Books to read. Coffee to drink. Stories to write.

☕️ 2020 Vision

Journal and pen

The start of a new year is like opening up to the first page of a new book. I mean, it has that new book smell, right? The pages are unmarred by coffee stains or chocolate smears. Neither bathtub water nor rain has warped the paper into waves and bubbles. The corners aren’t dog-eared yet. Nobody’s underlined or written in the margins. It’s all ahead for you to discover, a wonderful adventure waiting to unfold.

Something about the first page of a new book excites me with possibilities. Sure, ten pages in I may be disappointed. Midway, I could be impatient to figure out how it’s all gonna end up. The end may cause me to throw the book across the room…or pull it to my chest with a deep and satisfied sigh. But I don’t know when I start how it’s going to end, and that is thrilling. Ah, beginnings.

It’s easy to think of the new year as a book I will write alone: my goals, my hopes, my fears, my attempts, my striving, my success, my failure. However, a year is never written entirely by one person. What others say and do impacts the  story in ways big and small, often totally out of my control.

No matter how reclusive we are, how other people behave affects us and vice versa. No man is an island. No woman writes the story of her year alone.

I recently read an essay on The Big Smoke about ambition being a story we make up and tell ourselves. (Is Ambition the Fiction That We Tell Ourselves by Will McMahan, THE BIG SMOKE, Dec. 29,2019).

In the essay, McMahan talks about how we see ourselves as the protagonists in our own life stories, our ambitions the main plotlines. This is something to consider, especially as McMahan asks, “What happens when the life doesn’t live up to expectations?” Do we feel like our lives are tragedies if we don’t achieve what we’ve set out to accomplish? Do we feel overly proud of ourselves if we do and take all the credit? He suggests we stop telling ourselves this fiction and just be.

In that spirit,  my theme and vision for the year 2020 is “flow.” (See my earlier post, Success: What is it Good For for more on this concept.) I’m envisioning my year like a book of poetry or pastiche, or maybe a collection of interconnected stories and experiences rather than a linear narrative with the requisite goals, conflicts, antagonists, stumbling blocks, black moments, triumphs and failures leading to some kind of resolution.

I also believe that the story of each year is written by all of us, together. There is opportunity for each of us to create love, peace, kindness, beauty, art, understanding on the universe’s page of the day or to create chaos, strife, anger, vileness, and hate.

Let’s not muck up the pages too much this year.

Happy 2020, Dear Reader!


What is your word for the year?

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. My words for 2020 are letting go. I love your idea that each year is like starting a new book. And yes, that book could lead you anywhere. The thing is, I’m slowly learning that it’s okay if you don’t read the entire book. There comes a time when it’s okay to move on to something that might resonate more with you. It’s the same with relationships and “things.” I need to let go of the relationships that have all the energy flowing in one direction and stuff- I so need to let go of so much more stuff- and yeah, sadly even the books. So, I’m hoping Elsa will inspire me to “let it go.”

    1. GREAT point about not having to finish every book, every story to the very end. Letting go of the things that no longer serve us is key. Good for you! I recently had to do this with a project on Wattpad. I’m a little sad, a little disappointed, but in the end it frees up time for other projects and creative pursuits. There also seems to be this–I don’t know if idea is the right word…maybe attitude–about living “smaller.” Not just as far as space, but as a general principle. Like we don’t have to do everything, be everything, have umpteen thousand followers, post pictures of every single outing. I’m going to explore this a bit more. Maybe it will be an upcoming blog post. Maybe not. Happy New Year, my friend!

  2. I feel like it’s a new book too this time of year. My word for this year is driven.

    1. Oooooh, that’s a doozy of a word, Sandra! Lots of energy there. Go, go, GO!

  3. I’ll have to think about my word for the year. It has to do with living life slowly enough that I can enjoy it, and also showing up for my responsibilities, and also connection. I feel like I need a deeper connection this year. Maybe Receive could be my word?

    1. Receive. Yes. There is hope in that word, and an expectation that what you need will come to you and a reminder to be open to take in the abundance of life and yes, the joy. Fabulous word.

  4. What a beautiful concept, equating the new year with opening a new book. There’s always anticipation of goodness and delight. Maybe it’s time to balance out our expectations, of knowing and anticipating the hard times too, unknown as they are. Maybe that would make the journey less bumpy?

    Is that my word, I wonder? Balance?

    1. Balance is a good word in so many ways!It can be about balance in a physical sense, practicing yoga and other exercises that help our bodies learn balance. It’s also a reminder about keeping our lives sane–not seeking thrills and excitement all the time but also not hiding away and being introspective all the time. I like it!

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