It seems that every year we are bombarded with images of Janus - looking back looking forward - reflecting on where we are. I guess that's okay because if we do not study our history, what went right and what went wrong, then growth really isn't possible.
For the past two years I have selecting a touchstone word to guide me. In 2008 my word was FIRE. I really believe that it gave me an extra edge as I moved through the days. I was not perfect by any means - but I was more aware of what I wanted. In 2009 my word was FOCUS. I made some really great progress in the last year: I started back to school the Monday after Ian graduated and have racked up 4 classes and 4 "A" grades, I reconnected with many friends through the technology of FaceBook and feel amazingly blessed because of their place in my life, and I made it through a 10 day cleansing fast that no one but me believed I would complete, and I gave myself a huge gift of my new car hobby.
This year I am selecting another word:
Promise can be defined as one's word that something will be done or an indication of future excellence or achievement - hope or possibility.
I could achieve so much more if I followed through on a fraction of the things that flicker on the edges of my mind. I often work through entire projects in my head - the beginnings, the workings, the completions - but I do not act on them. Even when I think I really want to make them happen. Ask any one - my Mother for example - and they will tell you of the great promise I had as a child. Promise they will likely also tell you I have not fulfilled. When I pledged my sorority in 1983, one of the advisers came up to me at the reception after the ceremony and showed me an article from the local newspaper she had been holding onto for some months. It detailed my high school achievements and my full scholarship to the University of Toledo. They had been hoping I would go through rush and were so pleased that I had found Chi Omega - I had great promise. Things did not turn out exactly according to Hoyle... Mom is still trying to figure out why I am not a doctor. (Um - duh? Holding someones life in your hand is scary!) And reminds me periodically that I am not living the life she planned for me. (Thanks Mom.)
I make promises to myself all the time and break them. I drive myself to the brink of failure over and over again, pushing myself further and further toward the edge just to see if I can pull myself back. It can be exhilarating saving myself time and time again, and the stress of the deadline often does inspire creativity, but this cycle is not healthy.
I often do not take risks - what if I fail? (So maybe Mom is right and I should have become a doctor if I wasn't a wuss?) Sometimes I just "decide" I didn't really want something in the first place so therefore I need not complete it or ever even start it.
This year will be about keeping promises to myself. Finishing school will be a big promise kept. (Not to mention I get a nifty new outfit AND a sweet certificate suitable for framing!) But there are hundreds of small victories that are possible each day. Not hitting the mental snooze button when the alarm goes off... Tackling the to do list at work based upon priority and not the noisiest gong... Getting my tail up off the couch and moving...
Mr Newton told us in his First Law that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless a force is applied. (Okay he ripped that one off from Galileo - but who's really keeping track?) I need to stop being the force which stops the motion and just keep moving forward and not sit still. Inertia!
This is not to say that I do not need true relaxation and restoration in my life. But I've been procrastinating on that as well. I do not sign up for the yoga class, I do not read the book on meditation, I do not seek inner peace. I did sign up for a monthly massage package this year though so I guess it is a start! I also started reading some really great books to give me guidance if I chose to listen.
So it is time to promise to make some changes. To live up to expectations - the ones I have for myself. To fulfill the promise I have to do something big!
Maybe I should have taken the extra step of telling Zoltar all of this instead of just taking his picture! Worked for Josh!
The word will work wonders in your life - I promise!