Hi, there, readers! I am so excited today because my good friend, Liz Flaherty, is here to share an excerpt with you from her new book! Liz’s books are some of my favorite because of her amazing character building, but just before the holidays she took on a new endeavor: a book of essays. You see, one of Liz’s first publishing forays was as a columnist – and her essays are so good! Here’s a peek:
GOALS AND SOMETIMES
by Liz Flaherty
I don’t do resolutions, although I start each new year with some goals that sometimes I make (finish at least one book) and sometimes I don’t (lose fill-in-the-blank pounds). I hope each year will be an improvement over the last one, which sometimes works out and sometimes not.
I used “sometimes” a little too often in that first paragraph, didn’t I? But to tell the truth, it’s an important word. If you say “always” or “never,” you’re committed to something whether you want to be or not.
Like “I would never say that.” Sure, you would, if you were mad enough.
Or “I always wash the sheets every Monday.” Unless I forget.
Or “I would never wear yoga pants to the grocery store.” Yeah, you would. And hair curlers back in the day. And, if your nose is running and you’re about to cough up a lung and you’d rather just stay in bed, maybe you’d wear your pajamas, too. (Lots of people do, even though they really shouldn’t and I wish they really wouldn’t.)
Or, my kids never did that. Okay. You go ahead thinking that.
Or, things were always better in my day. No. They weren’t. They were different and some things were better. Some things were awful.
Unless you say you’ve never done something that might be fun or exciting or mind-enhancing. Then you should add it to your list.
Or unless you say you’re always glad to see someone or to help someone or to have a great conversation with them. Then you should hang onto those things and do them more often.
You can say you’ve never done or said something as long as you tack “yet” onto the end of the sentence.
You can say you always do or say something as long as you add “almost” in front of the always.
Often, though, you’re better off with “sometimes,” instead of committing to something you might not be able to accomplish. Or with “I’ll try” instead of “I promise,” because broken promises are much harder on both sides of any equation than trying and failing.
I need to interject here that I am kind of big on clichés and quotes—you may have noticed—and one of my favorites is the only failure is in not trying. Robert Kennedy said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Even if greatness isn’t your goal, daring to fail is an important part of any success.
There, do I sound pompous enough for you?
So, although I don’t do resolutions, I have goals—finish another book, lose…a few pounds, laugh a lot, see good movies, cry some, read, see my family and friends every chance I get, stay healthy, volunteer.
I’ll achieve all of them. Sometimes. And I’ll keep trying.