A new year always makes me feel like I have another chance to make a difference, discover a new place to visit, accomplish a new goal, or just finish one that carried over from the prior year.
One such goal is to finish writing the book about my father, Apricots and Figs.
Just when I thought it was complete, a professional writer asked me, “What about your part of the story? You have to add that in.” I finished writing the stories my father shared over the years and wanted to get the book published, but I agreed to include growing up as an immigrant’s son, which might resonate with others. That decision took all of 2023 to complete.
Now, I am combing through the book’s first draft, hoping to have it published this year, one of my recurring New Year’s resolutions.
Isn’t that true for many of our New Year’s resolutions? In many cases, they end before they are started. This is true for many things we want to do in life.
“I’ll take that trip one day” or “I’ll wait until tomorrow” are some of the phrases we use even though we tell others that “tomorrow isn’t promised.” I bring this up because “time is precious,” and the demands on our time don’t always lend themselves to “stop and smell the roses.” Finally, our daily to-do list is so long that “there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done.” Do any of these quotes sound familiar?
The tax on our time is what I coined “The Cotton Candy Effect.” Our time can be compared to sharing cotton candy. By the time everyone is done taking a piece, there isn’t a lot left for yourself.
I came up with this analogy one day while at work. On many occasions, my workday started with the best of intentions. I had my to-do list all written out, prioritized, and scheduled. As the day went on, chunks of my time kept disappearing due to issues throughout the day. Some were bigger than others, while some were quick to resolve. By the end of the day, there was not enough time to finish what I planned to do that day, so I had to put off my plan for tomorrow.
Sharing the best of yourself with others makes us a better community. The key is that when it comes to time, keep enough of it for yourself to enjoy things like family, friends, prayer, travel, exercise, entertainment, or whatever motivates and inspires you. Continue to share, and continue to give, but in the end, if you are not happy with yourself, how can you make others feel happy in your presence?
For 2024, think about how you will spend time that will leave enough that fills your spirit and prepares you to be good to others around you, and don’t put off to tomorrow what you can get done today.
Life is short. Enjoy every minute of it. Now, that is a New Year’s resolution to consider. spt