My first act of courage for 2018
January 1, 2018
New Year’s Day is traditionally my favourite day of the year.
The world always seems a bit quiet to me on New Year's Day. Peaceful. For me it’s usually a day of contemplation and reflection, which sounds much more impressive than it actually is. It’s often contemplation of some false new dawn and reflection on things that didn’t quite pan out the way I hoped they would. And it’s a lot of empty hopes and wishes for the year ahead.
This year feels different.
I can’t recall ever feeling quite so restless on New Year’s Day. It’s a continuation, really, of the past few weeks. If you’ve been reading along, you know that I’m at a kind of ground zero right now with where life goes from here. It’s an uncomfortable place to be and, frankly, I feel my nerve failing me a bit on this most hopeful of days.
In my last post, I challenged everyone to commit one small act of courage in 2018. I’m committing my first one right now by publishing this piece. I think the temptation when you go down this motivational road is to pretend you have the answers and present the illusion that your plan is working to perfection. Well, I don’t have the answers and I don’t have a plan, so we can burst that bubble straight away. What I do have is a bit of wisdom that says uncertainty can be a good thing. No, I don’t know what comes next, but I do know that it could be magical.
I also know that failing nerves can be a sign of something coming. My instincts have been screaming at me to just step away from everything. Music. The blog. Writing from this odd place I’m in. Some of it is just the usual self-doubt, but it’s also as if some part of me knows that this blind road is actually about to open up to some big and scary places. It wants me to bail now so I don’t have to face whatever fears might be lurking beyond the fog. Another part of me hopes that’s exactly what’s going on.
But what to do?
Well, take a few minutes to appreciate the amazing year that was 2017 for starters. Blessings are important, and I'm as blessed as anyone. And then carry on. Write a blog post. Practice drumming. Think about possibilities. The great thing about being at zero is that all options are open. All potential is available. What I’ve learned from others about living life on the sharp edge is that it takes all kinds of courage. It also takes patience. There will be times when the way ahead isn’t clear. There will be times when pieces have to fall into place. It takes nerve to endure those times, but I think it becomes easier when you’ve found your way through to the other side once or twice.
I’ve been watching the Lord of the Rings movies over the holiday season, and they present another option when facing uncertainty: Ride out to meet the enemy. Take bold action. Instead of waiting for opportunity to knock, go hunt it down. There’s a time for patience and a time for panache. I’m not sure what time it is right now for me, but maybe for you it’s time to armour up and get moving. If your nerves fail, take heart – everyone’s nerves fail and often when they’re just this side of the dream. You can handle it.
So boldly go, gentle readers. May 2018 find all of us steady, patient, and courageous.
Let’s see what happens.