Looking Back. Looking Forward.

It’s safe to say we have all had an interesting, if not rough year. It would be easy to say that the year was a complete bust for most of us. With COVID shutdowns, election-year drama, and unexpected surgeries (in my case), who knew if we would survive.

If there is one thing we can learn as we look back on the year, it should be for us to never put off the things we desire to do. Embrace life while you have it. Don’t take it for granted.

Marcus Aurelius reminds us of this reality in his Meditations: “In your actions, don’t procrastinate. In your conversations, don’t confuse. In your thoughts, don’t wander. In your soul, don’t be passive or aggressive. In your life, don’t be all about business.”

This past year made it easy to get caught up in confusing conversations, whether politics or health-related. It was also easy to have wandering thoughts about the ‘what-ifs,’ creating anxiety about the future.

The last section of his passage hits hard. If this year has taught us anything, it should be to enjoy the little moments, the silver linings in the suffering, and not be consumed with the humdrum of the daily business.

Ask yourself, “What am I chasing?” Is it a promotion at work, a new belt in your martial art, or that new college degree?

Then ask yourself, “What am I missing during the chase?” Have you missed your kids’ first steps? Have you let your health get away from you while you slaved over that work report?

As we get ready to embark on a new journey in 2021, we should be more intentional with what matters most. It will be different for each of us. I encourage you to search your life, write down your goals and ambitions, and contrast them with those affected by them.

What do you need to pull the trigger on this coming year? Or, what door do you need to close so you can be free from anxiety or stress? What person do you need to forgive?

Don’t just make a “New Year’s Resolution.” Be intentional. Don’t procrastinate, don’t confuse, don’t wander, don’t be passive or aggressive, and don’t be all about business. Your family and friends will thank you, especially after the year we’ve all had.

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