A year ago I decided that I would focus this year on fuel: all the ways that I give my body and soul what they need so that I can give the people around me what they need.
I focused on fuel as much as a person like me can focus on any one thing for an entire year. Since I’ve never been good at singlemindedness, that wasn’t too much.
Still, I took time for myself. I went on retreat. I started reading for pleasure again. I went to bed early. I listened to music that made me happy. I had scads of vegetables.
All of this was helpful, and allowed me to write a lot and sing a lot and be there for people. But what I learned was that in the end there is no magic formula of input and output.
Unfortunately and marvelously, the truth is way more complicated.
If there’s anything I learned this year (or perhaps always learned but am now learning to articulate?) it’s that our lives are systems, and what I eat or drink or listen to is only one tiny component of the big wide web that makes up a life.
So yes, fuel is important, but it is folly to think that I can will my world to change with vegetables. This flies in the face of what we want to believe, and proves that I will never have a career in self-help (“See, you can’t change your life after all!”), but I’ve come to see it as a blessing.
I rely on everyone else, everything else around me. I keep as much as I can good, and know that my good practices enrich the rest of the system, and make me ready to react to whatever the rest of the system throws at me.
I prefer this to being autonomous and alone.
So for 2014 I will keep eating my veggies and getting plenty of sleep. You should too. This does not guarantee that I will get all of my wishes or that I will somehow develop virtues to which I have never been inclined. Still, somewhere out there in the mess of the universe more miracles will happen in ways that will baffle us. It’s all part of the system?
What did you learn about yourself and the world in 2013? How did your resolutions go?
Tanya Marlow says
I like that you haven’t turned into a self-help freak! Good to reflect on these things, thank you.
Margaret Felice says
Thanks! Happy New Year!
In 2013 I found — and passed — my breaking point for sanity (a large piece of why my blogs have gone quiet). I learned (the hard way) that it’s better to ask for help before you break. I’m a strong person, but even I have a breaking point. God help me in 2014, I’m gonna need it.
Margaret Felice says
I certainly hope that 2014 will be an easier year for you and that you’ll be back to writing soon. I know how hard it is for ask to help, but as I’m sure you know it can be magical once we learned how to do it. Love to you –