“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start.  So far today, I have finished two bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake.  I feel better already.”

— Dave Barry

It’s that time of year again — the one where we review the year that will end at midnight and look ahead to the possibilities that lie in the one that lies before us.  Some of us will make resolutions.  Some of us will keep those resolutions.  Some resolutions will prove to be unworthy of completion.  We make resolutions with the intention of ushering in some change that we believe will be beneficial to our lives, and it is good to consider the things that can improve our quality of existence; but one change often leads to another that we couldn’t have imagined at the time of our choice.  That is the part of choosing that makes life exciting.  Maybe Dave Barry’s choice to finish all those things he’s started will also lead him to choose a gym membership.  The most light-hearted resolutions can open the door to something deeper and more meaningful as the results of our choices unfold.  As I sit here today and type my thoughts, I find them returning to another New Year’s Eve, 365 days ago.

As I sat on the brink of 2010, I made a resolution — formed an intention — that would change my life in many ways I could not have imagined.  I have finished what I started; and while that gives me a good feeling of being self-disciplined and focused, I realize a year later that what I thought would be an ending remains a beginning.  I am a writer.  I say this because it is what I do — I write.  Putting my thoughts down on paper has always been something I’ve loved to do; but a year ago today I promised myself that I would write daily, in a blog.  I would put those words in a place where other people could read them.  I would stop accumulating them in files and folders that were seen only by my own eyes.  I would stop talking to myself and let my voice be heard so that others might respond and a dialog might begin — and I would do this for an entire year.

I have kept my resolution.  I have been true to my intention and found my voice.  The results have included more surprises than I could have predicted back at the start of the year.  It has been surprising to read my own words; and I have discovered things about my voice that have taught me more each day about who I am.  I worried at the beginning that I might develop a sort of writer’s laryngitis and might run out of things to say before a month had passed.  Instead, I discovered that my resolution to finish what I started cause me to exercise parts of my brain that had become lazy and sluggish.  I have discovered that this new habit will not end with today’s post.  As is often the case when we begin to practice what we love, my love for writing has grown.  Just like eating M&M’s, it is no task to continue finishing what I have started.

As I look back on 2010, I see all kinds of surprises that have come into my life because of this resolution.  I have met new friends.  I have shared ideas with other writers and heard their voices as well as my own.  I have been enriched through the sharing of our philosophies and the sharing of our passion for expressing what we believe.  I have had the opportunity to watch my own evolution reveal itself in the words that have grown out of the experiences in my ever-changing life.

Most importantly, this exercise in finishing what I started has shown me in bold-face italics that nothing we choose to do produces a simple linear progression from beginning to end.  Life has a way of moving in spirals rather than in straight lines; and that is what makes keeping resolutions so exciting.  The year will end, but the spiral will go on; and the love and life and hope and dreams that in loops around will all become a part of the journey from Point A to Point B.  Today marks Point B for 2010, but my own Point B seems to move ahead of me.  It invites me to follow; and follow I will, looping and dancing through all the living that lies ahead.

This year I will trade in my time-limited resolution and state my intention to listen for the music of the universe and keep on dancing.