1. I will survive – Starting the year 2015 with terminal cancer in my colon, liver, and possibly metastasizing elsewhere makes living through this entire year a high priority.
2. I will inspire others – As I’ve mentioned, I am working on a book project that I think is pretty special. I can’t wait to share it with the world in 2015. As a blog bonus, at the bottom of this post is an Amazon window with my top ten favorite inspirational books in it.
3. I will see the poetry around me – All of us are swimming in a sea of visual poetry. The way light bounces off the edges of buildings. The way the tops of trees quiver imperceptibly with early promises of spring. I want to start my year by seeing more of that world. I want to become better at translating the messages that world offers us.
(About blog photo: I took this photo of my daughter playing. I took the shot with an experimental lens on my iPhone with the hipstamatic app, I just thought it had an other-worldly feel)
4. I will listen to people - This one is straight forward. I want to listen to people completely and with full attention. That means putting my iPhone down and looking at my kids when they speak to me.
5. I will break rules - All of us form unconscious boundaries within our minds. These boundaries go unnoticed and shape our decisions. I want to crash through those walls this year.
6. I will think with my body – Yes, this sounds a bit “new age-ish,” but, I do believe the body has its own capacity to think (like thinking from your gut.) I want to work to improve and explore that technique this year.
7. I will say “no” more – The happiest people I know are good at just saying “no” to people. We all want to please each other so much that we can find ourselves adrift in an ocean of half-fulfilled obligations that we never intended to do in the first place. A clean, “no,” is a gift to the other person as well. You are saying, “I don’t have time to respectfully complete this task for you.”
8. I will daydream - This isn’t some Carpe Diem BS statement. I’m talking about some old-school daydreams that have the power to send my life in bold and dangerous new directions.
9. I will love my old self – Regretting the person I used to be is an insidious poison that works in my marrow to strangle any self-growth I could hope for. “Old Jim” made a lot of bad choices. I used to drink a lot and wasted decades on video games and wallowing in self-judgement. But if I don’t find a way to go back and love that guy and forgive him, I will be wasting precious hours and days. The poison will remain.
10. I will say goodbye – No way around the fact that I may not see 2016 (at least according to the doctors). If I beat the odds, GREAT! But I also know enough not to plan on that. I want to spend the early part of this year saying goodbye to all of my loved ones while I am still healthy enough to do so. A proper goodbye has incalculable value, and that will start with my wife and three amazing little girls. I want to stay with them forever but when I read about people dying tragically and abruptly I worry about the fact that they never had an opportunity to say goodbye.
With Fierce Hope for the New Year,
PS. Below is an amazon window to my top ten favorite inspirational books. I know I’ve missed a bunch of good ones, but I recommend these for sure.