Well, my fast went well. Not to boast or brag, but I was so focused on all those thoughts of forgiveness and self-improvement that I didn't even think about how I hadn't eaten.
The trick, however, is consistency. Same as many other promises we make in life, they sound so sincere and so heartfelt when we say them, but as time marches on, the desire to do them consistently fades and erodes.
Well, that's not how it's gonna be with me this year. I've got plans, and I know I'll keep them. My plan includes getting this blog exposed and monetized, making more time for my wife & my marriage, and continuing to get respect per the Four Pillars. To put in the training time I need for my next marathon, even if that means doing it in the wee small hours of the morning. Also, making more time for friends and having fun! And maybe a few extra hours of sleep in my spare time . . . :)
So will it be with you, gentlemen. If last year didn't cut it, why do the same thing all over again? You sure won't get any different results than before. You may have already apologized to G-D, to others, and yourself for your past misdeeds -- where will you go from here?
Hopefully, you'll do better. Instead of falling into the same traps you did before, you'll think and you'll listen. Instead of wringing your hands and flagellating yourself over mistakes you made in the past (or worrying if some other shmo will bring it up and use it against you), you'll emotionally detach yourself from it and use it as reference material. Signposts, if you will, to point you in the right direction and away from the wrong direction. You don't follow those signposts, you'll get far worse than a ticket!
Emotional detachment is the hard part, no doubt. Especially if you've been bullied in the past, or some other trauma has come your way, it's hard not to have feelings and emotions tied to mistakes. You probably got used to someone else beating you over the head with them so many times, you learned to expect it coming! Well guess what: you don't have that coming anymore. You're not a little boy, scheduled to get punished just because you make mistakes. You're a thinker, who learns from mistakes and knows not to repeat them. No amount of bullying or punishment is needed to get you to become that -- you get that way all by yourself, through your own intellect and your own experience! As long as you know this, there's no reason to be emotionally involved!
And by the way, even if you stick with that, you will still make mistakes. The difference is, if you keep your head on straight and learn from your old mistakes, you'll end up making new mistakes. And that's not really such a bad thing. If anything, those are learning opportunities that you just didn't have last year! The difference, you'll use those new mistakes as new learning opportunities, and not as lightning rods for more criticism and punishment, and if someone does start with you over it, you'll be able to not allow them to bring you down because of it.
So here we are, the first day of the rest of your life, as they say. Now is your chance to start putting your new plans into effect. All you have to do is do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. You get the idea . . . just don't do it now because it was a "special occasion" and never do it again.
Peace, everyone -- and to those celebrating Columbus Day, follow his example: If you know you're right about something, never let anyone else deride you, threaten you, or throw you off your game. You may not have discovered what you expected, but odds are what you do discover could be just as amazing, if not more!