Welcome back, everyone, to another season of hopefully interesting conversation and discussion! Before we get to this week’s topic, just a quick announcement. Beginning this week, we are taking our discussions up the road a few miles to downtown Oxford. We will be meeting at Casa Real, 21 S. Washington St. (M-24). There is ample parking in the lot behind the restaurant.
Now on to this week’s topic.
A new year is a time when a lot of folks lean in to new intentions, or to make resolutions about changes they want to make in themselves and in their lives. And, at about this time, some of us might have already starting slipping up. As the writer Kate Campbell puts it at Mockingbird:
It’s the time of year when our New Year’s resolutions slowly begin to unravel. It doesn’t usually happen all at once, of course. A cheat day here, a provoked outburst there, compounded by the multiplication of days and weeks, and what once felt possible eventually becomes fanciful. Even my best intentions can’t always hold up to the temptation of a Chick-fil-A milkshake.
Every new year is filled with hopeless optimism that I can truly change. At the beginning of this year, I took time to look back and reflect on all the ways that my life is different than it was just 365 days ago. … Life has changed in some sizable ways, and yet I find myself wondering: did I really change at all?
This begs the question: Can we really change? Do we even want to? And if we want to, can we do it by ourselves? Or do we need the equivalent of some kind of haunting, like in the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, to get us to think and act and live in a different kind of way?
Finally, when we think about making changes in our lives, we can characterize those as dreams or goals, and we can have a tendency to confuse the two. So what the difference between a goal and a dream? Is a goal simply a dream with an action plan? Do you have a process for achieving your goals?
We will talk about all of this, and probably more, in our conversation tomorrow evening, Tuesday Jan. 10, starting at 7pm. We will gather at Casa Real in downtown Oxford, so look for us there.