If you read this blog, you know my politics. By every measure of American virtue–– be it traditional, progressive, conservative, or whatever–– 2020 was a red-letter shitshow.
No one got what they wanted, which was freedom from the impact of the pandemic. What we got instead was a long, drawn-out battle with a lack of truth and an invisible scourge that is still killing people right and left. But there’s hope. If we look ahead…
Through all that, most of us tried to achieve some sort of stasis. I refuse to call it normalcy because I’ve come to realize that what we once perceived as normalcy never existed. There are factions and undercurrents of American ugliness dating back four hundred years, and they refuse to go away, or grow a conscience. Released from their constraints, the forces of corrupt religion and vigilante anger bubbled up from the muck in a toxic foam of perceived disenfranchisement that clogged society’s surface and blocked out hope of reflecting on the meaning of it all.
The best we can do when peering back on 2020 and forward into 2021 is to wipe away that foam and get a glimpse of the reflection staring back at us. Then it becomes personal. Who do we see there? Is it the same person? Or has that person in the reflection somehow changed?
It is not vanity to ask such questions. It is practical. It is survival. It is performance-driven. When we’re out running or riding and pass a long row of windows in which we can see our reflection, that is an opportunity to check running form or position on the bike. The same holds true for swimming. If you can get someone to dip a camera below the surface to record your swim stroke, there are all sorts of things to learn. Arm position. Body posture in the water. Reflections and images tell us much about ourselves, inside and out.
As you reflect on all that we’ve gone through in 2020, take an honest look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “What do I want from this coming year?”
All of us need to put our ideas and plans forms that have meaning to us. Then we can figure out how to get there, and do it well.
Resolutions, on their own, aren’t often the answer. Instead, a bit of reflection helps build a bigger picture. What did I do right last year? What things went wrong? What took place that made me change plans? What can I control? Where did I follow through? Persevere? Find satisfaction? Build resolve. Pursue happiness. Find love.
All these things contribute to the whole you. Think about your 2021 as an opportunity to pursue that. The whole you is what matters. The athlete can drive it or come along for the ride. But the whole you is what counts. That’s what we should look for in our reflections.
So reflect. Then you can peer into 2021 with the foam of the past wiped away. You may be surprised what you see staring back at you. Look for the person you like, and appreciate. Look for that someone in you that you like to be with, and others too. Embrace that person. It will reflect well on you.
And may 2021 be good to you, and for you.
HERE ARE MY REFLECTIONS ON ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2020
- Completed writing two books and submitted to an agent for “traditional” publication.
- Competed/finished three triathlons; two Olympic distance and first-ever Half Ironman
- Paced my wife to her best half marathon in ten years, under two hours
- Stayed healthy despite the pandemic by wearing a mask, social distancing and using common sense in public interactions
- Voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and they won. Bigly.
REFLECTIONS ON PLANNED ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2021
- Launching a Patreon site featuring content on nature, art and writing
- Competing in two Olympic-distance and one Half-Ironman races
- Getting my two books published and promoting them
- Continue to increase income and focus on active retirement strategy 5-7 years out
- Build mindfulness into daily routine