I started this blog about 9 months ago with the tagline “Because Transformation is a Journey”. At the time, I drafted a To the Reader post to give my hoped for future audience a glimpse of me. “There is no destination, just a desire to explore,” read my opening paragraph. I continued with, “Transforming Mommy is the living record of my journey as I try to figure out just what exactly it is that I like, and who I want to be when I grow up,” and I oh so appropriately wrapped up with, “If it seems all over the place, it’s because that’s exactly where I am!”
Four days after shooting those declarations into cyberspace, I found myself in the throes of a nervous breakdown. The kind that made sleeping at night impossible and getting out of bed in the morning physically painful. The kind that left me unable to eat and dry-heaving in front of my toilet. The kind that put me back in intensive twice a week therapy for several months. The kind that hung over my head, even on the “good” days, casting shadows, waiting for the chance to drown out the light.
What I don’t think I ever realized, or maybe wasn’t willing to admit until this moment, is that there was no coincidence that my breakdown followed so closely to the launch of this blog. Nothing terrifies me more than committing to something when I don’t know what the outcome will be. I don’t set goals or create vision boards or make New Years’ resolutions because I am afraid of falling short. The whole “shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” thing never really resonated with me. If I finally figured out what it is I liked and wanted to be when I “grew up”, then I might actually have to set a goal or create a vision board, and if I actually set a goal or created a vision board, there’s a chance I wouldn’t accomplish what I set out to do, and if I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do, I would be a failure.
But when I look at the world around me, I know I am getting it wrong. Elbert Hubbard had it right when he said, “There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
As I sat watching the MSU Spartans relish their Rose Bowl victory last night, I was taken by the on-field interview with Coach Dantonio. ESPN aired footage it obtained of an iPhone video made by Dantonio’s daughter back in May of 2013 when they visited the Rose Bowl stadium. Coach Dantonio stood on the field and recorded a video message to his team telling them that come January 1, 2014 they would be the ones standing on that field. Powerful stuff through the lens of that moment. Looking back on the season I recalled hearing players talk about this goal in post-game interviews and reading articles describing vision boards and signs hanging in their locker room and practice facilities keeping them focused and directed toward that goal.
Seeing the genesis of that goal, coupled with the emotion displayed by Coach Dantonio with the realization that it had been achieved, I got the whole thing about landing among the stars. I got what Elbert Hubbard was saying. Because even if those young men hadn’t won the game last night, they still would have had an experience worth remembering. Yes, there would have been pain and disappointment, there would have been tears of frustration. I saw it in the shot of the Stanford player kneeling in the end zone with his head in his hands. But neither team let the fear of that moment, of that disappointment, keep them from getting there. They didn’t let fear shake their belief in their own ability to see it through.
So here goes it.
My New Years’ resolution for 2014 is to move forward, to progress.
My 14 for 2014, my measurable goals for my life, and by extension this blog, that I will look back on in January 2015, are as follows:
- I will take a class to help me understand and use the full functionality offered by WordPress.
- I will produce 52 new and unique blog posts.
- I will generate a ten-fold increase in blog followers.
- I will take a photography course so I know how to effectively use a camera other than my iPhone.
- I will travel at least once to someplace I have never been and that scares me a little (someplace that requires an airplane flight).
- I will secure at least 2 paid freelance writing jobs.
- I will commit at least 100 hours of my time to volunteering in the areas of homelessness, hunger prevention or at-risk youth.
- I will meet a friend for coffee, lunch or drinks once a week.
- I will spend at least one hour daily writing, Monday to Friday.
- I will remember to send birthday greetings to all of my siblings, parents, in-laws, nieces and nephews.
- I will write Thank You notes and teach my children to do the same.
- I will read 6 books for pleasure.
- I will thank God every morning for the opportunity to get up and try again.
- I will create a vision board to help me track my progress on items 1-13.