As a new year begins and many of us plan of our new year’s resolutions, most of us will focus on dreams or goals and how we may achieve them. This year, however, I have a strong feeling that this is not right for me this time.
Last night, on New Year’s Day, we decided to watch a film. Josh, 19, choseInto the Wild, a true story about the spiritual journey of a college graduate, with the ambition to travel alone in the wilds of Alaska and to experience the wonders of nature. My husband was just out of the room and so we got the TV set up, started the film and then pressed PAUSE while we waited for him. There on screen was a quote from a poem by Lord Byron. Its first line was this:
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods
Right away, I knew that message was meant just for me and that it had to be the focus of my New Year Inspirer.
Sometimes we need to press our own pause button and stop and look more closely at what is in front of our eyes. We need to take a minute or two to look at what is was behind us before we move forward. And so I ask you… did you take a few moments to consider all you achieved during 2011? Did you pause to give yourself a pat on the back? Did you achieve or even exceed the goals you set yourself last year?
If you remember, this time last year I decided to pick a word that would set the scene for me. I chose BRAVERY. My new year’s resolution was to be braver and for me that meant that I wanted to publish one book a month and to take more risks with the authors I commission. I wanted to be braver about the promotion I did for the books I published and to dare to delegate more to freelance editors and assistants.
When I pause and look back I can see that I did far more than this. Only it was only a few minutes ago that I bothered to collect together the books I published this year, lay them on the carpet and take a photo. It was only now that I even got round to counting how many there were! I didn’t publish 12 books this year – I published 15 and current have another 10 or so in production. I surprised myself. I even achieved a lifetime ambition and completed and published my own novel. I hired several freelancers to help me with editing, production, accounts and promotion and started Expatbookshop.com. I even started a radio show and made 30 shows! Just reading the list makes me exhausted.
I reckon I had a pretty good year but I also recognise that I worked like an express train, even at the weekend, and rarely found time to ‘smell the flowers’ or take a walk alone on the wide beach that is a stone’s throw from my home. When I look back, the temptation of putting a ‘pathless wood’ into my future is stronger than ever. And so, I am not going to set any goals for 2012. Instead I plan to do something braver still and attempt not to try so hard. Now wouldn’t that be wild?
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