Thought for the day: Cheers to the new year and another chance to get it right.
Holy moly! It's 2020!!! Hard to believe, isn't it? Crumb, I still think of our thirty-some-year old kitchen floor as being new.
I mean, the hoopla over Y2K seems like it was only a few years ago... doesn't it?
Yep. Time definitely flies. It's very fortunate for us that we're essentially the pilots of our own lives, which means we have the power to prioritize and decide how to spend that time.
Talking about time, it's also time for our monthly IWSG posts. (Um, in case seeing that badge didn't give it away...) As always, thanks to our fearless leader, Alex Cavanaugh, for founding this fine group, and thanks to all the other nurturing guys and gals who've helped turn it into the thriving community it is today. I'm telling ya, this group offers better support and lift than the world's most expensive bra. (No pesky underwires, either!) To join this super supportive group of writers and to see links to other participating blogs, please go HERE
|JANUS: Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and endings|
This is the time of year I usually get a little two-faced, and maybe you do, too. Like Janus, I find myself looking both backward and forward each time a new year begins. You, too?
It's only natural. There's a certain sadness in closing the book on another year. A sense of loss for the people who've passed from our lives, nostalgia for joyous events now over and done with, and perhaps even a touch of regret for decisions made and opportunities missed. But, you know what? It's a NEW YEAR, people! It's okay to think about the past year, or even about all our past years, but let's not forget to look forward, too. If we spend too much time staring at the rear view mirror, how can we possibly appreciate the wide open road in front of us and make the most of all the beautiful sights along the way? Sure, we're all getting older, but doggone it, we're still here. So carpe
the hell out of each diem.
|[image courtesy of unsplash]|
I reckon the start of a new year is also a good time to take stock of our lives, so to speak. To maybe question the things we've been doing, and ask ourselves if we should continue on the same path. Otherwise, we run the risk of sleepwalking through life, doing things because of habit or tradition, rather than purposeful intention.
It reminds me of a story, a story about a young bride and one of the first meals she prepared for her new husband...
It was a beautiful ham, but before roasting it, this lovely young bride whacked off a large chunk of the meat and chucked it straight into the garbage can. This immediately prompted her astonished (and financially responsible) husband to ask his dearly beloved why-oh-why-dear-heart was she trashing what looked like a perfectly good piece of meat. The sweet young thing batted her eyelashes and said she did it because that's what her mother always did. So, the next time they saw her parents, the young man asked his mother-in-law about her unusual ham-cooking method. She said she did it that way because that's how HER mother always did it. By this time, the young bride was as curious as her husband, and they could hardly wait to hear Grandma's response to the riddle about the wasted hunk of ham. When they asked her, she laughed, and said, "Back then, I didn't have a pan big enough to hold the whole thing."
Isn't it funny how we sometimes get caught in traditions without questioning the purpose or logic behind them? Perhaps, in writing, we may meticulously follow the "old rules" without questioning whether they still apply, or if they're particularly well-suited for our particular style of writing. For example, I'm a real stickler for grammar, but (gasp!) I don't always write in full sentences. Some writers say that in the pursuit of creativity, anything goes. Wanta end a sentence with a preposition? Go for it! Split an infinitive? Have at it! Lift your head to the heavens and say, "I am writer! Hear me roar!" Then write what you want to write the way you want to write it.
Or not. What do you think?
Okay, let's move on to this month's question, shall we? What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?
Gee, if that quote is correct, maybe the reason I wanted to write is because I'm an... exhibitionist
??? I mean, if we share part of our souls in our writing, we're stripping away our comfortable veneer of pretense and baring our inner feelings to the world. That's a scary thought, isn't it?
someone.... even one single someone in the whole entire world... reads what we've written and says, "Hey! That's how I feel, too!"
It's about making connections, and THAT
is why I write. To tentatively touch someone's heart, to make them laugh or cry... to feel... to relate. And when I take stock of my life, THAT
is why I will most likely continue to write.
Lots of teachers and professors offered me great encouragement, and possibly, without them, I may have never bothered. Maybe. Reading has always been important to me. I like to say that when I was born, I popped out of the uterus with a book in one hand and a flashlight in the other. (It's dark in there, ya know!) So it's possible that, even without encouragement, I wouldn't have been able to resist the magical power of words, both reading them and writing them. There's nothing sudden
about it. I think I've always been enchanted by the power of words... so why wouldn't I want to try to wield some of that power myself?
Even so, I greatly appreciate those people who believed in me. Like Abe Lincoln said, I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down.
I sincerely hope someone is encouraging YOU.
And by the same token, I hope YOU
are just as quick to encourage others. Your words, especially words of kindness and encouragement, can have a huge effect on someone else's life. You have the power to make a difference.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.