So I sat down to review how I had fared on my goals for this year, only to realize that I had not set any.
That may explain why this year felt bitty and scattered and, well, unproductive.
Don’t get me wrong. I did a lot–a helluva lot–I quit a job (yes, again), started a business, had major surgery, wrote lots of words (over 100,000), made new friends, read new books (43), traveled for work, traveled for not-work, ate, slept, drank, too much in some cases, not enough in others, and altogether had a full life, a life I cannot complain about, a life that was good, better, on average, than the lives of most . . .
. . . but not a life, a year, of great accomplishment.
No big milestones, no notable checkmarks, and that is how it went. Quietly into the night.
Sometimes we need those years. I clearly did. A year of much and nothing, sickness and health, two steps forward a giant leap back, all in all a zero-sum year.
Still, I started the year with much hope. 2016 had been mostly a shit show, so as far as I was concerned, 2017 couldn’t come quickly enough. This was going to be the year of adventure and risk, the year of me, the year when I was finally going to try new things and get rid of the old, and in this way, at least, the year was a success.
I did try something new, a big something new, especially for someone like myself, who comes from a long line of (what amounts to) indentured servitude–I set up my own business.
This required a steep learning curve on my part, from setting up a sole proprietorship, to creating a website, to client acquisition, to marketing, to setting up structures and systems that support the business, to . . . well, pretty much every thing. And I did it all myself. On a shoe-string (non-existent!) budget.
So I guess I do have something to show for the year, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
This was also the year I took my writing more seriously, if not in quality, certainly in quantity. I wrote thirty poems, 50 blog posts, 25,000 words towards a book draft, and filled 8 journals with endless ideas, hopes, dreams, fears, and complaints. This is the year, more so than any before it, that I feel most like a writer. Writers write, and I have certainly done that this year.
This has also been the year of presence and patience, two qualities that have not, to this point, come naturally to me. I have been present to my own life and patient when it has not progressed as swiftly as I would have liked. I have been present for my ailing mother and patient with my coming-of-age children. I have sat with whatever the journey has brought me and stayed present through it all. This too shall pass.
And so it is that as the year rounds off, I find myself looking neither forward nor back. 2017 has been what it is, as I am sure 2018 will be. And I will ride that wave and enjoy it, what ever it brings, flotsam, jetsam, sunshine, rain, rainbows, and maybe even a pot of gold in the end.
I can relate to worrying about non-eventful life. Silly. Life is always highly eventful if I just took time to notice.
A very good year!
Well stated. Maybe you want to reconsider your definition of productivity. It seems you accomplished a lot. But I also know that you overshoot you’re A’s so I can see how you might think you are ‘unproductive.’
But I say, HA!
If you can’t allow yourself to see your productivity, then I suggest that you might be inspired by Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. When she realized that she was not going to be ‘bigger than life’ she discovered her life’s purpose. It was in the small things that she would make a difference. And boy did she … she became a Saint! Now that’s big for a ‘little flower.’
“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily
do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm.
If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”
Saint Thérèse de Lisieux
Tina, you are lovely – big or small, productive or not. In your life, you are the rose and the lily. Maybe you will get enjoyment by trying on a violet or a daisy?
Thanks for all the great posts!
Ooh! Will surely check out the Saint Therese poem. Love the image of the “Little violet” and “daisy.” They are where I live right now. Happy!