Like lots of folks, I have spent the last few weeks, rather months–oh who am I kidding, a lifetime– scheming and dreaming about the myriad ways I can become a better person. Similarly, I have tried to think of these goals, resolutions, etc. in realistic, actionable terms.
Perhaps like fewer folks, I have also spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to phrase them.
Take some of the “big ideas” I have been circling around in anticipation of 2014:
- Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good
- Be early
- Choose wisely
- Treasure each moment
- Have a place for all things and put all things in their place.
- Be kind
I could stop there, because those truly are the ways of being I want to work on. When I test out my specific goals, they fall into one or more of those categories. But:
- I believe in the power of three item lists. Six is too many, too easy to forget.
- Even though the first mantra is the most important one, I don’t like phrasing directives in the negative. Oops, I mean I prefer to phrase them as a positive. Do instead of don’t.
- Though technically parallel in structure, starting two lines with “be”=blech. Number five also sticks out in length and overall vibe.
After spending too much time trying to solve this puzzle (see perfection vs. good), I had another idea, that is, alas, more complicated and cumbersome. But it seems like more fun, and has catchy phrases built in.
So, I hereby declare 2014 to be the Year of the Fable. Humans have been trying to get their shit together (and telling others how to do it) for a long time. Why reinvent the wheel when I can turn to venerable voices such as Aesop, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, and “unknown”?
Here are a few that are already on the list:
- There is a time for work and a time for play. (The Ant and the Grasshopper)
Drat—time is up! And per the ants, I need to tackle cleaning the post NYE house instead of continuing to write like a grasshopper. Here’s a link to a list of other lessons linked back to Aesop’s fables. I’d love to hear which ones resonate with you!http://aesop.pangyre.org/morals.html
Confession 1: Between looking for an image and moving the text to wordpress I blew the 30 minute quota. And the fam came back early from sledding which will make it harder to clean.
Confession 2: I do have a soft spot for the grasshopper. Music is also important for getting through the long months of winter. . . Takes all kinds, right?