Every year, my daughter Jessica asks me if we are going to write down our revolutions, which is what she calls them. I have stopped correcting her because she is right, they are revolutions, not resolutions. They are the same each year:
- Be happy
- Do good work
- Love each other
- Be strong
We put the list on the refrigerator so we can see it all the time and remember who we are supposed to be.
Last year she asked if we could add “be patient” because one of us who shall remain nameless responds passionately to instances of injustice, or, in certain people’s words, “has a quick temper.”
Interestingly enough, “be patient” did not just help me remember to be patient with clients, small neighborhood children, and beloved daughters but it reminded me to be patient with myself. I started saying Take your time to me as well as everyone else, and although I have not transformed into an example of Zen tranquility and never will, I have learned that if you slow down a little you make fewer mistakes of all kinds.
This year, Jessica wanted to add “no arguing” but I said I was only human, plus she takes after me in the “bullheaded and stubborn” category. I pointed out that there were times when she herself started arguments, and occasionally she has won them. In conclusion, I argued (ha!), “no arguing” was unrealistic. She amended it to “arguing only when it is very important, such as when it involves badly needed princess dolls.”
In the end, we boiled it down to Find a Way, which we agree will help us focus on finding solutions and not on deciding who is right/has the loudest voice.
This turned out to be important. I had originally planned to write a series of blog posts about our travels this past fall. And several people have asked about the very obvious midlife crisis I have been suffering and I wanted to provide some updates but the blog just hasn’t felt like the right place to do all of this.
I couldn’t figure out how to make sense of everything until I sat down and started writing.
And it turned into a book. It probably doesn’t surprise anyone but me but the travels, the writing, and the midlife whatsis are all part of the same inner work I’ve been doing, which I like to call The Way of WTF?
The beauty of the Way of WTF? is you do not need to meditate or cloister yourself away from the world, you just have to be willing to say WTF? on a regular basis and not have to have an answer.
So my personal goal for 2017 is to finish this book even through all the doubt and questioning I know it will bring. I have a sense that I will need the Find a Way revolution a lot.
Dojo Wisdom for Writers, second edition, now available on Amazon in print and ebook.
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