Day after Christmas, for those of us who celebrate it, and back to life as normal. As simple as my traditions are, I still feel a post-Christmas letdown. The feeling reminds me of my childhood. I’d stare at mountains of wrapping paper and presents and not know what to do with myself.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like NOT to be goal-oriented? Maybe you aren’t — and more power to you — but I tend toward that most annoying of traits. It’s a pain in my ass. I was the kid who strived for As. If I received an A- I thought life was about to end. I took my goals so very seriously, and what did they get me? Stress, heartache, self-flogging, and in the end, when I did get the A, a big can of stinky disappointment.
Yay, an A. Now what?
I’ve just written a post for The Debutante Ball that will appear tomorrow. It got me thinking that I don’t know what success is really. It’s not about the end result I know that for sure. Because if that’s all you go by then, man, how empty will you feel after awhile?
Because that’s all external, yah? I got an A, yay, now what? Oh right, the next grade, the next bigger house, the next higher paid job, and on and on.
You get what you want, you often end up anticlimaxing — getting almost there getting there yes yes yes and then … huh, meh, that was it?
We tend to assign high expectations to our goals. Right now, I’d say I’m getting-there-yes-yes-yessing KILMOON’s publication in March. It’s going to be so great! Yay! I’m going to become an overnight success, “wow” the literary world, and land the next big deal for my next books! Woohoo!
Hmm … fantasyland alert! Does this mean I won’t get noticed by readers and reviewers. Of course not. Does this mean that I shouldn’t be excited? Of course not. Does this mean I should adjust my expectations? Definitely. I may think my novel is fabulous, but I can’t control what anyone else thinks. So, I’ve gotta let it go.
My book launch day will only matter to me. I know this. So, whatever happens out there in the world, on March 18th I’ll be quietly happy as I go about cleaning out the toilet or washing the dog or cursing the work-in-progress. (I maintain that you can curse and be quietly happy at the same time.)
Serene detachment sounds like the ticket. I’d better write that down on my 2014 resolutions list before I forget …