Maybe it's the endless chore of removing Christmas decorations. "Elf on a shelf" has a different meaning at my house. Everywhere I turn, there's a reminder I ate too much, broke the bank, and lost countless hours of sleep I'll never get back.
And don't even say "resolution." With me, it's "evolution."
Each time the clock ticks off the last second on one year and surrenders to a new one, we realize "time" is the one thing we can't control. All the attempts to "manage" time are futile, really. It's this intangible enigma that seems to slip through our fingers, despite our best laid plans to lasso and mold it to fit our schedule.
Like mercury. Have you ever held a bead of mercury in your palm? Would be a rarity to find these days (and I'm not sure how we obtained them), but I remember when I was young, cupping the droplet of liquid silver in my hand and pouring it from palm to palm. A cool thread that silently slithered over the edge of your hand and dropped into a perfect mound every time. If it missed your hand and hit the floor, it exploded into several shimmery chrome beads, and all you had to do was shuffled them close to one another and the magnetic field each held, drew the stray balls together until they were one, unified drop again. But you could never pick it up. It would change form, break apart, and slink away each time you tried.
The same is true with "time." You can try to hold on to it, even break it down into organized units, but you can never "pick it up" and once lost, never to be found. Every new year brings the promise of change...something that didn't work the last year, or the year before that, and so on, that you swear you'll fix, revise, and permanently make better for the future. Some promises are kept, but usually broken, because we're trying to change a habit, and bad habits are hard to break. Not impossible, but difficult, and humans, by nature, like to circumvent "difficult." We're better at making excuses than changes.
Every one of us has a timeline, and some things we can see or predict, and others side-swipe us without warning. Unfortunately, I can see the goal posts in the end zone. That's why I don't have time for resolutions. I need to be in evolution, or I'm going to end up in a revolution, which could be my downfall. My timeline no longer accepts the promise "to be." I must now "become."
So why am I wasting time writing blogs, posting on Facebook or engaging on Twitter? If my goal...my place of "becoming" is a writer, shouldn't I be spending every spare minute writing? Well, guess what? I am.
Every minute I stop and exercise a sensory characteristic, whether it's going for a walk and watching a sunset; savoring the first sip of my morning coffee while the sun rises over my shoulder as I read or post on Facebook; close my eyes and relish the feel of warm bubbles popping against my cheek in a self-indulgent bubble bath; roll around on the floor laughing with my grandkids; day-dreaming on Pinterest; losing myself in the pages of someone else's talented work; or just sitting someplace quiet doing absolutely nothing, I'm creating -- writing to my brain. A visual, audible, or tangible sensation that's recorded on a mental shelf I can draw from. When I need to evoke emotion in my reader, paint a detailed scene, or develop a deeper character, I'm going to pull from that shelf.
Besides, nothing that brings me joy or a moment of peace is a waste of time. I enjoy my daily ritual of reading my friends' posts every morning with my coffee. When I circle the "rabbit hole," a quick voyage through pictures, a daydream, a story, or a compilation of my favorite songs playing in my ears, are precious increments of time because they keep me from falling into the abyss.
Plus, I never know which song, picture, post, or blog, will be the next spark of inspiration I needed to complete or start a new project. Instead of taking away from my focus, these distractions enhance my focus. Of course discipline is necessary, as with everything in life. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Even chocolate :)
So in a sense, I'm always writing -- creating -- evolving into a different, hopefully better version of last year's model of myself. Happy New Year, everyone, and thanks for stopping by! HB