A defining year

There are defining moments in everyone’s life, events that shape them into the person they are.

I remember as we approached 2020 and everyone was so excited to be back in the “Roaring ’20’s,” I just couldn’t join that excitement. I just had a feeling, even back then.

Part of my problem as we moved toward the new year was that I didn’t want it to have another year which had just been a repeat of the last ten years of my life. I needed something different. I felt it, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

When shows started getting cancelled, I saw that I was going to have some “free time” on my hands. I also saw it as an opportunity to change my mindset. I signed up for several classes on that and practiced and studied just as I was told to do.

The problem is that if you don’t get your live out of the same swamp you’ve been living in, you can’t change your mindset. It will always get pulled back in.

The result was that I started to fall behind in the other areas of my life where I should have been excelling, especially with this “free time” I’d been given.

Two things have become abundantly clear.

  1. You have to know what you want and you have to be really clear about it. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to start second guessing yourself or think that you need something else when the real solution might be simpler and better for you. Realizing that I’d been trying to take a really hard route last year made me see how much time I’d spent going in a direction that I wasn’t even ready for. Realizing that I needed to do something different for the time being even if it’s not what I really want NOW will be more beneficial in a few more years.
  2. Once you’re clear about what you want, you have to put energy into that intention. Again, something easier to understand as a concept rather than a practice. We all what we want now, not an hour from now, let alone a year or even a decade from now. Sorry, life doesn’t work that way, especially if you’ve been working against it. It takes time to turn a ship or an airplane.

Know what you want and build toward it. Okay, that sums it all up.

Wishing, wanting, waiting doesn’t help. Energy has to go into that intention. If you want a garden and you have the land to do it (or initiative to build planters and give yourself a way to have a garden as a friend of mine living in an apartment did), you won’t have a garden if you don’t get out and put seeds or plant in the ground and then tend to them. You can’t just walk up to barren ground and shout, “Give me squash!” It won’t work.

If all the other ducks in the swamp are also squawking, “Give me squash,” then you’re all in trouble.

I’m honestly not sure where that last thought came from, but I do see it as a sign that my mindset is still cluttered, though maybe its a remnant of the cobwebs being swept out.

I know that most people right now are tired of the seclusion, angry even. Nothing seems to be going right. Sean Connery is dead. Alex Trebek is dead. Businesses are going under. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Our world is never going to be the same. Doom is upon us. The end is nigh.

The mindset of the world is a mess right now.

But I don’t have to work on the world, only on me.

I’ve defined what I want in life (having even seen a strange correlation with my writing which I might discuss later) and seen what I need to move into place now so that I have things to expand upon later. I have been putting energy into new intentions, different goals that I’ve had in the past. I’m growing in ways I would have if the world hadn’t stopped because of COVID. Rather than whining about what a crappy year it’s been, I’m using 2020 as a time marker. We all mark time in our lives by events that happened (my mom died in 2011, my dad died in 2017 — I remember events near those years because of those two life occurrences). Now, 2020 will be a new marker and a clearing of the slate in some regards.

Never before have I been so ready to get out of the swamp. I’ve had enough of these demoralizing moments in the muck. My energy is going to a much higher and more challenging intention. If I fail, I will fail forward.

2020 will be a defining year. All because I decide to make it so.

How about you?