Dear Hope Nation,
Happy New Year!
As I write this, it’s 6:58 am, January 1, 2021. It’s my 14th consecutive New Year’s Day without a hangover, without remorse and without that gnawing sense I’d done something awful or humiliating during a blackout the night before. I am aware of everything I did last night:
–Made lobster pasta and cheese with huge hunks of lobster
–Made a salad of shaved brussels sprouts, red onions, shallots and dried cherries
–Ate the above with, first, Cate, an old friend who came by to spend the night, and, a bit later, my daughter Becca and her boyfriend, Tyler
–Opened housewarming presents from said old friend. Although I moved into my cabin in February, the pandemic has kept us apart for the last nine months.
–Listened to Becca, who is very smart (and a better writer than I) and Cate, who is also very smart, talk about astrology in numbing detail. Becca and Cate are smart, but also kooks when it comes to that stuff
–Got bored with Becca and Cate’s discussion of astrology and reverted to the seven year-old boy inside me by interrupting to show off pictures of watches that caught my eye, watches which cost three month’s salary and which I have no intention of buying
–At 11:30 wished the others good night and went off to sleep on the hide-a-bed couch in the office.
It’s now 7:17 am, January 1, 2021. I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but my friend, Dave, had a good suggestion, which I pass on to you. Instead of resolutions, how about spending some time putting together a vision board for the upcoming year? I don’t think they have any magical power to draw the future to you, or any other New Age gobbledygook, but they are a way to keep your goals in front of you. No expert, I have made boards in the past, and offer the following guidance in a few easy steps.
- Identify your goals in a variety of categories. I’ve used the following:
- Material things, financial, career, physical health, relationships, spirituality/faith, ethics and morals, emotional well-being and connection with the world.
- If these don’t work for you, throw them out and choose your own. This is YOUR vision board, not mine.
- Write out your goals in specific, measurable (if possible) terms. For instance, my relationship goal might be “I’d like to reconnect with at least 10 friends from previous times in my life.”
- Using poster board, a cardboard box or the wall in your bedroom, map out space for each of your goals
- Using pictures from magazines, photos of your own, drawings, doodles, phrases or whatever works best for you, illustrate each of your goals. The purpose is to make a board with visual cues to help you focus going forward
- Spend a bit of time each day with your vision board, thinking about your progress toward each goal and what you can do to accomplish them
A vision board takes a bit of effort, introspection and time, but making one is another way to celebrate not having a hangover, remorse or that gnawing sense I did something awful or humiliating during a blackout the night before.
If you do have a hangover, remorse . . . If you did have a slip last night—or a lot of last night’s—today is a good day to remember recovery is possible, graspable, embraceable and within reach. Call me or one of the people listed below. New Year’s Day can be the beginning. Really.
You matter. I matter. We matter.