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Think Kit, Day 21. Write a mantra for the year ahead – how you’ll approach it, what you wish it to be.

I am alone in my house, and it is so quiet. I can hear the clock on my wall whirring away as it diligently keeps the wrong time. The power went out for about an hour a couple weeks ago, and we haven’t bothered to catch the clock up. I can be weirdly lackadaisical about some things.

Part of me likes that it’s both 12:29 and 1:14 right now.

The kids are gone, and that’s why the house is silent. Yesterday, I met my stepmom, Julie, in Marshall, Mich., (halfway between our respective homes) to hand off my kiddos–Julie and Dad are keeping them for us for the next few days, as Oliver is on break from school and this spares us from  having to figure out a babysitter, plus I plan to go up to their house on Tuesday for Christmas. After the kid swap, I had a 3 hour drive home to think, and mantras were on my mind.

I thought about the things that have become important to me–things that I not only try to remind myself of, but try to remind others of through how I talk to them about the things that arise in their lives.

I hadn’t decided on anything by the time I got home, and I didn’t have any time to write, then, as I had a holiday party to get ready for.

Later, at the party, we talked mantras, and I tried to get ideas. My [sassy] husband suggested my mantra should be “stop it.”

WELL THEN. MAYBE IT WILL BE.

After he said that, I started thinking about things it would be valuable to CEASE doing–a mantra can inspire in both directions, both to begin and to desist. And there are plenty of things I wish I’d stop doing.

  • I wish I’d stop avoiding writing.
  • I wish I’d stop being afraid of being completely happy.
  • I wish I’d stop letting comparison undermine my sense of self worth.
  • I wish I’d stop clinging to past pain.
  • I wish I’d stop letting fear of failure govern my actions.
  • I wish I’d stop worrying about the future.
  • I wish I’d stop caring what people think.

Here’s the thing, though: all of my negative, slightly self destructive tendencies are corrupted versions of what I think are very positive things about me.

  • I have a lot of interests and I try to indulge them all.
  • I think deeply and a lot, and that causes me to occasionally slide into the neurotic.
  • I have high expectations for myself.
  • I don’t like to forget people, ideas, events.
  • I want to do things well.
  • I prefer to act, not react.
  • I want to be a person of value.

What to make of this, what to do with it? Here’s my goal.

Don’t drift.

2014, I’m talking to you now: this year, I need to work on keeping my mind and my behaviors on the good side. Don’t let me drift into those murky waters.

Contingency plan: inform my people to be on the lookout for drifting and give me a push back if I wander off course.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Drift: A Mantra for 2014

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