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Of all the things I could do

by David Walker about a year ago in happiness
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a better road

Crossing the finish line of any race is exciting. Accomplishing the task laid out before you can seem satisfying even if you didn’t finish first but came dead last, you finished. That’s how I felt about 2020. It’s done, it’s behind me and now I get to choose the race I run in 2021. It’s time to take a moment to catch my breath and focus on what comes next. I’m reminded of a song that says “you can’t run when you’re holding suitcases”. Not sure if this person has ever been at the airport and late for their flight but you can make it work, but I get the point. What did I learn from this last year and how will help me moving forward?

I learned that too much media is toxic. Constant messages about politics, religion, pandemics and restrictions wears a person down. That whatever I dwell on, is what will eventually come creeping out of my mouth. There’s no choice. A steady diet of negativity will cause me to spew negativity. That’s not who I want to be. I also don’t want to be uninformed. The path that lays before me needs to be of my choosing. If I want my future to be different, I need to make different choices. What is something I always wanted to learn? Some place I always wanted to go? I jokingly tell people I always wanted to learn sign language and I hear it’s very “handy”. Why not? I don’t know any deaf people but that doesn’t mean I won’t meet any and what a great surprise for them that a non deaf person chose to learn to speak in way they can understand. I’ve imagined myself learning to play the piano. In my mind, I’m an expert and a wonderful singer too. In my own imaginary recording studio, I have all the Olympic gold medals I won in my own games. Truly a sight to behold. You should see it.

All these things, though in my thoughts and not a reality, could very well be real. The older I get, the more my body will simply not allow me to do some of what I imagine. I won’t be doing any competitive figure skating or parkour but I can learn something my body will permit. First things first, being mindful of what I absorb through my eyes and my ears. They are the fuel that keeps me moving. What I take time to think on, what I allow to occupy my mind and eventually my heart will determine how I express who I am. A quote from the Netflix show “Travellers” really stuck with me this last year. One of the characters had lost some of her memory and was asking a close friend to describe who she was. What was she like? As he struggled to find the words, he simply sighed and told her “the best way to describe someone is by the impact they had on others”. There’s a quote to guide your life.

Moving forward, I want to be a person who brings out the best in others. Not forcefully but as a support for someone looking to be better, to do better. This begins with taking an honest look at myself. I’m not perfect and I see all my flaws, especially those that I hide from others. I can begin by taking some personal responsibility. It’s not my job to point out the flaws in others but if I am addressing the flaws I see in me then those around me may see how they can help themselves to be the people they want to be.

We all want to be the hero of our story and we can be. Being aware that all the negativity that is constantly fed to us actually conditions us to feel as though we are the victims and not the hero. Changing that way of thinking is completely within our power. Hero’s don’t always save the world, but if they can save a life, make a difference to someone else, inspire a person who’s drowning in sadness that there is hope and we will walk with them as they find it, then that person is the true hero. That’s what I want to do with 2021. I want to make the world seem a little brighter. I don’t want to be vomiting up the ugliness that already exists in the world, no I want to clean that mess up and give hope.

Of all the things I’ve imagined, this is one I can do. This is one I will do.


About the author

David Walker

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