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.