My friend Patricia Eastwood stops in today with a funny and heartfelt reflection on 3 years of New Year’s resolutions, plus a book recommendation.
I’m starting the book tomorrow, if not sooner! It sounds so intriguing and thought-provoking for January of 2021…
Success. I have survived and learned strategies for managing disappointment and, more importantly, as a parent, child, daughter in law, supervisor and sibling, growing my empathy for others experiencing disappointment. The most important strategy I have learned is to celebrate the things that did come through – the moments that were not cancelled – the time together that was had – the technology that did work – the miracles that happened – the moments that affirmed that life keeps going even when it changes (people still got married and babies were still born).
This journey has led me to my 2021 statement of focused resolve. This year it was easy (as is the resolution) – I am reclaiming excellence as a standing life goal. Forget “survival” and “incremental improvement” and “I feel ya” and “please hear me” – after all, 2021 is a whole percentage point of my life, if I live 100 years; and I am going to make the most of it. When making a decision about whom to spend time with – what to do with my personal time – where to place emphasis for my profession – what to read or watch – whether to eat a food group or not, I am going to ask a fundamental question: Does this choice contribute to my desired destination of personal excellence?
Directing my effort is a memoir I am revisiting this upcoming January, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami (translated to English in 2008). The book is really more than a memoir. The book is, I think, mostly, a statement of personal philosophy that complements deeper “sign post” studies like religion or eating better quite well. Murakami ruminates on his choices in this book (both the big and the small and even some directed by his confusion or lack of activity or preparation) and the reader travels with him as he tells his story of how he “travels.” By joining this journey, Murakami has stimulated my thoughts on decision-making and how my decisions and circumstances (some able to be molded and some not (hello pandemic quarantine!)) lead to destinations.
Happy New Year, everyone! May your 2021 present to you a clear runway rather than a mountain to be cleared.