I am part of the Young Ladies Institute, a women’s group at St. Anthony’s in Hughson. At Christmas time they delivered poinsettias to homebound or ailing members. I was surprised to see my friend at my door with that red mass of Duarte’s flowers in hand. “I’m not homebound!” I joked, with children at my feet. Sweetly she scrunched her nose and said, “yeah, but you’ve had a hard year.”
It was true. It was a hard year. With New Year’s I think back to the last year when my nostalgic heart calls me to reflect, and I shudder. The bloggers, influencers and writers that make up my online community love the fodder of December 31st to reflect and project into the new year. As a freebie, I downloaded a one-page print out (intended for A1 printing at Staples) of the entire year, every day its own box. The header reads, “2018 Make it Happen.” The idea of planning the entire year is madness to me.
I am afraid to think of what I want out of a new year; it feels like so much is out of my control. New Year’s resolutions are intriguing psychologically and culturally. I have never been one to set long-term goes. My choleric temperament inspires me to decide I want something, dive in full force and go until I have to stop. Stopping is not a failure. Quitting can be wisdom. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Life is an adventure! All these are my mottos which is how I went from a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology to owning my own life coaching business to parenting four kiddos (and one with medical) needs to fill the gaps with joyful work as a freelance writer.
To actually think and plan, though? Yikes. I had my plans and dreams and realized that they filled one season. My childhood dreams of being a writer fill another: the current season.
I write for an online magazine called “Mind & Spirit” (mindspirit.com). They recently published the New Year’s Resolution themed article and in it the author, Abby Kowitz encourages the reader to “dare to hope.”
Those words stayed with me. Are there things you are afraid to hope for? Things like peace, security, good health, friendship, a lasting long-term relationship? After enough wrong turns or enough dead ends, it is easy for life to get a little scary.
Brave is not about not being afraid; it is doing the thing that scares you. I am not sure if I learned that from a children’s book or a classic movie, but the wisdom rings true. So do you dare to hope? Do I?
The thing I dare to hope for is to publish a book, or at least accepted by a publisher, not just any book but the book I have been living through and working on through our “hard year.” I share it now because I am daring to hope, and when I dare to hope with witnesses, it gives me strength.
What will give you the strength to dare to hope? Is it telling another person to keep you accountable, writing out step-by-step plans, or just diving in before you can talk yourself out of it? There are endless articles, books and advice columns on how to attain your goals. I have written my share of them and I stand by those formulas. Personalities and obstacles differ. The way they influence each other may necessitate changes to the formula.
But you can do it. I dare you.