A dot-to-dot life and other aspirations for 2016

On my birthday last month, a good friend asked me what I wished and hoped for in the next year. I completely drew a blank. Finally, laughing, I said, “I can tell you what I’m looking forward to in the next five years or the next five days, but in the next five months? I have no idea.”

While in Fernandina Beach’s Book Loft last fall, I picked up a Sue Monk Kidd book I had never seen before, titled Firstlight. While flipping through, I found a passage describing how the author was trying to  approach life as a dot to dot puzzle. My immediate application to my own tiny life: See the big picture but take it step by step.

Considering this life application further, I began to wonder if I actually see the big picture as a hope, dream or aspiration for the future, with no clear view of what it takes to get there. I do think of myself as a big picture person, but I could be wrong about that. What if it’s more like I live as if tomorrow is today without the work? Without connecting all the dots it takes to get there?

Ouch.

So, for 2016, I aspire to live a dot to dot life. Will I finish the picture I envision? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s just what I need to do. Take a breath and go from one to just two. Take a swing upward and connect two to three. A big stretch across connects three to four. You get the picture.

Some of you may think more in terms of a paint by number life. Or; Step 1: Unwrap all the parts. Step 2: Snap part A on to part B, may better suit how other brains work. My yogi friends already know one must start with Child’s Pose. Everyone has a unique way of getting to the big picture.

I’m confused as to why this is so hard for me, personally. I can read a book from Page 1 to The End without skipping ahead. I can follow a recipe. I can even follow directions if I choose to do so. It all makes perfect sense and actually gives me a sense of calm and accomplishment.

So why is it I can’t see where I am going in the next few months? Is it my own proclivity to focus on the whole picture? Is it all the noise and immediacy of media not only ringing in my ears but clouding my eyesight? Are the possibilities too great and wonderful? Am I blessed with so many options I have no idea which one to reach for? Yes, yes, yes and finally, yes.

What can I do about it? I don’t know, other than what I should have been smart enough to do a long time ago. Just start with the first dot, hoping to do a better job in 2016 of connecting them all, or some, one by one. And maybe if I do, I’ll have a clearer picture of what I want to strive for in the next twelve months.

Okay, here goes. I’ve made myself focus only on getting from dot 1 to dot number 2 on a couple of life things already. Once there, I’ll move on to dot number 3. Hey, can I use different colored pencils for each connection? You know, to make it more fun.

So, please wish me luck, as I wish you a year filled with good health, much love, dreams and dreams come true. And, a big picture vision that inspires you to start connecting the dots, painting by number, following the steps—whatever you do however you do it—joyfully, prayerfully, purposefully and mindfully.

Happy New Year!

 

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