My reaction to each New Year for the last five years or so can be best described as “meh.” At the time I thought this feeling was because of a general dislike for how my life looked. But I now know that my deduction was incorrect.
Recently I started feeling something I haven’t felt in a while : excitement. Not excitement for another person, but for myself. And not excitement for something short-lived like a vacation, but excitement for my future. The truth is I have some pretty big ideas in the pipeline, one of which may be coming to fruition in the next month or so. And that feeling is causing me to look at the upcoming year in a different light.
The thing about life is that it’s seriously difficult to make real changes. It’s so difficult that the people who do manage to meaningfully change the world or even just their individual circumstances often get book deals or have movies written about them. For most of us, life is a simply beyond our control.
That way of thinking, whether I’m spot on or couldn’t be more wrong, has led to my general feeling of apathy for just about everything. Maybe the feeling was more powerless than it was apathetic, but either way, it was toxic. It crept into every aspect of how I behaved and thought. My pain is what it is and there is no way to change it, so what the hell am I supposed to do? was my justification for a lot, if not everything.
But now I have a plan, a direction of sorts. And as soon as I started to see my life beyond what it is today other things started taking form. I began to define professional goals and scheming and plotting. Just thinking of those goals made me consider how my days might look, and I began to see social functions and friends and something that resembled a life. I saw this future while pain radiated down my legs, my back spasmed, and heavy dark circles lined my eyes. I felt the same, but I was oddly happier just thinking of what possibly lay ahead. Imagine my happiness if just one of the things I saw came true.
So, if you’re waiting around for something that makes your life better to happen, odds are you’ll be waiting for a while. The new year alone changes nothing, but the simple act of planning for change and truly believing in that change is enough to give you a boost. And sometimes a little boost is all we need to get started.
For 2017 I wish for all of those who feel they’ve lost control to find their way back to the driver’s seat. Maybe if we just start with regaining ownership of our lives we will see solutions to our problems.
Or maybe not. I mean…what do I know?