We celebrate the end of things with deep emotion and tremendous intensity. It doesn’t matter how big an end it is, like a funeral, or how small the end, like the coming of another New Year. It doesn’t matter what the end really is because we celebrate it we equal emotion and intensity like every beginning.
But what about all that in between?
The stuff that happens after we are born and before we die? Why is it that we sometimes forget to live our lives by becoming automated, replaceable pieces in the human factory of progress? Why do we let that happen and more importantly what do we do to fight against it?
I don’t have the answers but I do have something. Take New Year’s resolutions for example. Everyone makes them and everyone makes fun of themselves for making them.
All these people, when the calendar turns, will run out and get gym memberships. They will feel motivated and faithfully execute their work out for a few short weeks, and than they will treat the gym like a charity, and donate their money every month, so that other people can get and stay fit.
The same is true for anyone who quits smoking, wants to take on an artistic endeavour, or wants to spend less time at work and more time with the family. There is nothing wrong with the idea. The problem lies in the beginning and the end.
All resolutions begin hot. They burn hot. They feel good. All motivation runs full steam ahead but then it turns cold. And when it turns cold that will be the measure of the possibility of change. When life becomes rough, when your time becomes taxed, when unexpected things appear out of nowhere, that will be the measure of progress and success.
This is the end and all things come to an end. The end of another year. The end to many things but the beginning of a great many things.
Don’t quit anything. Ok, if you’re overweight or smoke, that might be something worth quitting. Heart attacks and a smoky lung are not things to take for granted. But outside of a few no-brainers, there is no reason to quit anything. Instead of quitting, get positive and start something new. Start new, little habits that will slowly grow to big habits which will replace the time where old bad habits used to dwell.
Get positive. Make good changes, and most importantly, learn to live in between. That’s where the truth is, that’s where success hides, that is where you’ll discover the meaning of your life over and over and over again. The middle, not the beginning or the end.
The middle offers change, drip by drip, step by step, and breath by breath. Make sure you prepare for a long road. Commit. Get disciplined. Be clear about where you’re going, prepare how to get there, and pick a date by which you’ll know if you succeeded or failed.
All three are important. Plan. Prepare. Execute. All that is left to do after that is to repeat and move on to the next thing. Life is never still. Beginnings and endings are still. We are meant to keep moving. Moving forward. Letting go of mistakes. Latching on to our dreams.
This is not the end. It’s not really a new beginning.
You’re in the middle of your life and you’re free to make resolutions each and every day. You’re free to be whoever you want to be, if you find the discipline and the patience of living in the in-between.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Roven Images.