Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Plan For 2013

On Thursday December the 20th of 2012, I wrapped up business activity for the year and left my office full of excitement and a bit of dread for what the Christmas season would bring. For the next twelve days, I was free of my routine. Because I live so close to my office, I did go in to open mail, check messages, several times over those twelve days, but largely, I was free from the daily constraints of my work. Twelve days is a long time.

So much of the Christmas holiday is centered around family, and I have a great one. Patrick and Kaitlin came home from grad school. We spent a lot of time with my extended family, and although I was away from work, it never fully left me. I would read the news about the fiscal cliff negotiations, keeping a wary eye on the markets. Whenever I had an unencumbered minute, thoughts of business would rush in to fill the void. What would 2013 bring? I need a good year, would 2013 be it?

In this, I suppose I’m no different than millions of others. Anxiety about the future, my security, the well-being of my family, my ability to continue to provide for them, seems to be a preoccupation without end. Although I have had the same job and consequently the same pressures for nearly thirty years, it seems more oppressive now, heavier, harder to switch off at night and on the weekends.

Yesterday, the twelve day break was over. I began a new year. Saw a couple of clients, began making phone calls to set up reviews. Having my routine back was nice. Instead of wondering about 2013, it’s here. It has begun. However it turns out will mostly be a result of my effort, tenacity, and commitment, or at least, that’s what I like to believe. The illusion of control is a powerful sedative. However, when I look back at my best, most productive years in this profession, all of them seem to hinge on some unexpected phone call, a series of unsolicited referrals, being in the right place at the right time, or some serendipitous encounter. Some would call it luck, or the “residue of design“. My gut thinks it’s Providential care, the unmerited favor of God. But since it’s unmerited, that favor can be withdrawn.

Living in the moment has always been a daunting task. For me, it’s always been about the next thing, the next challenge, the newest problem. In times of great success, I’m always wondering when it will end. In times of great struggle, I think that perhaps success will never return. Terrified by failure, can’t stand prosperity!

So, for 2013 my goal is to achieve what has always alluded me, equanimity. When success comes, I want to receive it with thankfulness and joy. When reversals come, I want to accept them with calm patience, not make them worse by indulging despair. That hackneyed sports cliché comes to mind, “one day at a time”. Like all clichés, it has become one because it is true and reliable. Live each day on its own terms, carrying neither baggage nor expectations left over from yesterday.

 

This is the day that the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

Sounds like a plan.