Sitting at Starbucks I look to my right and see a man about twenty years my senior with grey wispy hair peering through glasses at his laptop screen while his pale and thin-skinned fingers scroll and type. I turn back to inking my New Year’s blog with fountain pen in hand, now feeling like a scribe to some indeterminate age or perhaps just to my ego as a writer.
I find at the turn of each year, that looking into the future is like looking in a mirror – there is a very limited view of what is before you, and excellent vision of what lies behind. I don’t know what to expect, not many of us do. Perhaps that is why we write down our resolutions, to set goals in order to set the future. I have done this, and almost always failed at this. It is why I have stopped setting resolutions.
I also feel like learning from that clarified past I see in the mirror, gives me an idea what to do and not to do in my future without constraining the wonders of chance. It is the same thought process I apply to having a bucket list. Of course there are things I would like to do in my life, but I feel if I focus on certain things too much I might not notice the essential spirit of the journey I am living.
It is not as if I am going through the world with blinders, so much as going through the world with my eyes wide to see as much as possible. I don’t begrudge the resolution writers or the list makers. It simply isn’t me. I am thankful for the strength to face whatever future I may have, grateful that in the spaces that make up majority of life I have my wife, children, dogs, and friends about to share it, and I look at the roof over my head counting my blessing that cold nights are made less cold and hot days more bearable for having it there. What I have to offer as a New Year’s tribute is that I will face the challenges before me with an eye on my past mistakes, I will flow with change rather than fight it, I will work to be a better person to help make a small part of this world a better place, and I will take my wife’s hand and look into her eyes as we smile our way into 2017 and the many years ahead. God bless and Happy New Year.