Ah, the New Year! It’s a time when everything can be new again.
The countdown to 2012 has begun. Everywhere you look there are those entertaining end-of-year lists. Didn’t someone come out with a list of the 10 best and the 10 worst lists of the year?
I think if they haven’t, they really should.
It is poignant as the year draws to a close to take some time to look back on the last twelve months. A lot has happened in the world this year, some of it awe-inspiring, and some of it heartbreaking.
There’s so much news available to us now, and so many news entities competing for advertising dollars and audiences, that we can feel constantly battered by that ‘breaking news’ intro music the media outlets like to play.
Do you remember when you might go more than a couple of months without once hearing that on your television? And if you did hear it, then something really important had occurred. You might be in the kitchen, busy doing dishes or making dinner. That music would play and you’d rush into the living room, to find what had happened.
Over the last couple of decades there’s been so much media hype over incidents of every level of import that I believe we’ve become seriously desensitized to the entire concept of ‘breaking’ news.
Do you take a few moments at year’s end to contemplate the events in your own life over the past twelve months? I don’t as a rule, at least not formally. Of course, I can’t always stop my thoughts from wandering back. Sometimes my mind wants to just dance again to the music, and sometimes it needs to scan the battlefield just one more time in hopes of finding just one more memento left behind to cling to.
Despite my propensity for list making in other areas of my life, I don’t make end of year lists. Maybe I should. Perhaps it would serve me well to recall my 10 best moments, and my 10 worst. I’m not sure how honest I could be in this exercise, however. I still tend to push away that which is unpleasant while trying to focus instead on the positive.
Maybe it would be more to the point if I simply took some time to set 5 personal goals for the coming year. Sure, 10 would be more ambitious, but I personally feel that 5 is a more manageable number for me.
One thing I do need to do is set a few goals that have nothing to do with my career. Writing is my passion, of course. But there’s a very real danger that I can let it consume me. I don’t want to miss any special moments in my life, or the lives of my family, because I was too centered on finding just the right word or, hell, even just the next word.
I have long range goals, of course. I do tend to call them dreams, even though they generally are eminently achievable.
I believe that no matter how old you are, you have to have a dream, something that you’re working toward. You need to have a purpose, a reason to get up each morning.
I know the year ahead will have a few notable milestones for me. I have just this month signed my 25th contract with Siren-Bookstrand, and that book, under my other penname of Cara Covington, will be out, likely in the spring; and in July of this year, my beloved and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. [And they said it wouldn’t last!]
One more milestone has to do with Wednesday’s Words. I’m going to be posting my essay in only a couple of Yahoo loops come the New Year. I’m blessed and honoured to have my humble words hosted by others as well: writer, editor, TV host and speaker Cynthia MacGregor hosts my essay as “Morgan’s Column” in her EZine, “ EZine Does It” which can be found here: http://oaboa.pair.com/cynthiam/cynthia2011/index.html; and author Brenda Williamson hosts me as a guest blogger on her blog, “An Eclectic Author” at http://aneclecticauthor.blogspot.com/ .
My essay will continue to appear on the Siren-Bookstrand Blog, and of course, on my own blog, Wednesday’s Words by Morgan Ashbury. The link for that is below.
I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. May 2012 be the best year, ever!