Today was the first day back in the saddle after the Christmas and New Year break.
Driving the kids into school this morning, I saw old faces in the neighborhood re-emerge. They were refreshed and recommitted. These faces were those of the walkers, runners and bike-riders I had seen on many occasions in the past, but over the course of the last few months, their presences slowly faded and, eventually, vanished. I assume they're back at it in order to honor their personal resolutions.
I don't make resolutions. In fact, I don't like them, at all. When this blog was a column in a local parenting magazine, I addressed my feelings on resolutions:
I am not a fan of resolutions. And, after becoming a mother to three daughters, I dislike them even more. In my opinion, resolutions are usually unreasonable, rigid declarations with no built-in wiggle room. They add unnecessary stress and cause women to experience feelings of self-doubt and defeat--not exactly the image you want to convey to young and impressionable daughters.
Gadson, Donloyn T. "Banish Resolutions: Share Traditions with Your Daughter." Lowcountry Parent Magazine. January 2013: 40. Print
Am I saying that personal development, change and commitment are a waste of time because you're just going to fail? Absolutely not!
I suggest that you set intentions instead. Intentions are just a list of non-threatening, purpose-driven goals that you'd like to accomplish in the year ahead. Then approach them with a light, positive attitude...in other words, lighten up! Stay focused and hold yourself accountable, but don't beat yourself up if you slip. Just pick yourself up and begin again.
For 2014, I had every intention of looking Time in the face and saying, "Hey! Can't we just get along?" I had every intention of throwing out my broken clock that was always stuck on "a half past late" and finally upgrading to one that says, "Go girl, wit cha bad self! You are SO on time!"
Notice I said, "Intention."
Yeah, you guessed it! In true crazy fashion, I hit ALL THREE of my alarms, and went back to sleep! THREE alarms, people! THREE!!! I have 2 alarms set on my phone and an alarm clock on my bedside table, and they all received a little smack from me this morning.
So, I peeled myself out of bed, much later than I had intended. And I rushed! Like I have many times before.
But, when we left the house and started down the road, an unexpected feeling of peace came over me. Although we were leaving later than I had hoped, it felt good. The familiar feeling of being back in our routine was good. Lateness and all.
And suddenly, I was okay with having had a rocky start in my new relationship with Time.
And as I continued down the road, seeing all the neighbors committing to a new start, seeing all the remnants of Christmas decor still lingering from the year that has passed, I felt the in-between. In the midst of all my crazy, seeing things both old and new, I felt the beauty of the in-between.
Life is really just a series of interrupted transitions...The In-Between. The place where old and new coexist.
I think that's the place where all the lessons reside. And when we take the time to notice, appreciate and really feel the presence of the in-between, it makes where we're headed (our intentions) so much clearer.
So, we were a little late today. Tomorrow, I'll do better. I'm sure of that. I know this because I've gained a new perspective.
A new perspective on Intentions, Transitions and The Beauty of The In Between.
How has 2014 reshaped your perspective? Tell me in the comments below.