I used to set New Year’s Resolutions. I did about as much with them as many of you. My resolutions usually had to do with losing weight, paying off bills, or finishing college. One year, I decided to only set one resolution each year, and that resolution is more facetious than anything. Each year I set the following resolution:
- I resolve to continue doing everything the exact same way I did it last year.
That resolution is facetious because I realized the first time I did it, and each year after, that it’s impossible to live up to. Each year we learn and grow and expand our horizons. Our lives and the lives of those around us change each and every year, to the point where after another 365 days, there are many things we’re not doing anymore, or we’re not doing the same anymore.
I believe that the first time I set this resolution was 2002. I entered the year as a smoker. I exited the year as a non-smoker. I also exited that year as a Christian, although considering some of my posts on this blog, sometimes I’m afraid to let that little bit out. In any case, by 2003 I wasn’t the same person any more. I entered 2004 with a pregnant wife, and I entered 2005 with a 5 month old and yet another baby on the way. I entered 2006 with two children and an adult degree program underway. Oh, yeah, between 2004 and 2005 I changed jobs, and between 2005 and 2006 my wife became a stay-at-home mom. I can’t think of much off the top of my head between 2006 and 2007, but that was one heck of a busy year while I tried to cope with a degree program, two kids, and I was trying to change jobs within my company but that didn’t work out. I entered 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree and changed jobs yet again to an engineering position.
What a whirlwind! I’m going into 2009 with two boys who can almost dress themselves. What will 2009 hold? I don’t know about you, but I’m excited.
I’ve never liked to stagnate. I’ve always believed that I should be growing and learning and changing and moving at all times. I can’t say I’ve always been a hard charger, but even a glacier makes continuous progress toward an eventual destination.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin produces a weekly email newsletter called Thought Tools. In last week’s Thought Tools, the Rabbi pretty much validated the conclusion I’ve come to about life, and even gave me a little bit more to help me understand and describe it. I doubt I could do the Rabbi justice but I don’t feel right simply copying and pasting his copyrighted material here. He begins describing a toy train set that goes around a small loop over and over again, then he moves on to talk about the year. Each year, we come back to the same points again: Christmas (or Hanukkah in his case), our birthdays, New Year’s, etc. He says that ancient Jewish wisdom speaks of life as an upward spiral. Each year we come back to the same points again, yet we should expect to be a level higher, sort of like moving up one floor at a time in a high-rise building. You should read the whole thing to get the proper context.
Like the Rabbi, I have come to see life like that. Each year we come around again, but I expect to find myself higher. I expect to know more, to have achieved more, to be making more money, and hopefully to have more wisdom to pass along to my boys or to anybody who might seek me as a mentor, however unwittingly.
I hope as a blogger, I have improved from my first post written at the end of 2004. I’ve been blogging for 4 years now, and I’ve been through several blog services. I’ve tried writing about several niches, yet I haven’t found one that seems to fit me best. I’ve settled into this TypePad blog enough to have generated some regular traffic, and I’ve even started to see people sticking around to read some of my content.
Among my many goals and hopes for 2009, I hope to be able to give some value to my readers. I hope to be able to produce posts that will either help or entertain. I’ve decided to tone down my writing a little bit. I’ve tried to sound all high-fallutin’, but nobody wants to read that. I’ll try to just write like I talk.
Happy New Year! When we come back around again, may we all find ourselves just a little bit higher, and a little bit more wise, and a little farther down the train track. May we find ourselves climbing rather than running around in circles.