Last night, my son asked me about my resolutions for the new year. I told him that I don’t make any; resolutions typically don’t add up to much and I really don’t give them any thought. However, the last five months of 2013 taught me a few things upon which I’d like to build in 2014.
First, though I’ve always written, I learned that I need to write much like I need to breathe or eat. When I sit down to write for real, I go to a place that’s mine all mine. I’m free in this place to search for meaning or to explore things that I otherwise couldn’t. I can’t say that I have a purpose for what I write; I hope that others benefit in some way from my collection of words that I’ve let loose on the world. But, I can’t control what happens when a book hits the market. However, I do know that the writing process for me is as basic as any other human need and I will expand upon this need of mine throughout 2014.
Second, I’ve learned that addiction counseling is hard and frustrating and rewarding. All at once, it seems, working with people through very hard times can hurt and still provide powerful positive energy to continue. There are times in which people I work with relapse that seem like teaching is a waste of time. But then, I can see other areas of their lives that are actually improving and I become energized with the progress they’ve made in rebuilding their lives. It’s been a privilege and a blessing to walk through Hell with people and I will continue fighting my enemy, however quixotic, throughout this new year.
Last, I’ve learned that we all travel through time in a blink of an eye. We wake up and our babies have become teenagers, seemingly overnight. There’s grey hair where once was hair that rivaled nighttime in darkness. Time is the most precious and limited capital humanity has and I hope I carry every moment in this new year as though it’s a treasure to spend as though my life depends upon it because it does.
There is no learning without action and I will do all I can to carry forward last year’s learnings. This isn’t a resolution, but a realization that each year that passes is a reminder that my time has been used and that every coming second is a gift that I can use to either waste or to leave the world a little better than when I found it.