Meeting (and beating) “calendar dread”

Go ahead…pick a day…try January 1st, for example. For some people, this represents merely  the beginning of a new year. For others, this is a time of rebirth, regeneration. For yet others, it’s a day that evokes feelings of dread – another year filled with who knows what obstacles, issues, problems. You may well hear them say, “Everyone will be going on about their resolutions, their great plans, their awesome new endeavors and I’m sitting here without a clue!” or “I have no idea what I should look forward to in the new year, so please, please, don’t ask!”

Painful to hear, isn’t it? Even more painful to say and more so  think it and yet feel unable to speak it…

Maybe, January 1st isn’t a dreadful day for you, it might be any of the “holidays” we’re supposed to celebrate or acknowledge. It may be the day you lost a friend to death, lost a lover, found out something awful…the list is almost limitless!

The point is, live long enough and you’re bound to find many days that evoke quite the opposite of the “appropriate” response. You see one of these days pop up on the calendar and you pull out the story, rereading it each year, re-living the pain, giving in once again to loss.

But you know what? You have a choice: you can be a victim of “calendar dread” or you can see that day – and I do mean each and every day you are given – as an opportunity to write or re-write the story. We can write history, we can read history, we can even re-enact history, but we sure can’t live it!

I remember far too many days that were filled with pain and dread, so many in fact that I would be hard-pressed to find 2 weeks in a row where something doesn’t come back to me as one of “those days”. Then again, I would also be hard-pressed to find 2 weeks in a row where I haven’t had something wonderful, beautiful, joyful, surprising, fulfilling, uplifting, or just plain fun occur in my life! Here again, is a choice: do I give that kind of day the same – or, could it be possible – greater sway in my life?

When you get right down to it, our lives are made up of not days, but moments. We tend to choose which moments we remember, which we hold onto for dear life, which we ignore…you get the picture. One moment can color a day, a week, a year, a lifetime…for good or ill. Yet again, (I know, this can be irritating) a choice!

I have come to the comforting/painful conclusion (yes, I am of both minds on this one at times) that the only way to live fully is to truly be engaged in each moment, whatever it might bring, and to be clear that I choose how I will act or react.

So that calendar may hold historical markers for me, but they are, in the grand scheme of my existence,  only footnotes to the story I am writing moment by moment.






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