Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Beginning, Middle, End

In the last days of 2014, I stumbled across a quote by Hal Borland that has, since then, stuck with me. The quote is this: “Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” At New Year’s the trend is to make such a big deal as we transition from one year to another. Many throw or attend lavish parties. Many more get hammered and cannot necessarily “remember” clearly the events of that night. Resolutions are made that will be abandoned, tossed away like a bad poker hand.

Here, in the early days of 2015, I find myself in a place that is neither a beginning nor an end but simply that “going on” where I am trying to, simply, live life one day at a time. That means, for me, living a life that is true to who I am, stepping up to the purpose for which I feel I have been called. And in so doing, I work, daily, to maintain a positive attitude and outlook on life. As I continue on my journey, savouring all that life has to offer, I hold on to this:

Change is constant. That means that each day I have to get up and be ready for the unexpected. I do not always know, or cannot necessarily foresee, all the challenges that will be thrown at me. I can only do that which is within me. And, so, there will be times when I pray, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I will do what it is that I love to do. My day job pays the bills, puts food on my table and shelter over my head. But it is my writing that makes my heart sing. So each and every day, no matter where I find myself in the world, I write. It keeps me focused. When I’m writing, be it a short story, novel or essay, that is when I am stepping up to the purpose for which I feel I have been called. That is when I am living a life that is true to who I am.

I will LOVE life. We live in an age where it seems like it’s not just easier, but more the norm, to criticize, deconstruct, than to try to build something up, attempt to see a silver lining. It takes a lot of energy to be negative all the time. It almost becomes a state of mind, and it is, quite frankly, unattractive. Maybe that’s why I do my best to lead a positive life. I smile and laugh a lot, which seems to be contagious. I guess I’ve learned to not take myself, and life, too seriously but to try and simply enjoy the journey. Climbing up the mountains or wading through the valleys, I remind myself of the blessings in my life — my partner, family and friends, my job, my writing and other artistic endeavours. I try to focus on what really matters to me, and that, in turn, allows me to see the beauty that is this world.

I will be grateful. I had dubbed 2014, “My Year of Positivity,” and despite how challenging it was at times to remain positive, attempting to maintain a positive mindset helped me to better appreciate all of the blessings, big and small, in my life. I’m doing my best to, once again, hang on to that positivity. Each day, in the same manner as I write my Morning Pages, I faithfully write out my Gratitude List. Counting my blessings, I see that, even in the midst of chaos or uncertainty, life is beautiful. That makes me smile.

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