It’s that time of year again. When hubby brings up the holiday decorations and we all reach into our stockings for THE LETTER. The one we wrote to our future self back in January with goals and dreams for the upcoming year.
My youngest wrote all about roller coasters and getting 100’s on his math and spelling tests. He seemed pleased at his accomplishments and proceeded to turn his letter into an airplane and fly it all over the room. Which, by the way, is his personality in a nutshell.
Oldest refused to read his letter out loud and moped on the couch saying he didn’t accomplish anything. Which of course is a total lie – he’s done a lot of great things this past year. Later I found the letter and learned the cause of his disappointment – he had written about things he was obsessed with last year, and trends being trends, they were no longer important. Oh, and he wanted to grow six inches. Genetics can be so, so cruel.
Hubby read his letter, which talked about a bathroom remodel that hasn’t happened yet, and a handful of other things he didn’t accomplish. I read mine. More of the same. Wow, we really stank this year, oldest remarked.
No, we didn’t, actually. We set out on one path and life took us a different way. We didn’t accomplish our goals from January, but instead entirely different experiences and opportunities came our way. And that’s okay.
Although… I would like to publicly say I am disappointed in myself in a few areas. My writing goals included querying my YA Historical Fiction project, which I didn’t do because I am somewhat terrified to put it out into the world. And my butt was not nearly in the chair as much as I had promised myself it would be – despite various mind tricks such as elaborate daily schedules, trips to cafes, and secret candy stashes. But it’s here now, right at this very moment. Let’s celebrate the small victories, shall we?
I think the area in which I have been most victorious is pushing out of my comfort zone. My new job has forced that to some degree; I’m required to go into the community and talk to strangers, so I’ve been working hard on my ice breaking and small talk skills. (Not to worry, there have been PLENTY of awkward moments this past year, during which I stared blankly and lost all ability to make normal conversation.) If something scares me, my immediate reaction might be to give up or walk away, but I’m trying to push past that and embrace new experiences.
And then come home and bury myself in a book next to my trusty feline companion.
We can’t change who we truly are at the core, and I’ve learned that after many, many years of stocking letters. But we can work to become better versions of ourselves, whether that means being more adventurous, working harder to achieve a goal, or being a kinder human being. (More to come on that last one.)
Don’t be afraid to set goals, both realistic and star-reaching. But be prepared for the universe to have other plans. That’s part of the fun.