It’s eleven days into the new year already ─ wow! This is the time of year when most folks break out their New Year’s resolutions, fully intending to this time make it work out, whatever ‘it’ is, and for a while we actually might make some progress. But it’s when ‘it’ becomes no longer new that it becomes difficult to keep at it, when life, distractions, and laziness get in the way of exercising more, or writing more, or being more intentional about the decisions we make, or what have you.
I’ll admit, I’m no different. Last year I remember I had determined to cycle more. Ever since I discovered the sport and how great it is I have had this desire to reach one-thousand miles in a season (which is piddly in comparison to some seasoned cyclists out there, but we all have to start somewhere). I made myself go out on early spring days when the weather was about as nice as early spring gets up here, bundling up with leggings and hoodies and mittens and still being cold after a good ten miles.
But then came the growing season, the garden and then the market. The distractions. I petered out, and then I stopped. I didn’t go for a bike ride all summer, except once or twice to get somewhere in town. I didn’t make time and keep at it. I said I wanted it, but apparently not enough to do something about it. And then the year ended, and I am no closer to that one-thousand miles.
To be honest, there are so many things up in the air about this year that I’m tentative about making any big resolutions, because it’s no fun when you look back and know that you haven’t accomplished them, regardless of what else the year has brought under your belt. At the same time, it’s always good to have goals to work toward. I’m still going to try cycling more, but approach it differently. Even if there’s only time to go around the block, I want to take hold of that rather than wait for an empty afternoon ─ because there is no such thing anymore.
Rather than certain things or tasks, this year I’d like to capture and use the moments, to fill in the margins of the bigger things taking up the pages of my life and not leave as much empty space. I also want to work on the trouble I have with starting, which is the foundation of the majority of my list of undone projects (the root being laziness. I need to kill that sucker). I can go for miles once I’m on the bike, it’s just getting on the bike and going that’s the hard part. Writing is one of my joys in life, a purpose that I feel driven toward, it’s just sitting down and working through the parts I haven’t quite figured out yet that hold me up. That, and taking those moments when there’s only an hour or so to write even just a paragraph or sentence. I must become a hunter, capturing the small bits of time that run around like mice. One is small. Many are─ Well, with mice, many are actually quite terrifying, but you get the idea.
So! Now that you’ve graciously listened to me blabbering on about abstract concepts, why don’t we take a more practical look at how I’ve been applying these ‘resolutions’ so far?
As for cycling, it’s still far too cold for me to go outside, but I have a rotary bike in the basement that I can use to start training my muscles again. I’ve begun with thirty minutes every other day, and so far I’ve held to that, and am enjoying listening to Watership Down while I do.
For writing, I can’t say that I’m capturing all those moments very well, but I have made progress. I’m focusing on a new character that I plan on adding to the story, so we’re getting to know each other as we go along, but I do believe that for the most part I’ve finished his involvement for the first book in the trilogy. I’m excited about what his perspective can add to the story. Here’s a wee excerpt that sums it up:
In twenty-four hours he’d be going back to that awful place, a six-week trek across friendly territory, then into the most dangerous country in the world for a mission that might just as well get him killed as any prey, but that was what he’d signed up for. If you wanted to hunt demons, you had to go where the demons lived. To Phen.Falconsbane
For other things, I’ve amassed a lot of craft projects over the last handful of years. Most of them are sewing projects, although one is a bit of carpentry that I’ll need a crafting buddy to help me build. I wanted to stop putting these off, especially since I’ve purchased materials for them that’ve been lying around. This first one I’m tackling is a kimono, and I’ve worked on it in bits and pieces over the course of this past week, to spread out all the steps (so that I don’t lose my patience and just burn the whole thing instead). I’ve just about finished with the hakama, which are the pants, and it’s turning out fairly well considering my lack of experience. There’s a long way to go before the outfit is finished, but I’ve started, and I dare say that’s more than half the battle.
The next step in all of this, and in all things, really, is to then persevere, and that’s the other half of the battle ─ to keep going, press on, forge ahead, etc. We all hope that this time we’ll be able to do it, where before something else kept us from it. I’ve learned that this ‘something else’ is usually ourselves. We stand in our own way to accomplishing those things we’ve set out to do. I have to ask God every day to help me be diligent in doing things, because it’s so easy for me to just put it off until later (and we all know that means it never actually gets done).
I want that to change this year, and I know it’s going to be an uphill battle every step of the way, but again, nothing worthwhile is every easy. I was never promised an easy life, anyway, but I can have a fulfilling one if I not only look at the doors that have been open to me, but walk through them; to ‘seize the day.’
Sharing our goals helps us to better identify them and gives us a kind of accountability, too. I would be grateful if y’all could come alongside me on this journey, asking once in a while how these ‘resolutions’ of mine are going and listening to my updates about my progress and failures. Sometimes we need someone else to give us a push when our momentum starts slowing down!
What about you? What goals do you have for this year/ this month/ this week?