As a kid I did the whole New Year’s thing. What are my faults [depending on who you talk with they could be many]? How would I correct them? [The puzzle here was what if I liked those faults? I’m thinking, can you ever have too much chocolate, laugh too much, read too much?] What would I like to accomplish in the next year? This last one was always a ‘times a’wastin’ type of resolution. It stressed my mortality, which although I intellectually agree is there, viscerally, well, not a good thing to dwell on. It was a sort of, get it done now! And the ‘or else’ was implied.
Resolutions. Yes, before we go further, a definition. a firm decision to do or not to do something. On the face of it, that sounds pretty good, making a promise. We make promises all the time, some are good ones, some are little white lies. And yet, why would you start out a perfectly good beginning with a promise to do or not to do something. It’s new, it’s unknown, like outer space, you don’t even know what’s out there! You need more than a promise.
A few years ago my daughter suggested that you use a word to focus the new year. I like that. Brave. Healthy. Industrious. Calm. Sincere. Okay, now I’m going off the path. But the idea of the word is a cool one.
While in business you plan for the future, the unknown, you chart a course. But you know it’s all blue sky stuff, you’re making a guess and you can be so very wrong. For in the interior of a person, your soul, your conscience, I think that’s harder. I’m reading Walter Isaacson’s BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: A LIFE. Franklin, we’re told, defined fourteen virtues and set about a lifetime of correcting his own behavior to keep those virtues. He was mildly successful, getting some down pat and others, well, lets just say, life is a work in progress.
Here I am, at the end of 2013, which in and of itself is sort of remarkable, sort of scifi-ish, depending on your own age. My word for this year was write. By that I really meant finish. Finishing is hard, it means taking something from a beginning, through a middle to and end. Ends are hard. But I’m good. I’ve been told my writing is strong. I did finish a story, a middle grade mystery and it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It doesn’t shake the world, but it is the exact type of story I loved to read. Now, I’m working on a non-fiction that wakes me up at night and makes me think. In the new month I will start the search for an agent, and successful or not, it will continue to make me feel to the core, that which Sister Alice Mary said I could never be, a writer.