phrase or what caused it to stay with me. Bright and early Friday morning, after 6 hours of sleep, the words popped up and placed themselves front and center. Go Deeper is my theme for 2013.
It’s easy and comfortable to skim the surface, to settle on simpler, more palatable emotions. Less painful, less effort, less confrontation.
Out of necessity and desire I choose to go deeper.
My freelance writing: it requires constant marketing, querying and searching for new clients. It’s hard work that necessitates a more aggressive approach to promoting myself and seeking out business.
My book. The book.
What f*#@ing book? You ask. The book I’ve been batting around or avoiding since 2006. Yes. I’ve been afraid to dig deeper (and yes, I’m beating myself up here…which I said I wouldn’t do in the first paragraph, but this has to be said out loud. On paper.)
My personal stuff. I’ve been coasting, I keep taking the simpler road. It’s not the easier option it’s the less painful option. Go deeper here means facing up to the choices I make and having the courage to make it all about me. Literally.
What does go deeper mean for me? What would it mean in your life if you chose to take a look? I have to set some goals or at least put something down to keep me focused and accountable. It is and it isn’t like a resolution.
- The book: that’s easy. I want to write it and I believe it’s a story that needs to be shared. I will create a schedule of writing and stick to it. I’ll tackle the stuff in the book that holds me back–the divorce, acknowledging the choices I made in the early dating days, sharing intimate details. Own it.
- My freelance work: In progress. I’ve enrolled in a class with Linda Formichelli on writing for magazines. We start on January 3. And, I’ve signed up for a coaching session with a writing coach.
- My personal/ relationship stuff: More journaling, conversation and examination of why I do what I’m doing.
- Miscellaneous: There are so many places to explore. Every day we make choices–the easy ones, the hard ones. From washing the dishes right after dinner to folding the laundry or sorting out the book shelves. Examining cash flow, muting the television and picking up a book or a pen and paper. Zoning out is one of my favorite evening pastimes. Going deeper might mean being present and keeping the above desired goals in mind at all times.
Go deeper is about me making the choice to honor what I need, desire, want. Of course I have to balance practicality with desire. Making money versus following my bliss. Eating healthy as opposed to living for Talenti’s Sea Salt Caramel gelato. Letting go of the excuses and habits that get in the way of me living the fullest life possible.
I look at this choice of words as a challenge for me to throw off the covers and come out into the light. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you are also looking at reclaiming yourselves. We have the ability to create a delectable life for ourselves, if we choose.