Ringing Out the Old…

Maybe that should be “wringing out the old.”

I don’t even know what to say. “Bless me, Dear Reader, for I have sinned. It has been thirty days since my last blog post…”

In reviewing last year’s goals (which I refused to call “resolutions”), I had an epiphany – if readership has dwindled, it’s probably because I’ve led by example. Clearly, I don’t even read what I write, half the time. If I bother to make any resolutions, this year, the first should be to staple the list to my forehead so I can’t help but see it in the mirror every morning and read it until I can recite it from memory like Hamlet’s soliloquy.

Don’t look back, unless it’s to marvel at how far you’ve come. I looked at that list of goals from 2013, gave myself a full five minutes of kicking my own behind and whining about it, and now I’m done. 2015, here I come. 2014, no apologies or regrets. We’ve had a good run, but it’s time to move on.

Commit fully – or don’t even put it on the to-do list.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

— W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951

Be flexible; life happens. A change of course is not failure. A broken promise, though, is.


5 thoughts on “Ringing Out the Old…”

  1. The quotation from W. H. Murray made me think of Bill Murray, which made me think of Groundhog Day, which made me think of new year’s resolutions, because is there anything more Groundhog Day-like than resolutions? Same ones every year; same results. Well, damn it, NOT THIS YEAR!

    1. For years, my only resolution was to “Make no more stupid new year’s resolutions I have no intention of keeping, anyway.” And that worked very well. But then I had some clear goals, and realized that blogging them, and writing them down, and planning the steps, and checking progress regularly – I got them done. I was a little obsessive about some of them, but that seems to have been the key to success. So I narrowed the focus this year and – did I ever mention how much I hate to crochet with thread? There will be consequences. Some are more like “lazy outs” but there will be consequences.

  2. I’ll just say that having goals and not reaching them shouldn’t be seen as an indictment. After all, life can get in the way of everyone’s goals and dreams, and things change. Still, having something to shoot for just might lead you there.

    I mean, I got you to do an interview, and that certainly wasn’t on your list for the year. 🙂

    1. Now, that’s very true, Mitch – and that’s huge! Excellent point. But remember, I did that because I committed to it, and to you, and I didn’t let myself back out. That’s the key, really, to achieving any goal.

      But there’s a difference between backing out or backing down, and changing course – and I think it’s entirely okay to change course, to not take the path that leads to unimportant (or less important) things, if something else presents itself mid-year. So while that interview wasn’t “on the list” in January, it was a worthwhile “challenge” (a challenge for ME, anyway) – a bit of a stretch – and I’m glad you invited me to do it. It might come under the larger umbrella of “try new things and don’t chicken out.”

      There’s one on this year’s list that looks easy – the one about volunteering at the Houston Food Bank. That’s fun – I’ve done it before, and enjoyed it immensely. The challenge is driving around downtown. It’s in “unfamiliar territory.” It’s about 30 miles away, too. It’s going to be a challenge not to talk myself out of it, frankly – but I really want to do it.

  3. My goals (we’re into 2016 now) are all fiction; the blogging is for fun and relaxation, and will possible be mined some day for a book on writing it you’re an extreme structuralist.

    I’d like to finish Book 2 of Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD (unless I can come up with something better, and I don’t like H3LL – suggestions?), but it may take two or three years, not one, depending on how it goes: it takes me a while to turn myself inside out for every single scene, and life happens.

    Other than that, keep plugging away, because I’m not getting any younger.

    And find a marketing strategy that works for me. Or a champion on a white horse who will do it all (right, good luck with that).

    I’m proud of you for volunteering at the food bank. Does this mean you live near Houston? Middle son lives there now.

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