My father-in-law always says, “Get ready to get ready.” While I have lived so much of my recent life under this driving force, these words articulate it perfectly. In order to be ready, you need prep, forethought, and the ability to see downfield.
I think of the many springs and summers spent in double practices for swim team. Testing paper suits, the right goggles, changing my dive, repeating start after start so I could nearly anticipate the gun or the buzzer. I remember lengthening each muscle so they collapsed distance. When you are trying to shave off hundredths of a second in order to beat a personal record or the competitor next to you, it truly is a game of inches and a psychology of reach. Of time so electric that it reckons with your sense of reality.
The end of the year always feels like this itch to get ready to get ready. And the beginning of a new year feels like a continuation of the mindset—with a zeal and intensity that are not spontaneous, but earned and planned. We can call this a reinvestment or the continuation of an old path on fresh terms. We can call this an occasion for New Year’s resolutions, or we can picture and understand it as a layering of strata deepening the way we exist in our lives. We can call the moment or these moments a crystallization of dreams, of hopes, of realizations, and even experiments.
I simply appreciate any juncture (custom or created) where I can reflect, let go, and find myself again in new ways.
Entering 2023, like many such threshold moments, felt like this to me. This coming year has the potential for many new moments but promises nothing—except that, one day at a time, we may be given the gift to live.
This year, I recommit to telling my own personal story inside and outside of the fresh produce universe, dusting off old manuscripts and seeing the mirror held up by the life I have lived so far, the books that have painted it, the people who continue to color it.
I recommit to collapsing the distance between my personal and professional values to live more congruently and truly. This has always been a tricky feat as I am in a constant state of troubleshooting, problem-solving, and fixing while I work—personal relationships are not a space for such things for me, individually. It is a complicated relationship with necessary boundaries and values that traverse: compassion, listening, learning, courage, curiosity, and authenticity.
I will reinvest in looking, quite literally, at the ground beneath my feet more often. I live so rarely in the present moment and instead acutely in the future—a demand of my role and living strategically. A healthier balance, I think—a little, or a lot, of mindfulness—will do me good.
And patience, oh sweet, infuriating, beautiful patience. I hope to find more stillness inside the storm. I hope to create space, be that eye, be the witness at the center of the hurricane. Some call it neutrality, others patience, equanimity, or peace. I like to think of it as living within an inch of your life.
However you choose to mark this new year, I hope you do so with all of the heart and courage that you bring to the lives around you.
Happy New Year, my friends.