Seasonal Harmonious Wishes

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As is my wont at this time of year, dear reader, I am going to neglect you for a week or so while I go off and do holiday-season things with Real Life People. I imagine you are doing exactly the same, so I hope you won’t feel too abandoned. Indeed, I hope you are feeling snug and loved-up (Northern hemisphere)/ carefree and summery (Southern hemisphere) with geographically-appropriate seasonal joys.

I wrote back in January about goal-setting, and found myself framing my aspirations for 2014 in terms of the qualities of experience I wished it to contain rather than a concrete to-do list. And I guess now is a good moment to check back in and see how that worked.

As it turned out, the year contained a bunch of things I could predict (writing a book chapter, regular and one-off choral activities both locally and out and about, miscellaneous events that had been in the diary well in advance), and things not anticipated (losing my father, and various other less significant things that I would nonetheless liked to have told him about).

And on reflection, I find that the more flexible approach to goal-setting leaves me beating myself up less when circumstances force or invite a change of plan. Having specific plans for the future is useful as it gives you things to work towards, you get the pleasure of anticipation as well as effective ways to structure challenges. But filling the future up too much with commitments means that you spend a lot of your time beholden to a past self who didn’t - couldn’t - know at the point of planning what else was going to transpire in the meantime.

So, I think the key thing to add to my January list of life criteria is a balance between anticipated/planned events and spontaneity.

And with that, I am off to enjoy some family time that I have enjoyed looking forward to for some time. Peace and love to you all, and may you have both things to look forward to and pleasant surprises in 2015.

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