“Hello. This is the dentist’s office confirming your appointment for tomorrow morning.” Eep. I forgot. Good thing they called. Let’s see if I can get six month’s of flossing done in the next 24 hours. Where did the last six months go? We’re already in 2013. It caught me by surprise. My To-Do list swelled with the entry into January. I’m busier than ever; and as I lay in bed this morning I wondered how it would all work out. I probably wondered the same thing at the start of 2012. The year starts with uncertainty, hope, great potential, and encouraging momentum. I think that’s true for me, and the world. Nice to see we have something in common.
Even this post came by surprise. As a writer I find it important and powerful to maintain a publication schedule. The schedule is self-imposed, so I give myself some leeway; but I try not to abuse the privilege I’ve granted myself. I spent so much time working on my semi-annual portfolio review on Monday, that is seems like I just posted. Which is true. And yesterday was New Year’s Day, which was a holiday so it had that unique quality, and a work day as I continued creating a program plan for a virtual museum (History of Computing for Learning and Education) and posted about my book. I launched into today and didn’t even notice the day of the week because it felt like a Monday. Time passes and catches us by surprise.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Thanks to lessons learned in karate, I take each day as an opportunity to improve over who I was the previous day. Yearly targets slide by without notice, but there are more opportunities for change.
There’s a lot of talk about change. Everything was going to change after the election. Everything was going to change at the Solstice, whether the Mayans were right or not. Everything changes with the new year; which many worried about considering the self-imposed deadline for averting the fiscal cliff. Humans concentrate on the dramatic. It is easier to respond to hurricanes and tornadoes than encroaching sea level rise. It is easier to make passionate proclamations about gun violence than it is to make diligent progress on mental health. It is easy to decide to change personality flaws at some day on the calendar than to constantly encourage the small reminders to be a little better every day. (Oy, there is so much to do there.)
Welcome to the first day of trading in the new year. Almost all of my stocks are up. All of them started the day with jumps; most of them opened with gaps up. Change may be gradual, except for those changes driven by humans. 2012, the Mayan apocalypse, and the fiscal cliff are behind us. It must be time to buy stock. OK. I might have some to sell. I might have to sell some.
And then, maybe I won’t have to sell any or much. There is great uncertainty here at the beginning of the new year. I’ve already traded emails with two people working to get me different jobs. I’ve already printed flyers for one class (Getting Started With Social Media, January 19th, Clinton, WA), and sent out a notice to drewslist. (Pardon me as I step away to refresh the craigslist listing. Ah, good; the listing for the Self-Publishing Workshop is active too.) I’ve also finished my daily upload to my new online photo gallery. (Fine Art America). It is barely past 10am, which leaves most of the day for my main task of creating that program plan I mentioned earlier. But first I will finish this post.
There are discrete events. It is January, so I must figure out and pay my state business taxes, and pass along the appropriate reports. Bills work by regular cycles. The machinery and structure of our society attempt to set a rhythm that keeps us all in synch. The non-negotiable and slower timing of the seasons isn’t sufficient for today’s pace of life.
My hopes, optimism, and encouragements for 2013 come from the gradual, the innocuous, the quiet forces that create the breakthroughs that I can react to dramatically. Personally, I would like to experience the overnight success that comes from years of effort, the 10,000 Hour Rule I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Friends tell me that it’s going to happen, probably this year. Acquaintances have mentioned the same thing. This is encouraging. Recently I’ve had fun imaging myself sitting across the desk from Jon Stewart as he interviews me about my most recent book (Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland); and then getting the extended interview because of the rest of my story. Hey, it could happen, and it could happen this year. Word-of-mouth is powerful and people are talking about that and other books that I’ve written.
My global hopes, optimism, and encouragements for 2013 come from the gradual, the innocuous, the quiet forces that create the breakthroughs that we can react to dramatically. Most of those forces are not associated with governments or institutions. Individuals, especially as they connect up via social media, are changing lifestyles in ways that don’t show up in the mainstream media. News conferences aren’t called. Press releases aren’t dispatched. Instead, efforts go into getting work done. That has always been one of America’s strengths, liberty enabling action.
Bits of the new year have already caught me by surprise. More surprises are inevitable. I, and we, are due for a string of positive ones. Positive surprises will certainly make this a Happy New Year.
PS You can’t plan these things. I just got a call from a friend who wants my help on an entire line of products. Allow me to quote, “I’ll make you a millionaire babe. Stick with me babe.” – from someone with 18 years of show-biz talk. Now, wouldn’t that be a surprise? Looks like I have another (unpaid so far) item on my to-do list for today. Stay tuned.