Finishing Up the New Year: How Do You Want To Live Your One Wild and Precious Life?

I plan on making New Year's Resolutions.
I also plan on cleaning up my home, which is Christmas madness.


I came across this article and thought it was a good one for anyone examining their life this time of year.

Yes, it's A LOT of questions the writer is having you ask yourself. I got overwhelmed at 7 and had to start again.  But they are important.

And I think it's a good way to look at things.  We forget we only get one life.

Here's the article: 30 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Die


Here are some things I'm asking myself as the year ends--

1)  What am I doing that I can be doing better or differently?  What is holding me back, bringing me down?

2)  Who do I want to keep in my life, and who do I need to let fade away?

3)  How do I want to spend my mornings before the day begins?

4)  How can I be more present in the world?

5)  What am I afraid of and is it serving me well?

6)  What do I want to focus on in 2014?

7)  How can I make the world a better place in small ways?

8)  How can I be of service to others?  How can I help improve others' lives?

9)  How do I want to spend my time?


For me, one of the most important questions I ask myself every year is who I choose to keep in my life.

I make a circle and fill in the names of friends and family I can trust with everything--all my flaws, struggles, goals, dreams, etc.  These are the people who I will turn to in 2014 when I need support or when I have good news to share.  This is my tribe.  These are my people.

I make a circle around that.  These are my second group of friends.  They are friends I love and I tell them most everything, but not everything.  They are people I still love and want to be in touch with, but I hold a little back with them.  Just a little.

Another circle.  The circle around this group.  More good friends, but less details.  Less of the vulnerable stuff.

One more circle.  Friends I love, but I'm more guarded with them.

The first two groups will get most of my time and attention for the year.  The third group of friends will either be moved up to a more trusted position or fade into the background.  Same with group 4.

It's a little literal, a little formal, but it helps me when I am sharing information so I don't get hurt or overshare, or my writing projects stay safe (meaning, they are at their infant stage, I can't have negativity early on...) or say something that later makes me feel uncomfortable.

Most of my friends fall in the center circle or circle 2.  Honestly, if I can't trust people or they aren't adding anything positive to my life (or vice versa), why stay connected?

But sometimes there are people you have to interact with because they are parents that have kids at your child's school, or someone in your book group, or neighbor, who you need to be ready for.  You need to remember not to share your good poetry news with someone who makes you feel weird or worthless.

This little bullseye helps me remember who I want to give my time and energy too.

It also helps me not share the right news or stories with the wrong people.


So, what are your resolutions?  Do you make any?

And the end of a poem--

From Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day"

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Kells

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  1. The only good thing about my making resolutions is I know I break them, which makes me feel like a failure. Life does that enough so the idea of adding to it needlessly isn't adding to my quality of life.

    However, I did make a short list of some goals for 2014 (or the near future, whichever comes first) and a common theme developed and that was finishing.

    Finishing projects I've started, poems I've started, ideas I've jotted down, stories, and like that. Finishing seems to be something I need to focus on, so that's what my going forward entails.

    Thanks for sharing that list of questions as it does make you stop and examine life. So does turning 50...

  2. I haven't set my goals yet... but I did this circling exercise as soon as I finished reading this post. It made me think. It made me happy. It made me thankful.


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