Embracing The New Year: A Focus On Trying

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. - Samuel Beckett

As I'm sure you've realised, this post is a week late. I am playing catch up on here and in everything else in my life, as time relentlessly marches on and I wonder how on earth to keep up.

Perhaps the fact it is a week late does not matter an iota. Time, after all, is a somewhat arbitrary marker. I swing between seeing promise in the new year, and wondering whether anything is truly different between 2016 and 2017. The latter year holds half familiarity, half a vast unknown, and thus there is something comforting in the idea of these numbers being pointless lines that we cross. 

On the other hand, I have taken up running. This morning, to my great surprise, I had run more than 5.5km before 7:45am. That is something very new indeed. The reason for this running is not wholly outside of "resolution". About a month ago I signed up for a 72km relay race in Oman, a fantastic jaunt through the mountains of Dibba that I previously completed three years ago. Remembering all of the high of finishing and none of the pain, I enthusiastically agreed to give it another go. Last time, to my detriment, I did not train. This time, I am already doing better. The runs hurt but it feels so much better to be running with purpose and with a team, and I hope to stick to it in a way that I have never done before. 

Running aside, I am thoroughly rejecting resolutions this year, and instead aiming for experiences that I want to have. These range from visiting Shanghai (which will hopefully happen this Spring) to having a conversation in Spanish (aiming for this summer), to talking myself out of socially anxious thoughts. More than anything, though, I want to focus on the process rather than the outcome. So much expectation is placed on goals when the real success lies in trying, again and again and again. 

Trying is the most important part of life, in every aspect. We are all at different stages in our evolution, and trying is the best we all can do. This morning, trying for me looked like putting one foot in front of each other and not stopping until 25 minutes had passed. I was lapped by almost every one of my teammates, but I was incredibly proud of just being there and giving it my feeble best. Trying later was putting words onto the site of my blog when my two weeks absence had become too intimidating to break. It's a nothing sort of post, but it's the start of getting more regular content on here. Trying looks like making mistake after mistake in Spanish, but giving it a go. Trying is all I'm asking of myself, in every direction possible. 

I am taking a fiction class during these three weeks in Abu Dhabi, and my professor greeted us with Samuel Beckett quote above. How terribly fitting for my New Years plans. Writing, after all, requires trying and trying and trying again. Isn't that what us blogger do? We keep trying with our writing and our photographs, week after week. 

So yes, I am somewhat approaching the new year with the typical optimism that sweeps us all. But hopefully these plans are more achievable and more enjoyable than my resolutions in years gone by. Who knows what I will achieve just by trying?