Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So Soon?

Where did this year go?! I’m starting to see end of the year reflections popping up on blogs. My first reaction was to think it was like seeing Christmas decorations in the mall right after Halloween. Really? And then it hit me. This is mid-December. Yikes! So I thought I would add my two cents to the pot. I have already reflected on the major points of this year in Reflection on the Journey, so I won’t revisit that. Instead, I will repost what I wrote at this time last year. It seems as relevant this year as last, and it is a reminder to myself to spend the rest of this year mindfully.

Finish Well

New Year’s Eve is two weeks away. Some of us are looking back at the year with some regret. There were so many things we meant to do, but didn’t. Resolutions that were abandoned before the new year champagne had gone flat. Hopes that didn’t manifest, dreams that died on the vine. Losses we didn’t see coming or weren’t prepared for.

Some of us have turned our attention away from this year, shrugging it off as a lost cause, too late to redeem (sort of like my football team). We are already looking ahead at the new year, excited about a fresh start, renewing the resolutions that we will surely keep this time, eager to do better, be better.

But go back to the first sentence. We have two weeks left in this year. In horse racing, it doesn’t matter if you are first out of the gate. It doesn’t matter if you trail behind or cruise along in the middle of the pack. What matters is how you finish. The finish line is everything.

I realized this morning that I was throwing away two precious weeks, a lifetime by some measures. I have two weeks to live well, do well, be well. I have two weeks to count all the blessings of this year, to be grateful for the abundance of grace that has poured over my life. I have two weeks to feel good about what I have accomplished instead of berating myself for what I didn’t. I have two weeks to be a good friend, to listen more, to help someone. I have two weeks to love my children, to appreciate my family and friends. I have two weeks of present moments, holy instants, to savor.

It doesn’t matter if you read this post today or Dec. 31. Whatever time is left in this year, two weeks or two minutes, is ours to do with as we choose. No matter what has happened this year, we can choose to finish well.

[I will be away from my computer Thursday and Friday, so if there is a delay in publishing your comment, please know that your thoughts are very important and will get published as soon as possible.]


  1. I so agree with you. It's always a bit sad to see another year finish...even if I have a regret or two, or three, it's a loss to say good-bye to one year and kind of bit scary in some ways to welcome another new year. Oh no! It's almost like a blank sheet of paper...but it's our own sheet and we can do with it as we see fit....Note to self: Buy more erasers! Ha ha! But for right now I'm with you....treasure the moment right the here and now! Although, I'm looking forward to hearing what you'll decide for your word next year! I've kind of been thinking of mine, already! But that will come later! Enjoy your time away!

  2. No regrets for this year. A few disappointments, but oh, well!

  3. Two weeks to live. Two weeks to live. I used to do this thing where I would say, "10 minutes until XYZ happened." Yes, I would constantly keep a constraint of the allotted time thinking that X minutes or X hours wasn't enough time to get things done.

    Then, in college I found out that 10 minutes, during a final, is very crucial to getting work done. Also, if you add it together you'll realize that those minutes add up.

    Well, just like you said: two weeks. These two weeks can either be wasted by thinking of the next year and your resolutions. Or, they could be used for a good measure by actually living life and doing something productive.

    I for one am going to go sleep. I'm tired and going to invest my energy for something better tomorrow.

  4. Karen--Buy more erasers! That was funny! I'm curious about what my word will be, too. And yours. Thanks for commenting.

    Linda--That is a blessing to be able to say, isn't it, about no regrets? Thanks for your comment.

    Jonathan--So true about learning the value of a few minutes during a time pressured exam! Good reminder. Thanks for your comment and sweet dreams.

  5. Two weeks, that's it? WOW, where did this year slip away? Oh right, I've been immersed in books and I can say I have no regrets and I intend to keep it this way for the next two weeks... all one day at a time. I'd love to give more of my time to others, that I'll have the opportunity to do this upcoming weekend, and I'd like to wrap up this semester without a hitch. These are realistic I believe, I'll wait til New Years Eve and make some unrealistic goals! lol Just kidding. Have a wonderful day and enjoy your time away!

  6. Well, I'm human so I do have a few regrets, but then again, too few to mention. It's been a helluva year. But gosh---it went by in a hurry. Kinda' scary, actually.

  7. Hi Galen,

    Yeah, it did go by fast. And with three young kids, it seems to go by faster each year. But the end of the year did help me to make some much-needed reflections on some areas I want to improve in next year. ANd I think that self-examination is great for changing perspective!

    I hope you and yours have a great Christmas this year!

  8. Oh, it's all about the Third Act (or Fifth, if you are Shakespearean) for me. The end is the most satisfying point at which to experience redemption and renewal. I like the time speeding up effect also, since when you are a kid it's an endless road ahead. After passing the middle, you see both ends, and I feel myself drawn forward. Good choice of topic!

  9. Great reminder my friend Galen - I am so grateful for all that 2011 has provided me....

    I will continue on my adventure of life and stay thankful in the moment.

    In gratitude,

  10. We have learned much and grown a lot this past year...and I do hope we finish it well. It did go by faster than I expected it to.

    Enjoy your holidays!!

  11. What a great observation Galen! There IS hope in what is not yet lost. Okay for the next two weeks... LET'S BRING IT ON (((chuckles))) :-D

  12. I swore off resolutions last year and settled on several goals instead. Resolutions tend to be general statements: I'll lose weight, I'll quit smoking, I'll go to the gym more. Goals have specific timetables and ways to measure progress.

    It worked: 4 of 5 goals were accomplished. 2011 went by in a blur but a good blur. Finishing well applies to all parts of our life.

    Now, clear the decks, put away the files, and re-do the budget: here comes 2012.

  13. Galen, there is something important I learned from you this year and that is to just keep going: but also to keep those 10 Best Steps in front of me at all times. It is amazing how they manage to turn things around. Thank you.

  14. New Year's is more important to me than Christmas. The Good News is rebirth and that is what Jan 1 symbolizes to me....starting again and "doing better". Finishing strong that thought.

  15. darlin--Your sense of humor got you through! I look forward to another year of blogging with you! Thanks for commenting.

    Clint--I keep thinking if I live in the present moment, time will slow down, but that hasn't happened yet! Thanks for your comment.

    Bryan--I remember the days of young children. Oh, right, there is a baby in the house now, too, but now it's a grandchild. Much easier! Happy Holidays to you and yours as well. Thanks for commenting.

    Mikey--Lovely reflection on the times of our lives. Thanks for your comment.

    Nancy--I'm grateful, too. It has been quite a year...and it's not over yet. Thanks for your comment.

    Alida--So glad we found each other's blogs this year. Happy Holidays! Thanks for your comment.

    Bob--4 out of 5 goals is a great success! Looking forward to another year of your blog wisdom! Thanks for your comment.

    Barb--Bless your heart. I'm so pleased the 10 Steps have been helpful to you. We'll just keep going, won't we?! Thanks for commenting.

    Sandra--I like New Year's, too. A symbolic fresh start. Thanks for commenting.

  16. Each moment is so important. We rush through life and miss so many of them. It is never to late to begin and finish well. Thank you for the reminder!

  17. hello galen

    how are you?

    the year 2011 seemed to zoom in a flash but i am so grateful for meeting wonderful people, accomplishing a few things as well as being exposed to things i never thought i could handle.

    it's had it's ups and downs and there have been struggles but it's so true that one must not beat him/herself up for how a few events turned out in the year.

    it's about shaking the dusts off ones feet and trying as much as possible to stay strong and focused with a view to finishing well.

    i look forward to the year 2012.

    merry christmas in advance galen

    take care and enjoy the rest of the day

  18. Ann--You're welcome! Thanks for your comment.

    ayo--I'm fine, thanks. So glad that we have connected this year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Hope you enjoy the rest of the day, too. I'm off to holiday parties today. Very festive! Thanks for your comment.

  19. Absolutely no regrets. It was a fantastic year. I look forward to an even better 2012, if that is possible - and I hope, Galen, your new year is even better than mine! Have a great holiday season, my friend.

  20. JJ--It was a great year indeed. Hope 2012 will have fewer big surprises--ha! Whatever it brings will be welcome. Thanks for all your support this year. I hope you have a great holiday season, too. Thanks for commenting.

  21. I loved this post. It is true we can choose to make the last two weeks memorable and we can look back with deep gratitude for this year. I never complete my goals; but at least I keep them in mind and try to do some of them.
    Blessings to you for a very inspiring post.

  22. LeAnn--Keeping our goals in mind influences the choices we make. We might not achieve all our goals, but attention keeps us on the path. Thanks for your comment.

  23. Hi Galen,

    I couldn't agree more. Although the year is indeed almost over, there is still time left that we can use wisely. In fact, with the end of the year looming on the horizon, it forces us to see the "deadline" and makes us realize that the time we have left is precious.

    We all try to begin each year as well as our circumstances permit. Let us try to finish well because how we finish matters and allows us to wrap things up as nicely as we can.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! :)

    Irving the Vizier

    PS: Nice background wallpaper, it does remind me of the changing seasons. :D

  24. Irving--I almost didn't change the background because this looks so cold! But summer greenery just seemed inappropriate. Will you be doing anything special to finish/start the year? Thanks for your comment.

  25. Well change is the only constant in life. This is why summer greenery would look inappropriate at this time of the year. Cold exists to remind us of warmth so we won't take it for granted.

    I won't call it special, but I've been in the midst of trying to make some changes to my website. Hopefully I can finish it soon. :)

  26. Irving--I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


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