Ahh, yes! We've officially entered the 'New Year, New Me' season. We dedicate this special time of year to deleting people from our Facebook friends list and blocking numbers in our contact list. Let's not forget setting yet another weight loss journey goal and my all-time favourite, the laundry list of New Year 'I wrote it cause it sounds deep,' Resolutions. To me, ringing in a New Year often feels like that moment when I finally learn to manoeuvre through the latest iOS updates, and then Apple says, "Bump that!" and just comes out with a whole new phone. "Sigh!"
Still, as I thought about the onset of 2021, there was this underlining notion that it's the perfect time to reboot and start over. But the truth is you don't need a new year, or a new month, or even a Monday, to make a change. All you need is a made-up mind. If I could compare it to anything relatable, 2020 had to be like a year of intense vigorous athletic training. The kind that makes you hate your trainer and rue the day that they invented something called a diet. Three-quarters of the year was like being in a bad car accident that makes you rethink your whole life. For sure, it made me wonder how it took something so drastic to maintain our focus? And why must life have practically stopped to force us into a different but needed mindset? It was like 2020 pulled a trigger, and life's announcer said: (see next heading).
And They're Off!
There have been several moments in my life I can recall not being ready. In each case, though, the ill-preparedness was only realized in retrospect. First of all, I was not prepared for the realities of life, like discovering no one owes me anything or that sometimes a person's attitude toward me could have absolutely nothing to do with me. Or when I was looking to people for the closure, I thought they'd provide, but it never came. I won't attempt to count the times I wasn't ready to let go. I'll tell ya; those were the worst of the 'not ready's.' My dear, take my word for it, holding on to people and things past their expiration date is a game-changer―and not in a good way either. As much as I wanted it, I wasn't ready for marriage, even though it was high on my list of life's must do's. It was true that I was physically a woman of marriageable age, but my attitude toward the institution was something that no weekend seminar could quickly rid me of.
2020 was like the magic mirror on the wall that took pleasure in reminding you you weren't the fairest of them all. And here's what I mean. Do you know that one person who can't ever seem to get their life together? Every time you talk to them, they seem to have a litany of issues? Last week they were done with everything and everyone, and then this week, they've borderline made you nauseous cause they drank some happy kool-aid? Catch them next week, and they're the lone activist spearheading the next #metoo movement, and five minutes after that, they're ready to join a convent. In the last year, they've had eleven-teen million jobs, and in the six months they spent in college, they changed their major forty-seven times. This morning they were vegan, they were pescetarian by lunch, and by five-o'clock traffic, they were intermittent fasting. Well, if you don't know such a person, then as they would sing on Sesame Street, "and my name is you!" In this case, I was Sis. Yeah, 'a sis,' was me.
Though they may deny it, let me tell you, I grew up around some girls that are rock-stars. They always seemed to be thriving, growing and glowing. They were boss chicks long before it was even a thing. They were focused and absolute about who they were, where they were going and how they intended to get there. These girls were it. And then, (insert dramatic pause) there was me. While it took me a little longer to figure it out, I've learned that it's that 'comparison' demon that will put the 'stress' in 'distressed' and have you out here looking like a piece of antique furniture. Breaking News: We're not alive to wonder if we live up to anyone else's hype or if we are successful based on someone else's definition. My dear, take this lil' piece of advice aye, "Don't go chasing what you don't have the capacity to carry!" Translation: Don't pray to be like Mike if you don't know what's in Mike's cup! Pray for guidance on how to be the best possible 'YOU!' In other words......(see next heading)
Stay in your lane
When you're in a race, every runner has their lane. At first, I always thought the person in lane-1 had the advantage, but that's not the case. Just as in life, while it may look like they have more than you, the truth is that you are designed and suited for a different task. Some runners are sprinters; others are long-distance competitors. Contrary to popular belief, everyone is not meant to "Do it like a boss!" Look, your 2020 was not a failure if you haven't started a side-quarantine hustle. You are not 'less than' if, even after all of this, you decide you like being an employee. One can accomplish a great many things on a 9-to-5. Believe that. Besides business launches, my timeline was equally flooded with intimate weddings and birth announcements. One could easily feel that if you didn't fall into any of these three categories, you simply "Wasn't ready!"
Hear me, partnerships of any kind are not to be entered into lightly. It's not like wearing Jordans cause everyone else is. Return policies on some ventures are harder broken than they are made. Regardless of what you wish to achieve, ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? What are the benefits? Am I ready and prepared for what it is I desire?" While similar, being ready and being prepared is not the same. As verbs (which are action words), the difference between the two is that preparation is to make ready for a specific future purpose, to set-up or assemble, while readiness is to prepare for action. Many would agree that 2020 was a great time to cement yourself in any of these positions, but I need you to understand, even if you didn't, know that (see the next heading).
Life has No Qualifying Time
Runners train for months, years even—just to be primed for one race. Before you can advance, they have a preliminary contest, the winner of which may enter the final race. There is a minimum qualifying time that must be achieved, determining if you can proceed to the next round. But isn't it wonderful this practice does not pertain to life? I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but it's so profound it's worth mentioning again while you're in your 'new me' mood. Solomon wrote: I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. (Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT)
I know, it looks like everyone is winning but you. I assure you, though, just because folks are out here posting content doesn't mean they're having great success. I need you to understand that just because the extended time at home gave you the bright idea, that doesn't mean it's time for the big reveal. Don't try to bypass the step in the game called 'process.' We often joke that when you go to college, get your degree, then apply for the job, they expect you to have one-hundred-and-fifty-years of experience too. On the flip side, if you have the experience, they tell you, but you don't have the paper. I mean, it's like you can't win for losing.
Although 2020 had some highlights for me, a small part of me wished that I, too, was boasting of multiple streams of income or rolling out a grand business venture. If only I could say I published another book, I would have been one happy camper. I have to be honest; it seems cool to jump on the 2020 woe is me bandwagon, but that's not my story. 2020 had its fair share of blessings; though it wasn't enough to have a launch party, I always had everything I needed. So, until my change comes, I enrolled myself in the school of Operation Fix-My-Life. I'm still sharpening the skills, filling the knowledge bank, and consulting with my Creator (God) on the capabilities of the amazing masterpiece He created, called 'me.'
Think of it like this: On your Marks―is when you conceive the idea. Get Set―is your time of preparation. But Go―you don't want to hear that unless (see next heading).
You've Studied to Show Thyself Approved.
As I'm still deep in the lair, reading, meditating and getting equipped for the race set before me, I have long since put down my expectation of whether I should be here or there by a certain age. I've surrendered my life's plan to the One whose plans prevail over them all. Believe me, I've done many things to advance these visions in my head, but there's something about time that it won't be bullied into being rushed. All I'm saying is don't let opportunity catch you slipping.
We are now five days into the new year―and if you're already somewhere curled-up feeling unaccomplished or delayed, I have one word of encouragement for you. "The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen." (Isaiah 60:22 NLT) That's it, that's all!