At the end of 2008, I saw a piece on television that recommended only making one resolution each year. I have mentioned before that I followed that advice for last year, and actually made that goal happen. That one resolution was to get published, somewhere-anywhere, and had been on my list for years. I think there were several reasons it happened, not just because I narrowed my list down, but it didn’t hurt that I focused on one goal for the whole year—a lot less daunting than a list of five or ten things to accomplish.
Taking a hint from that theory, I have decided to back up even further and make my resolution something broader, simpler and more comprehensive all at once. This year’s resolution? Embrace hope.
Yes, I want to be published again, maybe even sell that novel I have been working on. But there are other things in my life that are just as important—continuing to let love reside in my life, trusting the wonderful man I am with even though trust is hard for me, giving more, volunteering more, appreciating the wonderful friends I have in my life that I can count on at every turn. But in each of these instances, embracing hope is the foundation for all I want to be and do. Putting my writing out there and believing that good work will reap great rewards. Trusting someone who more than deserves my trust, love and devotion and having faith that wonderful things will come from that trust. And mainly, just trusting myself for a change, empowered by a positive outlook, and a new commitment to hope instead of doubt.
It sounds simple. Maybe too simple. And on some level it is. But, how hard is it to remain hopeful when things seem to be crumbling around you? Very. How easy is it to slip to some dark place when the cards seem stacked against you? Very. So my resolution is to make hope my safety net, my plan B, my first choice even when it is hard, even when it seems scary or maybe ridiculous. I look back on some desperate choices I have made in the midst of doubt or fear, letting the worst possible outcome become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thinking the worst, seeing that as a possible outcome, almost becomes something you are drawn to. Maybe it is ludicrous or at the very least impractical to think that having hope makes the pull of a bad outcome weaker. But lessening the inner turmoil I go through as I let myself spiral into negative thoughts and gloomy predictions has to be the better choice.
I start this year with more encouraging and optimistic things in my life than I can remember. But there are some huge challenges waiting in the wings also. It would be easy to become overwhelmed and let the negatives become the prominent focus. Choosing hope for both the good and bad will hopefully help me find some balance.
And finally, I think it is so important to really turn the page, wipe the slate clean, and let the mistakes, pain, and complications of 2009 reside in the past. Taking the plastic wrap off the 2010 calendars should be a true new beginning, a fresh start, filled with all the possibility a new year can bring. As the empty days stare back at me from the calendar pages hanging in my kitchen, I have to smile and know there is so much before me that I can’t even imagine, can’t even take in.
And …I can’t wait.