With only three weeks remaining of the well-worn 2012, our attention starts to turn towards the sleek and shiny new 2013. Full of possibilities, excitement, opportunities and challenges, it looms large on our horizon. For many it will be the start of something new; for others it will bring something to an end. One thing we can be sure of – uncertainty.
December is traditionally the time for setting New Year’s Resolutions – those promises we make to ourselves and others about what we’re going to do differently in the new year.
Before rushing to add “join the gym; eat less chocolate; drink less wine” to the list of resolutions, I would recommend reading this lovely poem by Nadine Stair (aged 85). More about its background here.
If I Had My Life to Live Over Again
If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.
For young people considering their futures or taking the first steps in their new careers, I think the advice from Nadine is clear – don’t look too far ahead. The days of a “job for life” are over, and careers no longer follow the traditional path. Flexibility is important – our employers will change, and so will we change ourselves as different things become important to us.
And for those of us who have an established career, maybe Nadine’s advice is that when preparing our New Year’s Resolutions we shouldn’t concentrate too much on the chocolate and the ice-cream. We should remember that this is a trip of a lifetime, so probably best to focus less on the little things, and more on the big things. She should know – with this poem she is giving us the benefit of her hindsight.
So now the challenge is to write New Year’s Resolutions which specifically:
- avoid ”little” words like chocolate, wine, gym, work and exercise
- include ”big” words like friends, happiness, mistakes, satisfaction, growth, moments and life
My bet is that those big resolutions will be a lot easier to keep than last year’s little ones.