It is now 2013 and time for me to launch my ascent.
I subscribe to Rob Brezny’s weekly astrology newsletter and he expects me to surpass my own peak levels of accomplishment in the New Year.
To make his point, he cited the story of Bob Beamon, the track and field athlete, who, during the 1968 Olympics, broke the world long jump record so decisively that the optical device designed to calculate his leap didn’t work. Thank goodness for the old school tape measurer.
The word “Beamonesque” began cropping up in conversation, Brezny said, signifying a feat that vastly outstrips all previous efforts.
I like the sound of that.
I’ve decided to make one--and only one-- resolution this year, as opposed to the usual yearly to-do list that goes on for several pages and never quite gets done.
And I actually got started a few days ago because I didn’t want to give in to the silly midnight ritual.
In this coming year, I will be more mindful.
That’s it. No sweeping declarations, no roaring promises to the heavens, no oaths stating that from this day forward I will or will not do whatever the hell I was or wasn’t doing before.
I’ll have none of that nonsense because these melodramatic vows have a tendency to sputter out two weeks after I make them.
No, all I want to do in this new year is remain in the present moment.
If you think that’s easy, God bless you, because for me it’s going to require an Olympian effort.
I am constantly regretting and rewiring the past or worrying about and constructing the future. And when I’m not doing either one of those I’m conjuring up some alternate reality of things I’d like to see happen.
Every now and then I’ll poke my nose out into the real world to see if we haven’t started World War III yet and then—whoosh!—it’s back into fantasy land.
Enough already. I want to stay in the present, even though I don’t like being this age or this far away from my personal and professional goals. The only way to fix my life is to stick around in reality and start hammering away.
Daydreaming is just running away without the mileage.
It’ll be difficult, seeing as how my mental habits have slipped over the years, but so worthwhile. When you’re mindful, you don’t get angry about what happened before because you know it can’t be changed.
And you don’t get twisted over the what’s going to happen next because you know there’s nothing you can do about that either.
I already know I have to write more, sleep more, socialize more, and improve my diet, but all those healthy habits require an active, engaged mind. Not a rubber ball ricocheting from one hallucination to the next.
Yes, I’ve made this resolution before, only to stumble back into my old habits.
This time, though, I’m going to be easier on myself. When my mind starts to slide from the present, as I know it will, I’ll gently guide it back to reality.
I won’t crucify myself for every single misstep.
I read a quote by the poet and mystic Rumi that touched me so deeply I printed it out on a sheet of paper and taped it to the wall over my computer.
“When I am silent,” Rumi said, “I fall into that place where everything is music.”
These words sound as if they had been written for me. They say it’s time to free myself of all these delusions, shut down the mental fireworks display that I’ve been enduring for so long, and enjoy the stillness.
If I can reach this state, if I can find that beautiful place where everything is music, I know I’ll be Beamon with joy.
Happy New Year!