“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
It’s getting to be that time of the year again – time for us to make those New Year’s Resolutions that we’ll most likely forget about on January 2, 2022. Why we go through this same ritual each year, is beyond my understanding, but we seem to find hope in making promises to ourselves and it gives us something to strive for in the future.
I have this novel, which I’ve been working on for most of my life. It is a compilation of people, places, different time periods and experiences from a lifetime of living. Maybe that’s why I’m still “working” on it. “I’m not dead yet,” as Monty Python would say, so the story hasn’t really come to an end. Perhaps writing is a continual work in progress that never ends. Yet there is a nagging voice inside of me that resembles a dripping faucet. It’s constantly gnawing at me and telling me to get it over with.
Like many other writers out there, we think of our work as an extension of ourselves. When there are rejections, suggestions, possible remedies, opinions, we often become defensive about that work and take the criticism personally – or as in my case, we put it away for a time so we can digest all that information and make changes or not.
As we transplant from one year to the next, we often pull out those old goals and dreams and try to make new ones while failing to complete them. We may make a resolution to lose weight – start a new business – plan a move or trip that will be life changing. The goals we set at the beginning of a new year, usually are soon forgotten. We then might feel guilty for not accomplishing those goals, so we’re setting ourselves up for failure in a way.
There’s a familiar saying that seems to pop up at this time of the year. “Out with the old and in with the new.” Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that simple? Throw out the Corona virus and never think or worry about it again. Give the boot to old habits that get in the way of relationships – easier said than done. Make sure that those in need are fed, clothed and provided with shelter. A noble cause, but rarely completely accomplished. The list of righteous goals is endless and for most of us impossible, but even the smallest of resolutions can be difficult for us. Taking responsibility for our actions. Being kind – sharing – showing compassiion and love – listening – opening our minds and hearts to others – these are all great goals for daily living, but how often do we take them to heart?
My novel will undoubtedly sit on the shelf for a while longer. I may never see it in print, but that’s OK. I have new stories to tell. I have ideas that will possibly prosper someone else. I have dreams that will be fulfilled, if not by me, by someone who may have been inspired by something I’ve said or written. God has already designed the pattern for my life. He alone knows what lies ahead for me. Because He is God, I know that whatever He does is always good and I trust in His constant attention to my future, my present and my past.