2014 With No Mistakes In It

It’s been awhile.  If you hadn’t noticed, my blogging has been lagging of late.  Even in the busyness of the holiday season, I had promised myself that I’d post at least once a week, and I was doing it.  The first three Sundays of Advent, I wrote something to go along with the theme of that week.  But the weekend of the fourth Sunday of Advent, I had to do a funeral, and I was traveling to Kentucky to visit my family for Christmas, and to make a long story short, it just didn’t happen.  But even before that, I was having some trouble.  A well-meaning friend had told me after my first few blog posts, “Wow, you are knocking it out of the park every time!”  And instead of being pleased, my first thought was, Well, shit.  Now I can’t write anything mediocre.

But of course, I have to; it’s the only way I will (eventually) write good stuff.  Anne Lamott is right about so many things, and one of them is the importance of writing shitty first drafts.  So here I go, filling the blogosphere with attempts at greatness once again, knowing that many of my efforts will merely approach mediocrity.  It feels like an appropriate time for such a realization.  It is, after all, the season for clean slates.

2014 is out there right now, spotless and utterly perfect.  Isn’t it lovely?  It brings to mind one of my favorite lines from Anne of Green Gables, that, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”  Unfortunately, that completely goes out the window when tomorrow becomes today.  How long will 2014-with-no-mistakes-in-it last for me?  A few hours if I’m really careful?  Not long, to be sure.  I kind of like 2014 the way it is right now, in the unsullied future, sparkling with possibility, positively pregnant with potentiality.  We all get a new start.  Many of us make resolutions, and it seems completely believable that we can transform ourselves, that this year we can finally get it right.  That’s what I love about this time of year.

But very soon, 2014 will no longer be the future.  Once it becomes the present, it gets a lot less shiny day by day.  And I think that’s okay.  Much as I love a spotless future with no mistakes in it, I much prefer a present in which I can actually live, tracking muddy footprints all over the place.  This time, I want to resolve boldly to fill this new year with mistakes, to learn from some of them, hopefully laugh at many of them, and do my best not to regret any of them.  After all, the mistakes as much as anything in this new year will make me the person I am to become the next year, and in all the years to come.  Clean slates are dull to look at for long; they’re only meant to be an invitation.  Let’s fill this one with something interesting.

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3 thoughts on “2014 With No Mistakes In It

  1. Steven

    At a meditation group last night, I was invited to explore happiness. it might be more of a fulfilling wish to explore mistakes and seeing how that works for you.

  2. Oh, I am SO quoting you on Twitter. What a lovely resolution. We can never be perfect because we are human. We can only be transformed with God’s help. Bless you today and all through next near. 🙂

  3. I agree that we shouldn’t be so overly hard on ourselves that we don’t blog regularly. However, I think we should strike a balance. I try to reserve the “shitty first draft” for myself and spin out at least a second draft for public consumption. And even when time is short, I opt in favor of less posts with better writing, rather than more with inferior writing. We should ask ourselves, who is playing that tape in our heads that is guilting us into quantity over quality? Surely the devil of bad writing, who cackles as our readers reduce their visits, and prances around in ecstasy as that dreaded goblin, “0 comments” follows the post instead of followers.

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