Aside from the usual cultish adoration of A Charlie Brown Christmas and most things Woodstock… I’m not a huge kick the ball Chuck or die Peanuts fan. Yet I saw this cartoon recently and, of course, I’m in full agreement…
It’s customary to become nostalgic and look back over the year and see where you’ve been and what you’ve done. For many in their retrospections, the bad almost always is easily remembered than the good. That usually motivates us to plan for the future to make things different, usually through our own actions and habits that we then form “resolutions” for the new year.
I’m someone who specializes in planning. Using the knowledge I have coupled with my past experience, I develop plans to follow with an expected result. I do it a lot… and for that matter… I do it for a living. There is one absolute truth about planning that I have learned in all my years of doing it… “…the best laid plans of mice and men will often go awry.” (derived from Robert Burns‘ poem To A Mouse)
The truth is that most of the time the “resolutions” we make are broken within the first few weeks of the new year. We go back to our old ways… ways that have formed us over years… and
For me to describe my 2015 as interesting (which the word I usually use) is a definite understatement. Yes, there were a LOT of low points to the year (nothing as close to 2007 though)… but there were as many (if not more) HIGH points and I am consciously preferring to focus on those retrospectively. In that sense, I’m not planning any changes in 2016 (besides, there were plenty of those during 2015), but rather planning on repeating what I did in 2015 that contributed to those great moments. I’m not making resolutions to change for the better… I’m making plans to repeat for the best.
Yes, there will be plans gone wrong. Bad things will happen to good people. There will be those, including myself, who will experience pain and suffering that I am powerless to prevent. These are things I have always had a hard time accepting and often threatens to consume me wholly. That’s not going to change, simply because if it did then I wouldn’t be me anymore.
Try as we might, time is a non-renewable resource. Even with the latest evidence based medicine, we are not immortal. My time will eventually come to an end, a fact that can be both terrifying and relieving at the same time. I’m not going to focus on that (hopefully) as much as I have. When it happens, it happens, and I know I’m good and ready. But that day hasn’t arrived (yet) and so for the next year I’m going to do what Snoopy says. I’m going to make the most of the other days by focusing on what has been good and trying to repeat it.
In other words… I’m going to be a good Dog.