Dreams vs. resolutions

End of the Year Musings

I am not one of those people who makes resolutions at New Year’s.

I do, however, take the time to be reflective at the end of a new year and before the beginning of a new one.  I evaluate what I did well and what I want to do more of.  Generally I set goals of things I’d like to do — not necessarily the boring lose-20-pounds kind of thing; more like the travel-across-the-country kind of thing.  I focus on my dreams.  What does my soul wish to do?  What would make my spirit soar?

So, you may wonder, why is she writing about resolutions, goals, and dreams on April 14th???

Well, it’s because it is the end of a year for me.  Tomorrow marks the end of 60 cycles around the sun.  Yes, tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of my birth.

(GASP!)  I said it out loud!  I never minded my birthdays ever before.  But 60 feels like a huge one.  Really huge.

So how do I honor such a personally momentous event?

I decided to take some inspiration from Tammy Strobel, who writes the blog Rowdy Kittens.  She had a big birthday recently, too.  (Although she’s been on the planet a few decades less than me.)  She decided to make a list of x things she wanted to do before she reached her xth birthday.  Taking her lead, I have made a list of 60 things I’d like to do in the coming year.

I am not going to reveal my whole list here, as some of the things are personal, but I will tell you the kinds of goals I have.  I have writing goals, artistic goals, physical goals, spiritual goals, financial goals, lots of travel goals, and a few miscellaneous goals, such as finally adopting Angie, the dog I fell in love with at a shelter last year!  (I still need to create the environment that will work for her.)

There are multiple people I want to visit, sites I want to see (like the Serpent Mound in Ohio), paintings I want to paint, books I want to publish, meditation goals I want to meet (Is that an oxymoron?  Probably), debts I intend to pay off, and small mountains I want to climb (like Black Butte.)  It’s going to be an exciting year!

But along the way, I want to also learn to simply sit still and be.  (Yes, that is an official goal, too.)  The cat I’m caring for is teaching me that.  When she meows, often it means, Please stop what you’re doing and sit down and let me lie on your lap right now!

What’s the most important thing for me to remember?  Jane Fonda talks about it in a recent TED talk.  She has termed this last phase of our life “the third act.”  She said that the old paradigm thinks of these last decades as a “decline into decrepitude,” but she imagines a new metaphor– “an upward staircase revealing the upward ascension of the human spirit.”  I like that a lot!  (To hear more, click here: https://www.ted.com/talks/jane_fonda_life_s_third_act)

That’s my biggest dream of all.  How do I help inspire the human race toward an ascension, an evolution of spirit?  And how do I, as one of the humans on the planet, continue to evolve each day, each month, each year?

What do our souls crave?  These kinds of goals can be very, very different from those that our society insists upon.

May I always listen to my soul.  She is very wise.