OPINION – As we tick off the final moments of 2012, I can’t help but wonder what lies ahead.
I don’t know about you, but for me, this has been an eventful year.
There were frustrations, of course, but that’s unavoidable. There were struggles, of course, but they make the journey more rewarding. And, of course, there were more questions than answers.
But, 2012 also brought about some rather satisfying accomplishments, valuable lessons learned, and more exploration of this incredible life we live.
The year-end is, traditionally, when we do our own performance review, sort of like what our bosses do to determine how little they can get away with in the form of giving pay raises each year. The thing is, we can be a lot harsher on ourselves than some boss whose job it is to hold the budget down.
I mean, instead of evaluating how we learn to use new equipment, adapt to changes in the workplace, or how neatly we leave our desk each day, we ask ourselves the difficult questions. Are we who we want to be? Are we heading in the right direction? What do we think of where we’ve been and where we are going, or do we really know? Are we worthy of those who we draw nearest to in life?
That’s why we come up with these fanciful New Year’s resolutions, which have sort of evolved into an annual joke as we promise to do certain things to make us healthier, wealthier, and wiser, knowing full-well they are hollow promises that have little chance of being kept.
Whether that resolution is measureable, such as a desire to drop a couple pounds, or altruistic, such as growing, nourishing, and improving our souls, it really should matter and we should invest some time and thought into accomplishing it.
You see, we get this great chance each year to turn over a new leaf as that big ball drops in Times Square, or at least get a fresh piece of paper for our personal “To Do” list.
In recent years, I’ve decided to sort of keep most of that page blank, which makes it easier, and makes it more interesting, to take life as it comes. That way, each day becomes an adventure and I’m not too old yet to enjoy a fresh adventure.
But, as we watch 2012 fade into a memory, I figured out what I want in the coming year. I want to own 2013. I want it to be mine, want to embrace it and wring it of all the treasures it bears.
I want to continue to explore a bigger world, something somebody very important taught me just as I was starting to think of life as a bologna and cheese sandwich with mayo on white bread. There are a lot of other flavors out there you know.
Most of all, I want to keep focused on placing one foot in front of the other. There’s a line from a Jimmy Buffet song that resonates in my brain: “… yesterday’s over my shoulder, so I can’t look back for too long; there’s just too much to see waiting in front of me and I know that I just can’t go wrong.”
At this point in life, I have a pretty good idea what’s expected of me, what I’m supposed to be doing, how I am supposed to act.
But, I also have a pretty good idea of what I was meant to do with my life, how I am to live it, and that I really don’t want to be restricted by some tired old rules that I never understood.
I’ve learned that it’s not always easy living life on one’s own terms, that it can be especially difficult, in fact, as we deal with our own self-doubt and insecurities.
That’s why I am especially pleased to have a co-pilot aboard who has guided me through an incredible journey these last couple of years, dragging and pushing me at times, but always with a firm grip on my hand and heart while, all the time, reminding me that it’s our life and it’s now or never and that the most important elements of this life are to live, laugh, and love.
So, look out, 2013. We’re coming to get you.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year, with … no bad days.
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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