I love Advent. It’s the beginning of the liturgical year, in the liturgical churches, a full month before the calendar changes over, but even more, Advent is a season of preparation. We need to reflect and prepare for the big events of our lives, and probably for our lives, themselves. Yes, I’m quite certain of that.
For too many years I’ve drifted on the currents, had no particular plan or purpose. Vague generalized ones, but not particular. The reason for this is understandable: when I was growing up, and later in my marriage to TFP, plans were the prelude to disappointment. All those broken promises! And again, and again, there was that open and subliminal message that I was too unimportant to have any legitimate purpose in the world, apart from being TFP’s “beard.” That’s a message that cuts deep, long after we’ve realized the lie it is. I’ve just been drifting along, feeling pretty helpless to change things.
Also, I just have a temperament that does well under still and quiet, not trying to push or force events or answers.
But it does have its limitations. If we’re not happy with something — a job, a piece of furniture, a relationship — then we either make changes or we become the victims of our own inertia. Resentments can fester, precipitating a crisis that might have been avoided had we taken initiative early on in the dissatisfaction.
I have decided it is time for some substantial changes. There are things I want that I can’t achieve in my present circumstances. I am 62 years old; I want the remainder of my life to be fruitful, joyful, productive, and spiritually and emotionally rich.
That’s Step One: Decide to make a change.
Step Two, for me, at this time, is to take time to very particularly evaluate just what it is I DO want. It’s not enough to say, “I’m ready for a change.” Changes can be for the worse, not just the better. I want to have a clearer understanding of what motivates me, what I truly care about, what — well, since my Catholic faith is important to me, I couch it in these terms: what I perceive God wants from me, and for me.
I’ve ordered a couple of resources to help me work through those great existential questions. When they’ve arrived (later this week, I expect), I’ll do an evaluation here for your benefit. This particular one — Lara Casey’s Power Sheets — has gotten a lot of good mentions on the YouTube channels I have been watching. I’ll let you know if the product lives up to its reputation by my expectations.
Step Three — and these can be concurrent (they are for me, right now) — research your options. Want a new career? A new home? Research the options, and the costs, and the risks, and the values. Knowledge is a form of empowerment, and one that I believe will allow us to step out in confidence in the new direction we’ve chosen for ourselves.