It’s Never Too Late

It’s that time of year when we all wax poetic and look over the past 12 months, taking stock of what we did or rather didn’t do and draw up yet a brand-new list with a January 1 headline and the subject is Resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions are the grande dame of the To-Do List, and too often we hold ourselves dutifully accountable until either our enthusiasm runs out or things get in the way and the exuberance of the YES! I WILL becomes, TOMORROW! I WILL and on it goes in its decent toward NEXT Week I will,  Next month I will, next year I will.… and before we know it, it’s Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year (again) and we start over.

Why not let each day be a New Year and go forward to start (or finish) whatever that something is? It’s never too late. Let what you want to do go beyond New Year’s resolutions and don’t let the calendar dictate the absolute end date for accomplishing what you set out to do. Yes, it’s good to have goals (which is what resolutions really are) set within a timeframe but it is so easy to become discouraged and give up if we don’t meet the goals we set for ourselves by the particular date we think we should have.

This doesn’t mean you should let things go until whenever, either, but if you find things are getting in the way of accomplishing what you want whether it’s life happenings or your own procrastination, break down that capital “G” Goal into smaller, lowercase “g” goals. This can help in making them more attainable and easier to meet. It will also give you a sense of accomplishment, which may make your original end Goal easier to see and reach.

Envision it. See it. You don’t have to know how you’ll get there only that you will.  Let your resolutions be the beginning to something you’ve always wanted to do; be; experience, but instead of treating it like a chore of something you feel you should do (losing weight, give up smoking, spend less time at the office, eat better, etc.)  put things on that list that you’ve always wanted to do and up until now didn’t. Even go so far as thinking back to when you were a kid—what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you like to do? Why not pick those things up again? You’re never too old and it’s never too late.

Setting New Year’s resolutions are a great place to start and reboot yourself to the place you may have always wanted to be mentally, physically, and emotionally and when June rolls around and you find yourself with that list still untouched, no one can say you can’t reboot and re-start your resolution then. You’re in control.  Too often we procrastinate by saying One Day, so why not let that “One Day” start this January 1 and if need be, then February 1, March 1 and so on. No matter what you want to do, don’t believe it’s too late—in the calendar or in your life. Your dreams and resolutions may have changed as you got older, I know mine have, but I don’t believe that dreams and goals have an expiration date just because they weren’t fulfilled by a certain age or time.

May each day of this new year inspire you instead of it being the tick-tock of things undone and goals unmet.

Are you an Explorer or an Addict?

Not long ago, I was contemplating signing up for a workshop that sounded interesting but still a part of me thought, “Seriously? Why?” I answered myself out loud, announcing to the empty room, “Because I want to, it’s interesting, and I can learn a lot.” With that, I took out my credit card and signed up.

Fast forward to the day of the first class. It was a long day at work, my brain felt like a twisted sponge from having to problem-solve a situation that came up at work, I hadn’t slept well from the night before, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and unplug. You know those days. We all do.

I looked at the clock around 5 p.m. and the the conversation in my head went something like this:

[Cue whine] “Ugh, a class at 8 tonight. You’re already tired from the day, you know the last thing you want to do is be on the phone/computer again for 90 minutes later tonight.”

“I know, but how lazy can I get? I can call from my own home for Pete’s sake. It’s not like I have to drive anywhere.”

“Can’t we just watch TV? America’s Got Talent is on tonight.”

“No. Suck it up. We’re doing it.”

With an eye toward the clock, I made sure not to have a heavy carb dinner so I wouldn’t nod off in the middle of the call, and at 7:58, with a resigned sigh, I dragged my mental feet and moved into another room with my notebook and phone. I was very interested in learning about the subject matter but by the time 8 p.m. rolls around, the last thing I want to do is to actively listen to someone lecture and have to think. Didn’t I know the start time when I signed up for the class? Sure thing, but intention is golden when fueled by caffeine and its promise that anything is possible. I stayed awake and alert and it really was a very good class after all. Six more weeks to go!

I’ve always loved to learn and have a healthy dose of curiosity about how things work, so it’s no surprise to those who know me that I’ve been known to take all sorts of workshops ranging from serious learning and skill building to one day classes of “Oh! So that’s how’s it’s made” which for me included basket-weaving; frame-drum-making; krauting; and making natural herbal salves. As the years go by though, I’ve been more selective about where I invest my time and energy. If signing up for a particular class or workshop is the best way for me to learn what I want to know, then I’m there. If not, someone else can take my seat.

Recently, I started to wonder about people we all know at least one of: those workshop junkies that are always going to one class or another every time you talk to them. Then there are those workshop followers that sign-up, stay for a few classes, but don’t follow through. You’ve heard it: “It takes too much time; costs too much money; I was drunk when I agreed to do it (true excuse someone told me); the location is inconvenient; I can’t get a babysitter; I was too tired to keep doing it; It was boring.”

While yes, some of these are legitimate reasons for quitting a class, I can’t help but wonder what makes some people sign-up for classes on an almost rotational basis and then there are those that are on the sign-up and quit sign-up and quit carousel?

What is their Holy Grail they are looking for? Are they naturally restless souls eagerly checking mailboxes for the next calendar of events or running away from something and looking for the next distraction from their lives? Maybe these are the reasons for some people, but what if the pull was really an addiction to the newness, the rush of possibility, the excitement that was the sole driving force to seek out the constant turnover of a new class, gym membership, cooking class, [fill in the blank]?

And those people that quit the classes? Is it a lack of perseverance or is it that the excitement of the newness and the possibility –the hope– has worn off and so it’s no longer interesting? Perhaps it’s a deep form of self-sabotage where people set themselves up for the high of the experience, and when it’s no longer exciting and the high is no longer there, they quit—already looking for another “fix” before they hit the parking lot.

It’s natural to be excited and full of hope when we try something new but if the personal interest and curiosity become something that changes as often as the hands on the clock, and there’s a pattern of disinterest after a short time, maybe there’s something deeper behind the excuses.

So what drives you? Are you an explorer of new possibilities or an addict to the excitement?

Blogging From A to Z: Addiction

 

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For those of you who aren’t aware, starting today and continuing for the month of April (except for Sundays), I’m taking part in a Blogging From A to Z Challenge, during which I will post something every day that begins with the appropriate alphabetic letter for the day. My theme for this challenge is about the little things in life and how we can take them each deeper and I hope you’ll join me! So let’s go!

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Unless we are in a heightened state of awareness and already existing in our Buddha-nature, we are all addicts. Addictions can be loud or subtle. They can be screams from your body or whispers in your mind. Addictions can be food, people, emotions, or technology. It can even be places or things. We become addicted to a particular type of behavior or object because it makes us feel good when we do it or go to it and we want to continue that good feeling. To be awakened is to be freed from that desire and drive. Use the energy that is currently tied up with your addiction to free yourself. If you don’t think you have an addiction, take a look at your life and see what is at least one thing that you keep going back to and seeking more of to find solace in? Chocolate? Cigarettes? Girl Scout cookies? Alcohol? Sex? Pasta? Approval? Let’s take it deeper.