Reflection and looking ahead

It's the time of year for both reflection and looking ahead but there's a danger in only doing so around New Year and somehow expecting everything to come together as the calendar ticks over.

It doesn't feel like the end of a decade to me; not in the same way it did moving into the 80s or the 90s. I think the noughts, or the noughties, whatever you wanted to call them, got subsumed by the new millennium - the new decade aspect of it got overlooked and the years rolled into an extension of this.

Moving into the "twenty tens" was also a bit strange; what do you actually call that decade? There is no snappy name to give it a real identity and, it too, just seemed to flow from the previous one.

Maybe things will be different moving into the 20s. That feels weird in itself as we are used to "the 20s" meaning the 1920s. We'll have to reframe things.

Regardless of the futility of focusing on one change of date, the new year can still act a focus, a jumping off point. It can act as a reminder that you should be doing something, changing something, doing something different or just in a different way.

Finding that something is the tricky bit.

People say it's hard to stick to New Year's resolutions bit that's probably because they were the wrong ones: too ambitious, too complicated, not realistic, or just not what sufficiently interests them. Perhaps they are merely things which they think they should be doing - what society expects - rather than what is truly needed.

Instead of waiting for the New Year I've already made a couple of decisions about I want to approach things in the 20s, things I want to do differently. In a sense, I think much of 2019 has been leading up to this - definitely since June.

While the will and intent have been there, however, the ability to act on them perhaps has not. I don't feel I've done enough to facilitate the changes I wanted to make, the new approach I wanted to cultivate.

Maybe the 20s can be a catalyst for that.

I'm not going to go into any detail here, at least not at present. I've historically made grand pronouncements, statements of intent so that I can be held accountable. Sometimes it's worked, others not. This time I don't want to put undue pressure on myself by giving a sense of expectation that may not be met. Instead, I think it will be evident if I succeed.

I've sown some seeds and now need to nurture them such that they take root and become established. Still, the growth will be slow with possibly a period where I look at the bare soil and wonder if the new shoots are ever going to emerge forgetting that there's plenty going on under the surface.

Still, change is hard. Change is scary. Just as we show the seeds of change so we also get mixed in the seeds of doubt, the resultant weeds threatening to choke our new shoots, stealing their sunlight. Weeds are hardy. Weeds are resilient, growing where we don't want them, resisting our attempts to uproot them.

Weeds can inform us that we are trying to grow in the wrong places, trying to cultivate something that cannot be. Just like making the wrong resolutions. Yet there are times when we need to persist, need to feed and fertilise because we know there's a garden just waiting to bloom if only we can put in the effort.

#bypen

  1. AlanRalph says: #
    My life has changed a lot over the last 10 years, overall more good than bad, but not by much. I'm headed in the right direction now, at least, and I've reason to be personally hopeful. I just wish the world around me wasn't in such dire straits, and I fear for the future due to our current 'leadership'.
  2. Colin Walker says: #
    I hear you. Good to know that things are travelling on a positive course. I fully intend to steer myself in such a direction.

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