I resonate with what the famed Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” It has been my constant fascination to look back at life while gaining momentum in anticipation of what the future holds. Like playing on a swing, I revel in the paradox of moving while staying in the same place. For all the determined talk of “goals” and “resolutions”, we often forget how little we actually control. We like the illusion that the change we want is only a few decisions away. Yet, what we don’t account for is that some of our most life-defining moments are a result of the surprises life throws us at us. In other words, we are compelled to change when we are hurled out of our swing into the sand face-first.
Yet, at some point we get back on the swing. But something about us is different. We even swing differently. Because here’s what we’ve learned: the change we want is not somewhere out there in the distant future; it’s actually tucked inside our daily pursuit to change. The transformation we need is not dependant on an outcome but in the failures, courageous attempts and determination to keep trying. Therefore, it is our task to incrementally embrace, chronicle and accept all the changes we experience.
It’s with this in mind that I’ve decided to pursue some goals this year. My wife and I sat down one evening and drafted goals that we want to aim for in 2014. I have developed this theory that the beginning of January is not a good time to think about goals. The hype and momentum of “resolutions” during those few days is less about “change” and more about wanting to write something on a clean slate. It’s an unfinished theory so don’t get hung up on it. Instead, my suggestion is to consider that anytime is a good time to write out goals, dreams and resolutions. Take your time and don’t be shy about letting others know.
With fear and trembling, here are some of mine:
I want to read 6 books this year. (For a Dad of 2, this is a huge feat!)
I want to read the entire New Testament.
I want to write 6 short stories as part of a Bleeding Heart Art Challenge. (You’re invited to be a part of this too!)
For the next 365 days I want to chronicle daily through Instragram things in my life that I’m grateful for. (I got the idea from 365grateful.com)
I want to produce and perform a spoken-word presentation.
Yet, as I look forward, I can’t but help remember to look back at a year that had us moving into our basement, watching my sons evolve from crawling to walking to dancing to pretend-talking on the phone. I had the chance to write articles in Georgie Magazine for Tegan and Sara, Cadence Weapon, Cœur de pirate and Charles Bradley. My wife ran 5K for the first time and I got to host my first fun run. Overall, this past year was a bright one.