“Only put off until tomorrow
what you are willing to die
having left undone.”
Yesterday I came upon a post that I published two years ago today. It was about New Year’s Eve, and it has me thinking about goals and resolutions.
I used to think I made them regularly. I didn’t. I made wishes. Not the same thing at all, in the end. Not even close.
I wished I could be in shape. I wished I could control my drinking. I wished my abuse didn’t still haunt me. I wished my marriage was better. I wished for a new job.
I was always wishing for end results. I wanted to be AT the goal- the finish line. Fait accompli. Woohoo! Cue the confetti!
The thing is, some of those things were not possible, and the ones that were required work. They required discipline, surrender, commitment, resilience, sacrifice… And I wasn’t wishing for THOSE things. I was like the person facing bankruptcy wishing to win the lottery. What’s the one-fell-swoop solution to this self-made problem that requires NOTHING from me?
We almost never, ever get those- and that results in a New Year/same old resolutions cycle that can be hard to break.
In the past two years I have managed to make real progress on some of the recurring items on my list.
I have been sober for a little over 18 months. I am deeply committed to my sobriety, it comes before every single other thing in my life, because without that I know I will lose everything else anyway. When I pray about it, I don’t pray for sobriety. I pray for the willingness and the commitment to do the work necessary for me to remain sober. I do that work every day.
I know who I am meant to serve, and I work on it every day through Say It, Survivor. I am called to do that- it’s not just a job, it is missional for me.
I’ve written consistently on this blog for two years, which has provided me with a forum to talk about things that matter deeply to me. As a result, I’ve had the privilege of bearing witness to many of your stories. That’s a blessing for which I am profoundly grateful.
I have finally come to a place of real healing. I believe down to my bones that the story you aren’t telling is the one in charge of your whole life. You either own it, or it owns you. I have told my story countless times, both in writing and as a speaker. Every single time I tell it, the stranglehold it once had on me weakens. I can honestly say I no longer have an ounce of shame about my abuse or its aftereffects on me. I have reclaimed my story, and for the first time since I was a little girl I know peace.
Those are all really big things.
My thing this year is also big. It’s been a life long dream. I am saying it out loud, and I have a plan in place to make it come to fruition. I have a plan to hold myself accountable.
I’ve got some things I want to say, and it’s time to say them.
This year I am writing a book.
That’s exciting to write. Exciting and terrifying.
I’ve been flirting with it for the past year and a half. I have had meetings with a few people, discussed some different ideas for books. Started to work on proposals. But then it petered out, or I got distracted by life. I’d be swayed by spomeone else’s vision for what my book should be, and so when I’d lose momentum or feel stuck I didn’t have the passion and commitment to push through it. I was treating writing the book like a wish, not a goal.
So yesterday, I sat in a cafe, laptop and cappuccino in front of me, and wrote the outline. I know the title. I can see the path forward with it, and I am determined not to stray. I will be treating it like a job that I am required to show up for, every day.
I’m praying for the courage and doggedness writing this book will require. I’m praying for serenity and clarity, so I can think my ideas through to the end. I know how to write, for heaven’s sake- I just need to DO IT.
When I first attended Storyline a couple of years ago, Donald Miller kept asking us, “What will the world miss if you don’t tell your story?” The question stayed with me. It wouldn’t leave me alone, frankly. So I answered it, and told my story. That’s very likely why you are reading this today, because he posited that question, I decided it wasn’t rhetorical, and I got to work. I didn’t wish my story had been told, I TOLD IT.
So now I’m asking you- what’s THE THING for you this year? What is that dream you’ve been making a wish rather than a goal? What is the thing you know, deep down, you’ve been called to create? Who are you meant to serve? What’s the idea that has been following you around, nipping at your heels? Is there a story trapped inside that only you can tell?
These are not rhetorical questions.
Say your answer out loud. Make a plan of accountability.
Listen, you don’t need to worry about doing it perfectly, because- spoiler alert- you won’t.
Are you laboring under the impression you’re guaranteed a tomorrow? You’re not. Holding out for the perfect time? There IS no perfect time. Waiting for there to be no obstacles? Good luck with that.
Even if someone else has done or is doing what you want to do- YOU haven’t. YOU haven’t done that thing with YOUR particular gifts. YOU haven’t told that story in YOUR voice. YOU haven’t tackled that problem from YOUR perspective.
The world needs your offering.
“Do your thing, with great love, right now.”
You don’t need to abandon resolutions just because you fall down. We all fall down.
Just pick yourself up, get your ass in gear, and declare it a new day, a new year- whatever.
If you’re so inclined, post your thing in the comments- if not, tell someone. Email me. SAY IT.
If not now, when? If not you, who?
Get up and do your thing. Every. Day.
Time’s a-wasting, and the world is waiting.
Okay, my loves. If I’m writing this book (and I am) I need your help- I need to build this platform.
Please consider doing the following:
Come hang out with me on Facebook!
Follow me on Twitter!
Come see what my dog is doing on Instagram!
If you’re following me on Pinterest… don’t. And I’m sorry. I don’t even know how I ended up there…